UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

The Academic Steroid: Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants at a North Texas University
The goal of this study was to determine the extent, motivations, and justifications of nonmedical prescription stimulant use among the population at a large public university in the North Texas region. Participants consisted of 526 undergraduate students enrolled at the studied university during the spring and summer 2014 semesters. The findings of the study suggest that the nonmedical use by students was higher than the findings in much of the current literature, but was within the parameters established in the literature. The primary motivation for nonmedical use was academic in nature and was justified by moderation of nonmedical use to strategic academic times.
An Action Research Study of Community Building with Elementary Students in a Title I School
“In what ways does teaching with folk arts inspired visual arts-based instruction enhance community building among elementary students in a Title I school?” was the primary research question in this study. Agreeing with past and present day research that the construct of community is vital to social and cultural capital, this research attempts to determine how the notion of community benefits both students and teachers in the elementary art classroom. Folk art was utilized because this genre was accessible in terms of locality and familiarity among students and teachers. The purpose of this investigation was to produce teaching strategies and methods that show how community can be formed in the art classroom. The participants were elementary students, Grades 2 and 3, in a Title I school located in Denton, Texas. This investigation was conducted under an action research methodology. This approach to research is intended to be transformational, emergent, and accommodating. I recorded observations, field notes, and conversations from the participants. Emergent themes were discovered through content analysis and conceptual maps. Results from this investigation concluded transformation is only possible if the person wants change to happen. Data also showed that community and art education are symbiotic. Transformation, growth, and cultivation are demands that must be met in order for this relationship to flourish. In addition, data suggested that the role of folk arts-based lessons played a significant role in building community among second and third graders.
Alignment of Middle School Core TEKS with Visual Arts TEKS
This descriptive study uses a qualitative, content analysis to examine the middle school visual arts and core Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) to determine the potential common learning activities that can be aligned between the two. By performing an alignment of the potential common learning activities present in the middle school visual art TEKS and the middle school core TEKS, I demonstrate that there is a foundation for curriculum integration in the Texas middle school visual arts classroom.
Analysis of Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education Decisions Regarding Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, School Administrator, Athletic Director and Central Office Administrator Term Contract Nonrenewal Appeals From 1983 to 2013
I conducted a legal analysis of decisions by Texas Commissioners of Education in appeals by Texas school administrators from nonrenewal decisions made by Texas school districts from 1983 to 2013. I analyzed the findings of fact and conclusions of law described in the commissioners’ rulings to determine the legal basis of school districts’ decisions to nonrenew school administrators’ term employment contracts. I also examined the legal rationale for commissioners’ rulings and determined which party most commonly prevailed in these administrative proceedings—the respondent school district or the petitioner school administrator. In particular, the study determined factors that contributed to commissioners’ decisions to overrule or support school districts’ nonrenewal decisions. A careful review of commissioner decisions, which are accessible on the Texas Education Association website, identified 44 commissioner decisions involving appeals by superintendents, associate superintendents, public school administrators, athletic directors, or central office administrators concerning school districts’ term contract nonrenewal decisions from 1983 to 2013. Commissioners’ decisions in these cases were surveyed using legal research methods. This study provides recommendations to assist local education agencies to refine current policies and regulations regarding the nonrenewal of administrators’ term contracts, and provides insight on Texas Commissioners’ rulings on term contract nonrenewal appeals brought by Texas school administrators. The findings revealed that school boards’ lack of understanding of local policies and lack of evidence resulted in commissioners granting 27% of appeals. Additionally, commissioners denied 73% of the appeals because school boards provided at least one reason that met the substantial evidence standard of review, and respondents failed to substantiate allegations or enter evidence in evidentiary hearings.
An Analysis of the 4:2:1 Documentary
As a Chinese filmmaker, I feel obligated to reveal a true story about Chinese international students. Through my subjects and my stories, I am planning to express the messages that both adapting to a new culture and paying the financial cost of a foreign education have never been simple, but we will never give up our dreams.
An Application of Digital Video Recording and Off-grid Technology to Burrowing Owl Conservation Research
Through this research, engineering students and conservation biologists constructed an off-grid video system for observing western burrowing owls in El Paso, Texas. The burrowing owl has a declining population and their range decreasing, driving scientists' interest to see inside the den for observing critical nesting behavior. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists wanted videos from inside the dark, isolated hillside owl burrows. This research yielded a replicable multi-camera prototype, empowering others to explore applications of engineering and wildlife monitoring. The remote station used an off-the-shelf video recording system, solar panels, charge controller, and lead acid batteries. Four local K-12 science educators participated in system testing at Lake Ray Roberts State Park through the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET, NSF #1132585) program, as well as four undergraduate engineering students as senior design research.
Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups
The primary objective of this research was to explore the impact of possible social factors on non-institutionalized adults 18 years of age or older residing in the United States who exhibited severe mental illness (SMI). A holistic sociological model was developed to explain SMI by incorporating elements of social learning theory, social disorganization theory, and gender socialization theory with social demographic factors. Based on the holistic sociological model, the following factors were investigated: demographic aspects of age, education, income and gender; gender socialization; influence of neighborhood area; social network influence based on communication and interaction among peers and family members; and socially deviant behaviors such as frequently smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using drugs specifically marijuana. The impact of these factors on SMI was examined. A sample of 206 respondents drawn from National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003 was assessed. These respondents had answered all the questions related to SMI; social deviant behaviors; neighborhood environment; and communications among peers, family members and friends; and the other studied factors. Ordinary linear regression with interaction terms was employed as a statistical tool to assess the impact of social determinants on SMI. Being female, living a disorganized neighborhood, and frequent and high levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol had a significant influence on SMI. This reevaluation and reexamination of the role of gender socialization path, socially deviant behaviors like smoking and drinking, and community construction on SMI provided additional insights. This research is one of the first to develop a more holistic sociological model on SMI and explored the previously untested interactive relationships. The limitations of this study suggest the need to test a potential recursive research model and explore additional bi-directional associations.
