UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

Southern Promise and Necessity: Texas, Regional Identity, and the National Woman Suffrage Movement, 1868-1920
This study offers a concentrated view of how a national movement developed networks from the grassroots up and how regional identity can influence national campaign strategies by examining the roles Texas and Texans played in the woman suffrage movement in the United States. The interest that multiple generations of national woman suffrage leaders showed in Texas, from Reconstruction through the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, provides new insights into the reciprocal nature of national movements. Increasingly, from 1868 to 1920, a bilateral flow of resources existed between national women's rights leaders and woman suffrage activists in Texas. Additionally, this study nationalizes the woman suffrage movement earlier than previously thought. Cross-regional woman suffrage activity has been marginalized by the belief that campaigning in the South did not exist or had not connected with the national associations until the 1890s. This closer examination provides a different view. Early woman's rights leaders aimed at a nationwide movement from the beginning. This national goal included the South, and woman suffrage interest soon spread to the region. One of the major factors in this relationship was that the primarily northeastern-based national leadership desperately needed southern support to aid in their larger goals. Texas' ability to conform and make the congruity politically successful eventually helped the state become one of NAWSA's few southern stars. National leaders believed the state was of strategic importance because Texas activists continuously told them so by emphasizing their promotion of women's rights. Tremendously adding credibility to these claims was the sheer number of times Texas legislators introduced woman suffrage resolutions over the course of more than fifty years. This happened during at least thirteen sessions of the Texas legislature, including two of the three post-Civil War constitutional conventions. This larger pattern of interdependency often culminated in both sides-the Texas and national ...
Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy
This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research.
Perceptions of Disaster Professionalism in Mexico: Adding a New Public Management Perspective to Emergency Management
This study investigated the perceptions of emergency managers regarding the degree of emergency management professionalism in Mexico and how it can be improved. The disaster of the Mexico City earthquake of 1985 was used as the starting point for this case study, as the prospects for more-frequent and more-intense disasters lend credence to the need for improved professionalism and, thus, effectiveness among emergency managers in the future. An expansive framework of emergency management professionalism mechanisms (or characteristics) and an additional compilation of new public management components (or values) were devised from the extant literatures found within the respective emergency management and public administration fields. The theory advanced by this study is that by integrating new public management components with emergency management mechanisms, professionalism in Mexico will improve and, thus, emergency managers will become more effective. ualitative field research was the methodology employed and it included interviews with 35 emergency managers in Mexico in corroboration with documentary evidence, to ascertain emergency managers' perceptions of professionalism in Mexico. The findings of this study determined that emergency managers in Mexico are implementing many of the mechanisms of professionalism but fewer new public management components. This study posits that by integrating new public management components with emergency management professionalism mechanisms, professionalism in Mexico will improve and will increase emergency managers' effectiveness.
Information Censorship: A Comparative Analysis of Newspaper Coverage of the Jyllands-Posten Editorial Caricatures in Cross-Cultural Settings
The identification and examination of cultural information strategies and censorship patterns used to propagate the controversial issue of the caricatures in two separate cultural contexts was the aim of this dissertation. It explored discourse used for the coverage of this topic by one newspaper in a restrictive information context and two newspapers in a liberal information context. Message propagation in a restrictive information environment was analyzed using the English daily Kuwait Times from the Middle East; the liberal information environment of the US was analyzed using two major dailies, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The study also concurrently identifies and elaborates on the themes and frames through which discourse was presented exposing the cultural ideologies and premises they represent. The topic was approached with an interdisciplinary position with the support and applicability testing of Chatman's insider-outsider theory within information science and Noelle-Neumann's spiral of silence theory and Herman and Chomsky's propaganda model based in the area of mass communication. The study has also presented a new model of information censorship - circle of information censorship, emphasizing conceptual issues that influence the selection and censorship of information.
Free Radical Chemistries at the Surface of Electronic Materials
The focus of the following research was to (1) understand the chemistry involved in nitriding an organosilicate glass substrate prior to tantalum deposition, as well as the effect nitrogen incorporation plays on subsequent tantalum deposition and (2) the reduction of a native oxide, the removal of surface contaminants, and the etching of a HgCdTe surface utilizing atomic hydrogen. These studies were investigated utilizing XPS, TEM and AFM. XPS data show that bombardment of an OSG substrate with NH3 and Ar ions results in the removal of carbon species and the incorporation of nitrogen into the surface. Tantalum deposition onto a nitrided OSG surface results in the initial formation of tantalum nitride with continued deposition resulting in the formation of tantalum. This process is a direct method for forming a thin TaN/Ta bilayer for use in micro- and nanoelectronic devices. Exposure to atomic hydrogen is shown to increase the surface roughness of both air exposed and etched samples. XPS results indicate that atomic hydrogen reduces tellurium oxide observed on air exposed samples via first-order kinetics. The removal of surface contaminants is an important step prior to continued device fabrication for optimum device performance. It is shown here that atomic hydrogen effectively removes adsorbed chlorine from the HgCdTe surface.