Assessing Workplace Design: Applying Anthropology to Assess an Architecture Firm’s Own Headquarters Design
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 ...
Bank Capital, Efficient Market Hypothesis, and Bank Borrowing During the Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008
During the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008, liquidity and credit dried up, threatening the stability of financial institutions, particularly the banking firms. Traditional source of funds from the last resort, the Discount Window of the Federal Reserve System, failed to remedy the liquidity problem. To assuage the liquidity and credit problem, the Federal Reserve System established several emergency lending facilities and provided unprecedented amount of loans to the banking industry. Using a dataset published by Bloomberg LLP in the aftermaths of the financial crisis, which contains daily loan balances from the Fed, I conduct an event study to test whether financial markets are efficient in reflecting all public, anticipated and classified information in security prices. The most important contribution of this dissertation to the finance discipline and literature is the investigation and analysis of the Fed’s unprecedented loans to the banking industry during the Great Recession and the market reaction to it. The second major contribution of this study is the empirical test of strong form efficient market hypothesis, which has not been feasible due to legal data challenges. This dissertation has other contributions to the finance discipline and banking research. First, I develop an algorithm for measuring the amount of borrowing by banks. Second, I introduce a new “loan balance” ratio to traditional list of bank financial ratios. Third, I use event study methodologies to allow for cross-correlation, heteroscedasticity and event induced-variance change in studying US banks’ performance during the Great Recession.
Caring for Cancer: Understanding the Access and Perceptions of Psychosocial Cancer Services in North Texas
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.
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 Changing Role and Responsibilities of Audit Committees in the United States
The corporate form that developed in the early 20th century created enormous pressure for corporate governance mechanisms to curb the power of corporate managers. Berle and Means, legal pluralists, warned about concentrating economic power in the hands of a small but powerful class of professional managers. They claimed this "new form of absolutism" required governmental oversight and viewed boards of directors as part of management, rather than monitors for shareholders. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed that corporations establish a special board committee, made up of "nonofficer members" in response to the McKesson & Robbins scandal of the late 1930s. My dissertation examines the evolution of the U.S. corporate audit committee through three specific time periods: (1) 1920-1954; (2) 1955-1986; and (3) 1987 to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. My purpose is to determine if evolution of the audit committee throughout these periods has been a reform continually couched in symbolism or whether the audit committee concept has evolved into real reform, allowing proper corporate governance and mitigation of unchecked corporate power. My analysis is a traditional empirical analysis, relying on both primary and secondary sources to develop a coherent ordering of facts. I use narrative in a narrow sense as my historical methodology, examining patterns that emerge and interpreting facts to develop a clear understanding of demands for and uses of audit committees. I use a holistic approach in studying the data, using narrative to show how these patterns ensue from the historical data.
Community College Choice and the Role of Undermatching in the Lives of African Americans
This study explored why academically qualified African American students, those eligible to attend four-year institutions, choose to attend community colleges and are, thereby, undermatched. This qualitative study investigated how these students navigated the college choice process, what influenced their decision to attend a community college, what their experience at a community college was like, and their aspirations to obtain a baccalaureate degree. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 19 African American students attending community college in Dallas, Texas. The sample included 14 females and five males. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. The conceptual frameworks for this study included Kassie Freeman’s predetermination model that includes cultural considerations in college choice and the Somers et al. model that addresses factors that increase the likelihood of a student choosing to attend a community college. This integrated framework captures the role that family and culture play in African American community college choice. Findings suggest that the community college choice influences for academically eligible African American students vary from traditional college choice models. Whereas factors such as cost, location, and the role of peers played somewhat of a role in their choice, participants were also heavily influenced by sports, self-perceptions of maturity, and the perceptions of their families. Another key finding was that the effects of undermatching vary. All of the participants in this study felt that attending a community college fostered transfer preparedness, supported personal development, and promoted their academic success. However, some of the participants also felt that attending a community college hindered their sense of autonomy and limited their social engagement. This variation leads to the conclusion that undermatching effects vary and are dependent upon a variety of contextual factors. Policy and practice recommendations are provided for parents, teachers, counselors, and ...
Company A, Nineteenth Texas Infantry: a History of a Small Town Fighting Unit
I focus on Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry, C.S.A., and its unique status among other Confederate military units. The raising of the company within the narrative of the regiment, its battles and campaigns, and the post-war experience of its men are the primary focal points of the thesis. In the first chapter, a systematic analysis of various aspects of the recruit’s background is given, highlighting the wealth of Company A’s officers and men. The following two chapters focus on the campaigns and battles experienced by the company and the praise bestowed on the men by brigade and divisional staff. The final chapter includes a postwar analysis of the survivors from Company A, concentrating on their locations, professions, and contributions to society, which again illustrate the achievements accomplished by the veterans of this unique Confederate unit. As a company largely drawn from Jefferson, Texas, a growing inland port community, Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry differed from other companies in the regiment, and from most units raised across the Confederacy. Their unusual backgrounds, together with their experiences during and after the war, provide interesting perspectives on persistent questions concerning the motives and achievements of Texas Confederates.
County Level Population Estimation Using Knowledge-Based Image Classification and Regression Models
This paper presents methods and results of county-level population estimation using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images of Denton County and Collin County in Texas. Landsat TM images acquired in March 2000 were classified into residential and non-residential classes using maximum likelihood classification and knowledge-based classification methods. Accuracy assessment results from the classified image produced using knowledge-based classification and traditional supervised classification (maximum likelihood classification) methods suggest that knowledge-based classification is more effective than traditional supervised classification methods. Furthermore, using randomly selected samples of census block groups, ordinary least squares (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models were created for total population estimation. The overall accuracy of the models is over 96% at the county level. The results also suggest that underestimation normally occurs in block groups with high population density, whereas overestimation occurs in block groups with low population density.
Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the AIDS Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996
This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
Cultural Exchange: the Role of Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre’s 1923 and 1924 American Tours
The following is a historical analysis on the Moscow Art Theatre’s (MAT) tours to the United States in 1923 and 1924, and the developments and changes that occurred in Russian and American theatre cultures as a result of those visits. Konstantin Stanislavsky, the MAT’s co-founder and director, developed the System as a new tool used to help train actors—it provided techniques employed to develop their craft and get into character. This would drastically change modern acting in Russia, the United States and throughout the world. The MAT’s first (January 2, 1923 – June 7, 1923) and second (November 23, 1923 – May 24, 1924) tours provided a vehicle for the transmission of the System. In addition, the tour itself impacted the culture of the countries involved. Thus far, the implications of the 1923 and 1924 tours have been ignored by the historians, and have mostly been briefly discussed by the theatre professionals. This thesis fills the gap in historical knowledge.
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 ...
A Descriptive Analysis of the Critical Thinking Model in Texas Elementary Education
Contributions from elementary education to the practice and reality of critical thinking are rare, largely because attempts in basic education to elucidate a concept of critical thinking have a hard time breaking through the elusiveness and indeterminacy that characterize the history and reality of the concept. This situation is due to, and a consequence of, the difficulty of delimiting critical thinking from related fields, such as metacognition, higher-order-thinking, problem solving, informal logic, reasoning skills, and decision making, to name a few. Texas school authorities designed and put into practice a battery of tools to evaluate critical thinking through the assessment programs TAKS and STAAR, without taking a position regarding the indeterminacy problems of the content of critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to reconstruct the pieces of the critical thinking model imparted to Texas elementary school children since 1999 and continues today. The findings indicate that the critical thinking model implemented in Texas elementary schools is a particular version of a skills-only approach of critical thinking that follows the classical logical paradigm, consisting of two sets of complementary skills. This model acquaints students with the components and structure of five types of arguments while it fails to substantiate the logic of argument support that demonstrates how reasons support claims and the strength of support. The application of an adequacy conditions rubric showed the strengths of the model at the argumentation analysis level, yet it showed clear signs of incompleteness and inconsistencies at the argument structure level that distort its purpose and function.
The Descriptive Paleontology and Applied Ichthyoarchaeology of the Ponsipa Fauna
The archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico has recently received an increased amount scholarly attention. In particular, understanding past trends in demographics, agricultural productivity, violence, and social networks have been primary goals of archaeological research. Understanding patterns in animal exploitation has, however, received far less attention due to a small yet growing regional zooarchaeological database. Through the identification of animal remains from a site called Ponsipa (occupied ca. A.D. 1300 to 1600), this thesis adds one large dataset to this growing database. In addition, this thesis expands on the pre-impoundment distribution of an endangered native freshwater fish species in the state of New Mexico called the blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus). The blue sucker is a unique fish that is currently experiencing range reduction across all of its known North American distribution due to anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and degradation. Skeletal remains that were identified from Ponsipa represent the farthest known northern record of its occurrence in the state of New Mexico and highlight the extent of range restriction of the species in the area. The data concerning the historical biogeography of the blue sucker from Ponsipa have implications for the effective conservation and restoration of blue sucker located in the Rio Grande Basin.
Developing a Forest Gap Model to Be Applied to a Watershed-scaled Landscape in the Cross Timbers Ecoregion Using a Topographic Wetness Index
A method was developed for extending a fine-scaled forest gap model to a watershed-scaled landscape, using the Eastern Cross Timbers ecoregion as a case study for the method. A topographic wetness index calculated from digital elevation data was used as a measure of hydrologic across the modeled landscape, and the gap model modified to have with a topographically-based hydrologic input parameter. The model was parameterized by terrain type units that were defined using combinations of USDA soil series and classes of the topographic wetness index. A number of issues regarding the sources, grid resolutions, and processing methods of the digital elevation data are addressed in this application of the topographic wetness index. Three different grid sizes, 5, 10, and 29 meter, from both LiDAR-derived and contour-derived elevation grids were used, and the grids were processed using both single-directional flow algorithm and bi-directional flow algorithm. The result of these different grids were compared and analyzed in context of their application in defining terrain types for the forest gap model. Refinements were made in the timescale of gap model’s weather model, converting it into a daily weather generator, in order to incorporate the effects of the new topographic/hydrologic input parameter. The precipitation model was converted to use a Markov model to initiate a sequence of wet and dry days for each month, and then daily precipitation amounts were determined using a gamma distribution. The output of the new precipitation model was analyzed and compared with a 100-year history of daily weather records at daily, monthly, and annual timescales. Model assumptions and requirements for biological parameters were thoroughly investigated and questioned. Often these biological parameters are based on little more than assumptions and intuition. An effort to base as many of the model’s biological parameters on measured data was made, including a new ...