Paul Hindemith's Septet (1948): A Look Back to Neue Sachlichkeit
In the early 1920s, Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub created a fine arts movement that began in Weimar, Germany, which questioned artistic Expressionism. In 1923, he formed an art exhibition to display new art works of simplicity that were of his anti-Expressionist goal. This exhibition was termed Neue Sachlichkeit, or New Objectivity, and quickly became associated with all fine arts. Music of Neue Sachlichkeit ideals during the 1920s and 1930s began to exhibit anti-Expressionist concepts of form, neoclassicism and limited instrumentation. Paul Hindemith was among the leading figures of Neue Sachlichkeit music. Although Paul Hindemith's Septet (1948) was composed during his later career, it shows many Neue Sachlichkeit traits found previously in the 1920s and 1930s. Characteristics of limited/mixed instrumentation, neoclassic instrumentation and form, and Baroque counterpoint are found in the Septet. These traits can also be head in earlier Neue Sachlichkeit pieces by Hindemith such as Hin und zuruck, op. 45a (1927), Das Marienleben (1922/23, rev. 1948) and Neues vom Tage (1929). Chapter 2 examines the Neue Sachlichkeit movement within the fine arts. Chapter 3 gives a brief biography of Paul Hindemith with a concentration on his influence of Neue Sachlichkeit music of the 1920s and 1930s. This chapter also relates this period of Hindemith's earlier career with his techniques used in later works, such as the Septet. Chapter 4 discusses how the Septet directly relates to the Neue Sachlichkeit fine arts movement. Chapter 5 gives a general analysis of the Septet. This analysis provides the reader with an understanding of the forms and tonal relationships used in the Septet. This summarizes the neoclassicism of the Septet and shows traits of Neue Sachlichkeit. Chapter 6 concludes with an examination of the mixed instrumentation of the Septet.
Free Radical Induced Oxidation, Reduction and Metallization of NiSi and Ni(Pt)Si Surfaces
NiSi and Ni(Pt)Si, and of the effects of dissociated ammonia on oxide reduction was carried out under controlled ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) has been used to characterize the evolution of surface composition. Vicinal surfaces on NiSi and Ni(Pt)Si were formed in UHV by a combination of Ar+ sputtering and thermal annealing. Oxidation of these surfaces in the presence of either O+O2 or pure O2 at room temperature results in the initial formation of a SiO2 layer ~ 7 Å thick. Subsequent exposure to O2 yields no further oxidation. Continued exposure to O+O2, however, results in rapid silicon consumption and, at higher exposures, the kinetically-driven oxidation of the transition metal(s), with oxides >35Ǻ thick formed on all samples, without passivation. The addition of Pt retards but does not eliminate oxide growth or Ni oxidation. At higher exposures, in Ni(Pt)Si surface the kinetically-limited oxidation of Pt results in Pt silicate formation. Substrate dopant type has almost no effect on oxidation rate. Reduction of the silicon oxide/metal silicate is carried out by reacting with dissociated NH3 at room temperature. The reduction from dissociated ammonia (NHx+H) on silicon oxide/ metal silicate layer shows selective reduction of the metal oxide/silicate layer, but does not react with SiO2 at ambient temperature.
"I Speak, Therefore I Am:" Identity and Self-Construction as Motivation to Engage in Electronic Word of Mouth
To paraphrase an old bromide, "you are what you consume." Consumers derive their sense of self through products, brands, performances and a host of other meaning-laden materials that they consume. The marketing literature has long recognized possessions as an extension of the self-concept. Although hundreds of studies have examined the linkage between consumption and the self, surprisingly few have examined a related phenomenon - the relationship between the self-concept and word of mouth (WOM). A handful of studies have demonstrated the use of WOM to enhance the consumer's self-image, but most extant research focuses on how the act of engaging in WOM is used to build the self-concept. To date there has not been an extensive examination of the process by which WOM transfers the meaning of a product, brand, advertisement or narrative from one consumer to another as part of identity construction. This dissertation attempts to answer the following research questions: 1. Do self-concept and identity motivate consumers to engage in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)? 2. Is there a conceptual model to represent the effects of message characteristics, product/brand characteristics and individual personality differences on the self-enhancement value of eWOM and resulting eWOM behaviors? A conceptual model was proposed and, using an experimental research design, hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results suggest that self-concept and identity indeed motivate consumers to engage in eWOM, and a number of brand and message traits comprise eWOM's self-enhancement value. This dissertation both contributes to the theoretical understanding of eWOM and assists managers in developing marketing strategy. The use of WOM for identity construction remains an understudied area in marketing when compared to the consumption of products as self-expression. This research provides suggestions for practitioners in harnessing the potential of eWOM as a marketing strategy through message development and targeting of ...