Diabetes Status of Mexican Americans: Impact of Country of Birth
In order to better tailor treatment to specific populations, factors which contribute to health disparities among different racial/ethnic groups must be examined. Among Mexican American individuals, the high rate of diabetes represents a significant contributor to overall health. The present study focuses on factors affecting diabetes status among Mexican Americans born in either Mexico or the United States using the 2007 – 2008 NHANES data set. Comparisons were made between diabetes status based on self-report and clinical classification using HbA1c. Results indicated that within the diabetic subsample, Mexican Americans born in Mexico were twice as likely to be incorrectly classified as non-diabetic, when they actually were diabetic, when using a self-report method. In contrast, nativity did not result in differences in diabetes incidence using the HbA1c clinical cut-score diagnostic classification. Age, BMI, gender, nativity, and health insurance coverage were found to have varying relationships to diabetes prevalence and HbA1c levels, but time in the U.S. for Mexico-born individuals was not found to uniquely predict diabetes incidence. Analyses also demonstrated that Mexico-born males, as compared to the other groups, had significantly higher HbA1c levels. Further research is necessary to better understand the relationships among these factors. However, findings do demonstrate a need for more objective disease classification, particularly when examining immigration status and diabetes. Additionally, the complexity of these interactions establishes a need for specific health intervention for foreign-born populations which might be missed by self-report screening asking about presence of disease and exacerbated by an oversimplification of the “healthy immigrant effect”.
The Dichotomy of Congressional Approval
This thesis seeks to understand how political awareness affects what information one uses to indicate their approval or disapproval of Congress and its members. More concisely, do more and less aware individuals rely on the same pieces of political information to mold their opinions of Congress? The second question of concern is what role does media consumption play in informing survey respondents about Congress. Third, I consider how survey respondents use cues like the condition of the economy and presidential job performance to help formulate their opinion of Congress Finally, by applying the Congressional approval literature to incumbent level approval, I seek to advance the theory and literature on what motivates the approval of incumbents.
Dining at Ethnic-themed Restaurants: an Investigation of Consumers' Ethnic Experiences, Preference Formation, and Patronage
Given unprecedented shifts in the U.S. demography marked by rapid growth in Hispanic, Asian and other ethnic market segments, marketing scholars and practitioners are confronting ways to cultivate ethnic consumers' brand preference formation, retail patronage and their ensuring consumption choices. Food is cited as a common signifier for consumers’ ethnic/cultural identity because food itself is a cultural symbol. However, little research has examined the influences of ethnic identities on consumers’ patronage behaviors of ethnic-themed restaurants. Thus, this dissertation critically explores the impact of ethnic identity and motivational factors to better understand consumers' choices of ethnic-themed restaurants with a mix-method approach. The present research investigates how ethnic identity and consumers’ need for uniqueness interplay with perceived authenticity in consumers’ patronage intention of ethnic-themed restaurants. The findings advocate the interplay among ethnic identity, consumers’ need for uniqueness, and perceived authenticity of general consumers in decision making choices of patronizing ethnic-themed restaurants. The findings have important implications for market segmentation guiding the owners of ethnic-themed restaurant the choice of environmental cues to encourage patronage intentions among general consumers. Furthermore, this study provides additional insights about motivating factors affecting decision making of patronizing ethnic-themed restaurants and contributes to the stream of research by enhancing understanding of marketing ethnic-themed restaurant in a multi-cultural society.
Dismantling the Psychiatric Ghetto: Evaluating a Blended-Clinic Approach to Supportive Housing in Houston, Texas
Locational decisions based on stigma and low funding have handicapped the efficiency of community based mental healthcare in the United States since 1963. However, the pattern of services in the 21st century American South remains largely unknown. This thesis addresses this gap in knowledge by using a mixed methodology including location allocation, descriptive statistics, and qualitative site visits to explore the geography of community clinics offering both physical and mental health services. The City of Houston has proposed using these facilities to anchor new supportive housing, but introducing more fixed costs to a mismatched system could create more problems than solutions. The findings of this study suggest the presence of an unnecessary concentration of services in the central city and a spatial mismatch between accessible clinics and the poor, sick people in need. Furthermore, this research reveals a new suburban pattern of vulnerability, calling into question long-held assumptions about the vulnerability of the inner city. Building supportive housing around existing community clinics, especially in the central city, may further concentrate vulnerable people thereby contributing to intensifying patterns of service-seeking drift and the continued traumatization of mentally ill homeless persons in Houston.
Effects of a Water Conservation Education Program on Water Use in Single-family Homes in Dallas, Texas
The City of Dallas Environmental Education Initiative (EEI) is a hands-on, inquiry-based, K-12 water conservation education program that teaches students concepts about water and specific water conservation behaviors. Few descriptions and evaluations, especially quantitative in nature, of water conservation education programs have previously been conducted in the literature. This research measured the quantitative effects and impacts of the education program on water use in single-family homes in Dallas, Texas. A total of 2,122 students in 104 classrooms at three schools in the Dallas Independent School District received hands-on, inquiry-based water conservation education lessons and the average monthly water use (in gallons) in single-family homes was analyzed to measure whether or not there was a change in water use. The results showed that over a period of one calendar year the water use in the single-family homes within each school zone and throughout the entire research area in this study experienced a statistically significant decrease in water use of approximately 501 gallons per home per month (independent, t-test, p>0.001). Data from this research suggests that EEI is playing a role in decreasing the amount of water used for residential purposes. Additionally, this research demonstrates the use of a quantitative tool by which a water conservation education program’s effect on behavior change can be measured. This research shows great promise for reducing use and increasing the conservation of our world’s most precious resource.
Effects of Board Training on the Relationship Between Board Members and CEOs
The purpose of this study is to ascertain the opinions of chief executive officers (CEOs) and school board chairs of Texas private schools in educational service center (ESC) Regions 10 and 11 toward board training and the potential benefits for the success of their respective roles. Literature regarding private school board training is limited. As a result, most private school boards face challenges regarding school board training expectations, which could affect their roles and the roles of CEOs. The quantitative and qualitative cross-sectional research design examined Texas private school CEOs’ and school board chairs’ perceptions about school board training and the working relationships between Texas school CEOs and school boards. The researcher developed the survey and interview questions used in this study. Responses to a 4-point Likert-type scale instrument, short answer questions, and interviews were solicited from a population of private school CEO and school board chairs within ESC Regions 10 and 11 from schools with an enrollment of at least 100 students and that contained Grades 9 through 12. In-depth Interviews were conducted with 12 private school CEOs and 12 school board chairs with varying levels of school board training. The research findings indicate that board training does make a significant difference in the working relationships between CEOs and private school boards. The findings of this study may assist private school boards in addressing school board training and the components of such training, which would benefit the working relationships between CEOs and school boards, as well as the success of private schools.
The Efficacy of the Chickasaw Nation Early Care and Education Programs
The purposes of this research were to explore the effectiveness of the Chickasaw Nation early care and education program in promoting school readiness while infusing tribally relevant values in children from birth through age five; engaging parents in all aspects of their children’s learning; and supporting children and families through the transitioning to kindergarten. The study used qualitative methods to examine the experiences and perceptions of ten parents, ten teachers, and five administrators within Chickasaw Nation’s early care and education system regarding the four basic areas of school readiness, parent engagement, transition, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Four primary themes emerged from the semi-structured interviews: 1) socialization, school readiness, and transition, 2) learning, curriculum, and assessment, 3) the role of parents, and 4) cultural integrity. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, transcribed, and analyzed based on four research questions. Findings indicated parents, teachers, and administrators were satisfied that the program was successful with assisting children in making progress toward achieving developmental and school readiness goals and that the children were physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively prepared to enter kindergarten. The program provided activities to encourage and promote parental involvement; however, parents did not indicate active involvement or participation in the activities. There was little evidence to support culturally relevant pedagogy alignment with curriculum and practices. Implications for additional research focusing on American Indian children in preschool programs and the importance of instilling pride and culture are recommended.
Enacting Community Through the Arts
This study is concerned with the roles and relationships between artists-in-residence, community audiences, and program coordinators/art educators as they engage together in community arts programs. This study takes place at Project Row Houses (PRH), a community arts organization located in Houston, Texas and focuses on the artist-in-residence program, which commissions a group of national and international artists for a 6-month period to create art installations in relation to the community and its African-American heritage. This ethnographic case study is based on the activities and events surrounding the 2008 PRH exhibition, Round 29, Thunderbolt Special: The Great Electric Show and Dance, after Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins and employed qualitative data gathering methods of participant-observation, conducting semi-structured, open-ended, in-depth interviews, and through document collection, and contextual information. Observations were recorded through field notes, photographs, and video. Interviews were conducted with 3 artists-in-residence, 3 community audience members, and 3 program coordinators or staff members involved with the program, regarding their experiences at the site and experiences with each other. My analysis presents the roles of artist, community audience, and program coordinator/art educator through three sections on cultural work. Within these sections I discuss topics related to the power of voice, situatedness, and creativity, as it relates to the artists and community audiences. For the role of program coordinator/art educator, I focus more closely on her role in the process of mediation. Topics of power, social dynamics, identity, and representation are also framed within these discussions.
Ethnic Differences in Caregiving Style
This study explored the caregiving styles of 306 grandparents raising grandchild across three ethnic groups (164 European Americans, 65 Latinos, and 77 African Americans). Significant differences were found in caregiving styles between European Americans and African Americans. Caregiver appraisal (burden, satisfaction, and Mastery) was found to be predictive of caregiving style across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Caregiver style was predictive of grandchild functioning across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Lastly, caregiver style was found to be predictive of grandparent well-being across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Implications are discussed in terms of the complex, multidimensional and culturally embedded nature of the caregiving experience and the importance of considering culture for optimal outcomes.
Evaluating the Role of C-reactive Protein on Cognition and Depressive Symptoms Among Women by Mexican American Ethnicity
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein found in the blood that is synthesized by the liver and has been extensively studied due to its role in inflammatory and atherosclerotic processes. The importance of this biomarker in its role in vascular risk factors is increased with several lines of evidence pointing to its association with cognitive decline. The association between CRP and depression has been increasingly analyzed by various cross-sectional studies. The research between CRP and depressive symptoms in older women has yet to generate consistent trends. In the present study, a series of regression analyses was used to explore the association between CRP and both cognitive function and depressive symptomatology among a group of rural-dwelling women. Associations were evaluated through the use of data from Project FRONTIER, a rural-based research looking at both physical and cognitive aspects of health in rural-dwelling adults and elders. Comparisons were made between Mexican American women and a group of non-Hispanic Caucasian women. CRP was a significant independent predictor of total depression (beta = -.11, t = -1.99, p =.048). CRP was also a significant independent predictor of symptoms associated with meaningless within depression (beta = -.16, t = -2.94, p =.004). Contrary to prediction, CRP was not a significant independent predictor of overall cognitive function or performance in five specific cognitive domains. There is still needed evaluation on racial/ethnic differences present in regard to the impact of varied health factors on mental health within a culturally rich, rural cohort. It is recommended that future studies utilize standardized measurement of cognitive function to facilitate a more thorough understanding and comparison of change in this particular population.
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.
Evaluation of Program Effectiveness: a Look at the Bedford Police Department’s Strategy Towards Repeat Victimization in Domestic Violence and Mental Health
The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program being run by the Bedford Police Department’s Repeat Victimization Unit on domestic violence and mental health and mental retardation. The study sought to determine whether the program was effective in reducing instances of repeat victimization in domestic violence and MHMR victims. Additionally the program investigated whether or not the program was effective at reducing victimization severity, and which demographic could be identified as the most victimized. Participants consisted of 157 domestic violence and MHMR victims in the city of Bedford, Tx between November 11, 2012 to July 30, 2013. Findings indicate that levels of repeat victimization for domestic violence and MHMR are relatively low regardless of whether the victim received services through the repeat victimization program or not. Additionally the severity of these repeat victimizations remains relatively constant regardless of whether services were received through the program or not. Implications and findings are discussed.
Evaluation Practices of Community College Faculty Development Programs
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the current state of community college faculty development program evaluation and identify possible influences on evaluation practices. Data from 184 survey responses and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) were analyzed to answer three research questions. Multiple regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (evaluation utilization score) and the independent/predictor variable (accrediting agency affiliation: MSCHE, NEASC, NCA, NWCCU, SACS, and WASC) and/or control variables (institution locale, student FTE, expenses per student FTE, percent spent on instruction, and percent of full-time faculty). Results were not statistically significant, F (12, 163) = 1.176, p = .305. The mean evaluation scores were similar for all six accrediting agencies ranging from 60-69. The rural variable was statistically significant with p = .003 and alpha = .05, but it only accounted for 3.6% of the variance explained. Logistic regression was used to determine if a relationship existed between the dependent/outcome variable (use of evaluation) and the above-specified independent/predictor variable and/or control variables for six faculty development program activities. Results revealed that significant predictor variables for the use of evaluation vary based on the faculty development program activity. Statistically significant predictors were identified for two of the six activities. The percent spent on instruction variable was statistically significant for financial support for attending professional conferences (p = .02; alpha = .05). The NCA affiliation and student FTE variables were statistically significant for orientation for new faculty (p = .007; alpha = .05 and p = .027; alpha = .05 respectively). The analysis of the evaluation methods was conducted using descriptive statistics and frequencies. The most frequently used evaluation methods were questionnaire and verbal feedback. NCA was identified as having the greatest number of institutions using the most frequently used evaluation ...
Evolution, Not Revolution: The Effect of New Deal Legislation on Industrial Growth and Union Development in Dallas, Texas
The New Deal legislation of the 1930s would threaten Dallas' peaceful industrial appearance. In fact, New Deal programs and legislation did have an effect on the city, albeit an unbalanced mixture of positive and negative outcomes characterized by frustrated workers and industrial intimidation. To summarize, the New Deal did not bring a revolution, but it did continue an evolutionary change for reform. This dissertation investigated several issues pertaining to the development of the textile industry, cement industry, and the Ford automobile factory in Dallas and its labor history before, during, and after the New Deal. New Deal legislation not only created an avenue for industrial workers to achieve better representation but also improved their working conditions. Specifically focusing on the textile, cement, and automobile industries illustrates that the development of union representation is a spectrum, with one end being the passive but successful cement industry experience and the other end being the automobile industry union efforts, which were characterized by violence and intimidation. These case studies illustrate the changing relationship between Dallas labor and the federal government as well as their local management. Challenges to the open shop movement in Dallas occurred before the creation of the New Deal, but it was New Deal legislation that encouraged union developers to recruit workers actively in Dallas. Workers' demands, New Deal industrial regulations, and union activism created a more urban, modern Dallas that would be solidified through the industrial demands for World War II.
An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Institutional Policies and Practices of Community and Technical Colleges in Texas on Student Persistence in Online Courses
Online education is the fastest growing form of course delivery of higher education in the United States. It has revolutionized how students and instructors interact in the educational process. Yet students in online courses continue to experience higher attrition rates than their counterparts in traditional face-to-face classes despite the advantages offered by the technology. This study examined the impact that institutional policies and practices at community colleges in the state of Texas have had on student persistence in online courses. It also examined how institutions collect and use data in addressing students' attrition. The findings were used to identify the most effective institutional practices to share with community college systems in Texas in an effort to improve student persistence in online courses across the state. The population for the study consisted of the 50 public two-year community college and the technical college systems in the state of Texas. The study used a mixed method. A theoretical model of institutional impact on online persistence was drawn from the literature review. This model's five categories were then used to construct a survey to collect data on institutional practices and measure the effectiveness in addressing student persistence. Four college systems were identified using the survey data that best met the five categories. Interviews were then conducted at these four college systems to produce case studies of these institutions' practices and experiences with online persistence. The results highlighted the roles that institutions play in promoting student persistence in online programs. They revealed differences in the ways institutions define and track student success in online programs and the difficulty these differences pose in comparatively evaluating various institutions' programs. Results lent support to the theoretical model of institutional impact on online persistence that was developed for this study, and results yielded a proposed list of promising ...
Exploring Spontaneous Planning During the North Texas April 3, 2012, Tornadoes: an Assessment of Decision-making Processes
The primary purpose of this research program is to confirm the spontaneous planning behavior in post-disaster operations while at the same time contribute to the development of the concept in a tornado type disaster. An additional goal also includes examining how the process takes place in resolving unanticipated problems as a disaster unfolds. This study uses qualitative methodology which is case study to probe the concept of spontaneous planning behavior to solve unexpected challenges as a disaster develops. Specifically, semi-structured, open-ended questions were utilized to collect data from stakeholders in eleven functional organizations in three impacted cities during the North Texas April 3, 2012, tornadoes. Findings indicate that debris removal and ensuring public safety, search and rescue, securing damaged neighborhoods, activation of emergency operations centers, damage assessment, restoration of communication system, public relations and media, and volunteer and donation management activities appear to have benefited from spontaneous planning behavior. Further findings suggest that the driving forces behind the phenomenon were gathering valuable new information, learning opportunity within the disaster, relative freedom and significant high degree of discretion, response was innovative with flexibility, and solutions waiting for problems features proposed in the integrated decision-making model (IDMM). However, it was uncovered that interview respondents’ answers tend to indicate that mixed organizational structures helped in problem resolutions rather than just flat organizational structure as some decision making literature may suggest. Analysis of this decision-making model expanded the understanding of how spontaneous planning behavior took place in resolving unforeseen problems in post-disaster operations. This research project confirmed the concept of spontaneous planning in the North Texas tornadoes as well as suggesting how it occurred. The research program validates spontaneous planning behavior in tornadoes; advances and develops the concept of spontaneous planning; increases understanding, description, and management of post-disaster operations; improves emergency management operations; promotes ...
Exploring the Gender Role Ideology of Black and White Men Between Ages 18 to 30
This research is a qualitative study that explores the gender role ideology of Black and White men between the ages of 18-30. The study found that both groups are moving toward egalitarianism on different pathways. The pathways illustrate the effect of racial identity on gender role ideology. White respondents had a progressive egalitarianism which stemmed from ideas reflected individualism, secularization, and the identification with the grand narrative of the United States. Their respondents also reflected postmodern ideas. Overall their ideas reflect larger White racial identity and shows an overlap between the progressive understanding of modernity and with postmodernist ideas of non-deterministic definitions. Black respondents had a collaborative egalitarianism which stemmed from historical racial and economic deprivation. Subsequently, Blacks gender role ideology illustrates collaboration and communal interdependence between of Black men and women, and the Black church. Blacks tended to view things from a social perspective that was often reactionary. Overall, their ideas reflected the larger Black racial identity which emphasizes collaboration between men and women and a reliance on community based institutions like the Black church.
Forgotten Glory - Us Corps Cavalry in the ETO
The American military experience in the European Theater of Operations during the Second World War is one of the most heavily documented topics in modern historiography. However, within this plethora of scholarship, very little has been written on the contributions of the American corps cavalry to the operational success of the Allied forces. The 13 mechanized cavalry groups deployed by the U.S. Army served in a variety of roles, conducting screens, counter-reconnaissance, as well as a number of other associated security missions for their parent corps and armies. Although unheralded, these groups made substantial and war-altering impacts for the U.S. Army.
Framing Bilingual Education Policy: Articulation and Implementation in Texas
Language education policy and its implementation have been controversial and ongoing issues throughout the United States, especially in the border state of Texas, with its large population of students who are learning English. This dissertation reports two studies, the first of which was a frame analysis of problems and solutions as represented by the five bills amending the Texas Education Code with regard to bilingual education and English as a second language programs. These laws, passed in 1969, 1973, 1975, 1981, and 2001, have been enacted since 1968, the year the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) was passed. The problem framed consistently by these state policy documents was inadequate instruction for children who come to school speaking languages other than English. More variability was seen in the framing of solutions, with approaches changing from the authorization of instruction in languages other than English, to the establishment of mandated bilingual programs, to the extension of special language programs, and to the establishment of dual language immersion programs. The primary ideology influencing the policy documents was the monolingual English ideology; however, alternative ideologies are apparent in the policies that allow for dual language immersion programs. Geographic information systems (GIS) analysis was used in the second study to investigate the geographic locations of particular programs and the demographics of students they served. Choropleth maps showed variability in program distribution across the state with distinct patterns apparent in only two programs. The maps indicated that districts with high percentages of student enrollment in one-way dual language programs tended to be located in and near the major metropolitan areas, whereas many districts offering early exit transitional bilingual programs tended to be located along the Texas-Mexico border. Despite the literature on bilingual/ESL program effectiveness, the predominant program in the border region of Texas is among those considered ...
From Brecht to Butler: an Analysis of Dirty Grrrls
“From Brecht to Butler: An Analysis of Dirty Grrrls” is a production centered thesis focusing on the image of the mudflap girl. The study examines the graduate production Dirty Grrrls as a form of praxis intersecting the mudflap girl, the theory of gender performativity, and Brechtian methodology. As a common yet unexplored symbol of hypersexual visual culture in U.S. American society, the mudflap girl acts as a relevant subject matter for both the performance and written portion of the study. Through the production, mudflap girl materializes at the meeting point of the terms performance and performativity. The written portion of this project examines this intersection and discusses the productive cultural work accomplished on the page and on the stage via live embodiment of performativity.
Funding and Effectiveness of Staff Development Programs in Three North Texas School Districts
This dissertation study focused on three aspects of staff development in North Texas: 1) funding sources, 2) types of professional learning programs, and 3) teachers' views of the effectiveness of the funded programs. Qualitative data came from interviews with nine district administrators concerning funding sources and how those resources enhanced teacher skills. Quantitative data came from 1,277 responses from teachers regarding their background and perceptions about staff development. Data from interviews with district administrators were diagrammed to depict elements of funding staff development and to reveal how resources were used to plan, implement, and evaluate staff learning. An analysis of interview data revealed that availability of grants, property tax rates, and student enrollment affected how districts funded staff development. Administrators reported that districts funded professional learning that was planned according to academic initiatives, met the needs of adult learners, and adapted to the changing needs of school communities. Both administrators and practitioners reported that time was a lacking resource critical to developing staff knowledge. Practitioners reported that sufficient opportunity to collaborate with colleagues about learning initiatives was more valuable than teaching materials. Teacher questionnaires were analyzed for possible relationships between participant variables and responses concerning knowledge about funding constraints and professional development experiences. Data revealed that practitioner experience and graduate degrees were not related to teachers' use of knowledge about financial constraints to more efficiently implement learning from staff development. Participants did not perceive professional learning differently than peers. Most teachers connected professional learning with improved teaching practices but a small percent attributed student achievement to their professional learning. The majority of teachers considered collaborative learning settings to elicit more personal professional growth than other formats. The findings of the teacher questionnaire suggest that teaching practices could be impacted if participants gained more knowledge about district financial constraints when developing ...
George S. Patton Jr. and the Lost Cause Legacy
Historians have done their duty in commemorating an individual who was, as Sidney Hook’s Hero in History would describe, an “event making-man.” A myriad of works focused on understanding the martial effort behind George S. Patton Jr. from his ancestral lineage rooted in military tradition to his triumph during the Second World War. What is yet to be understood about Patton, however, is the role that the Civil War played in his transformation into one of America’s iconic generals. For Patton, the Lost Cause legacy, one that idealized the image of the Confederate soldier in terms of personal honor, courage, and duty, became the seed for his preoccupation for glory.
Grand Canyons: Authoritative Knowledge and Patient-Provider Connection
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.
A Historical Study of the Paris Small Business Development Center in Paris, Texas: 1986-2006
This historical study chronicled events of the development and implementation of the Paris Small Business Development Center at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas from 1986-2006. Data was collected from primary and secondary sources and oral histories through personal interviews. The analysis included a brief history of higher education and the service mission and situated the study in the broader context as an extension program in higher education. This study provided a brief history of the U.S. Small Business Administration and America’s Small Business Development Center Network as a background for the study. This study is significant to scholars in the field of higher education for a number of reasons. It provides a historical analysis of a service program that extends the college to the community and demonstrates higher education and its role in economic development. It adds to the current body of research by advancing an understanding of a past to contemporary knowledge. Finally, by integrating historical perspectives from multiple disciplines in higher education, what happened and the context in which it happened can be more fully appreciated. This study also contributes to practical knowledge as it deepens the understanding of significant events and processes that contributed to the success of an outreach program in higher education.
Homeless Abjection and the Uncanny “Place” of the National Imagination
This project examines the effects of the homeless body and the threat of homelessness on constructing a national imaginary that relies on the trope of locatability for recognition as a citizen-subject. The thesis argues that homelessness, the oft-figured specter of public space, functions as bodies that are “pushed out” as citizen-subjects due to their inability maintain both discursive and material location. I argue that figures of “home” rely on the ever-present threat of dislocation to maintain a privileged position as the location of the consuming citizen-subject. That is, the presence of the dislocated homeless body haunts the discursive and material construction of home and its inhabitants. Homeless then becomes the uncanny inverse of home, functioning as an abjection that reifies home “place” as an arbiter of recognition in a neoliberal national imaginary. The chapters proceed to examine what some consider homeless “homes,” focusing on the reduction of the homeless condition to a place of inhabitance, or the lack thereof. This attempt to locate the homeless body becomes a symptom of the desire for recognition as a placed body. The thesis ends on a note of political possibility, figuring the uncanny as a rupture that evacuates language of signification and opens up space for a form of recognition without an over-determined identity.
Identifying Cultural and Non-cultural Factors Affecting Litter Patterns in Hickory Creek, Texas
Plastic deposition in hydrological systems is a pervasive problem at all geographic scales from loci of pollution to global ocean circulation. Much attention has been devoted to plastic deposition in marine contexts, but little is known about inputs of plastics into local hydrological systems, such as streams. Any attempt to prevent plastic litter must confront people’s behaviors, so archaeological concepts are used to distinguish between various cultural inputs (e.g., littering) and non-cultural forces (e.g., stream transport) that affect litter patterns on the landscape. Litter surveys along Hickory Creek in Denton, TX, are used to assess these factors.
Identifying Opportunities for the Revitalization of Downtown Bloomsburg
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.
Immunity for New Mexico Public School Districts and the 1978 Tort Claims Act
In a 3-year timeframe, nearly 800 student negligence suits were filed, and most involved some claim of personal injury. Despite heightened public attention of negligence lawsuits against school districts and their employees, an empirical study of court decisions revealed that the volume of litigation against school districts remained steady from 1990 to 2005, the majority of cases were ruled in favor of the school district employees, and government and official immunity were most often the basis for these rulings. Researchers have concluded that immunity laws are strong in the United States, although they vary by state in their application. However, a primary recommendation was that, because of the misconception of a lack of immunity for public school employees, a comprehensive study on governmental and official immunity is needed. This dissertation employed legal research, analysis, and methodology to engage in a comprehensive investigation of teacher immunity in the four southern states of Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Of central concern to this dissertation was the Tort Claims Act of 1978 from the State of New Mexico. The Tort Claims Act is the vehicle by which immunity is granted to public school employees. Court findings over the last 35 years point to three primary domains under which cases pertaining to immunity fall: negligence (62.5%), evaluation and supervision (16.7%), and student discipline (8.3%). Immunity appears strong across all three domains; however, only future studies on cases by state will determine whether states in the southwest United States are the norm or an anomaly.
The Impact of HIPPY on Maternal Self-Efficacy
Parenting self-efficacy refers to the ability of parents to have confidence in their abilities to effectively parent their children. Parenting self-efficacy can be divided into two types: (a) general parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s overall sense of ability to effectively parent; and (b) task-specific parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s confidence level to perform specific parenting tasks, such as teaching and nurturing (tested in this study). The study applied Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory to an analysis of (a) the effect of the HIPPY program in interaction with family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy and (b) the effect of the interaction of family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy. A group of 138 HIPPY mothers and a group of 76 comparison mothers who did not receive HIPPY services were surveyed. The sample was largely Hispanic. Results indicated HIPPY predicts task-specific parenting self-efficacy for teaching tasks, but not general parenting self-efficacy or task-specific efficacy for nurturance. Many family variables that reflected Hispanic family values were unique predictors of all three types of parenting self-efficacy, both in analyses involving interactions with HIPPY and with neighborhood variables. Neighborhood variables solely predicted general parenting self-efficacy. Moderation effects were found for the interaction between family conflict and neighborhoods in predicting general parenting self-efficacy, and the interactions between family control and all three types of parenting self-efficacy. Overall, the bioecological model was inapplicable to urban, Hispanic mothers in the surveyed population because of the lack of interaction effects found in the study.