Resident Rights and Electronic Monitoring
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine resident, family member and staff perceptions of electronic monitoring and their effect on resident rights. The sample consisted of 53 nursing home residents, 104 staff and 25 family members, in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, from a nursing facility in which residents utilize video cameras in their rooms (Nursing Facility 1), two nursing facilities that have video cameras in their common rooms areas (Nursing Facility 2 and 3) and a nursing facility that does not utilize video cameras (Nursing Facility 4). The interview questions and self-administered surveys were in regard to the participant's perceptions of electronic monitoring, perceived risks and benefits of video cameras, awareness of resident rights and consciousness of potential risks to resident rights. Data were analyzed using a mixed methods approach using both ATLAS t.i and SAS. Study findings revealed that residents, family members and staff are aware of the potential benefits of electronic monitoring in nursing facilities. While respondents are hesitant to have electronic monitoring in resident rooms, they are interested in utilizing electronic monitoring in common areas. While residents and staff believe that electronic monitoring compromises resident rights, family members believe resident rights are protected. Different types of staff have different perceptions of electronic monitoring. Those staff members that are more directly involved in resident care are less accepting of electronic monitoring compared to staff that have episodic visits with residents. Among staff members, nursing facilities with prior experience with electronic monitoring are less accepting of electronic monitoring. Further studies are needed to enhance this research.
Algebraically Determined Rings of Functions
Let R be any of the following rings: the smooth functions on R^2n with the Poisson bracket, the Hamiltonian vector fields on a symplectic manifold, the Lie algebra of smooth complex vector fields on C, or a variety of rings of functions (real or complex valued) over 2nd countable spaces. Then if H is any other Polish ring and φ:H →R is an algebraic isomorphism, then it is also a topological isomorphism (i.e. a homeomorphism). Moreover, many such isomorphisms between function rings induce a homeomorphism of the underlying spaces. It is also shown that there is no topology in which the ring of real analytic functions on R is a Polish ring.
Perspectives on Cultural Context: The Use of an Online Participatory Learning Environment as an Expansion of the Museum Visit
Technology offers opportunities for museums to expand the ways in which cultural perspectives relevant to objects on display can be exchanged and understood. Multimedia content offered online in an environment with user input capabilities can encourage dialogue and enrich visitor experiences of museums. This action research project using narrative analysis was an effort to develop the use of web technology in museum education practice, with an emphasis on constructivist learning. Concepts including the visitor-centered museum and multiple narratives led the researcher to collaborate with a pre-service art teacher education classroom and a local Hindu community to create content that might better develop understandings of one museum's Hindu sculpture collection that are personal, cultural, and complex.
Factors Influencing BI Data Collection Strategies: An Empirical Investigation
The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the external factors that influence an organizations' business intelligence (BI) data collection strategy when mediated by BI attributes. In this dissertation, data warehousing strategies are used as the basis on which to frame the exploration of BI data collection strategies. The attributes include BI insightfulness, BI consistency, and the organizational transformation attribute of BI. The research population consisted of IT professionals and top level managers involved in developing and managing BI. Data was collected from a range of industries and organizations within the United States. An online survey was used to collect the data to empirically test the proposed relationships. Data was analyzed using partial least square path modeling (PLS). The results of this study suggest that there exists a positive relationship between institutional isomorphism and BI consistency. The results also indicate that there exists a positive relationship between BI consistency and BI comprehensive data collection strategy, and the organizational transformation attribute of BI and BI comprehensive data collection strategy. These findings provide a theoretical lens to better understand the motivators and the success factors related to collecting the huge amounts of data required for BI. This study also provides managers with a mental model on which to base decisions about the data required to accomplish their goals for BI.
A Performance Guide for Pearls I and Pearls II by Roland Szentpali
This dissertation is a performance guide for the euphonium solos Pearls I and Pearls II, written by Roland Szentpali. This performance guide allows performers to better understand the jazz styles within each movement and provides them with a resource for performing these particular pieces as well as other jazz influenced pieces. This performance guide is specific to euphonium repertoire and written for euphonium performers and educators. This is also a resource for a solo work in the repertoire that is performed regularly as well as a new work that will soon be published. A brief history of the development of euphonium repertoire and the influence of jazz is provided. The performance guide analyzes each movement and provides insight to extended techniques, common performance problems, errata, and jazz styles that each movement is based on. The guide also provides several suggestions for interpretation and for performance preparation. Illustrations from the scores have been provided for each example.
Using Financial Rankings to Identify Characteristics of Libraries Serving Highly Profitable Private Law Firms
This purpose of this study was to develop evidence of a relationship between law libraries and private law firm profitability for law library administrators to use when making strategic decisions that influence the value of their libraries. The highest ranked administrator at each private law firm listed on the 2008 Am Law 200 was invited to complete an online benchmarking survey. The adjusted sample population totaled 179 firms. Fifty-one valid surveys were completed for a 28.5% response rate. Descriptive and statistical analyses were conducted using 26 independent variables (law library characteristics) and a single dependent variable, Revenue per Equity Partner, developed from data published for the Am Law 200. The most significant contributions of this study are: development of important law library financial and return on investment benchmarks; a listing of characteristics that have been empirically shown to impact law firm productivity; identification of optimum reporting structure for the law library administrator. Six characteristics positively impact Revenue per Equity Partner: to whom the library Administrator reports, number of library staff per library, number of Library staff per library, range in hourly bill rate for library staff time, practice areas most often supported. Two monetary measures were also established. The cost benefit of an Am Law library to its firm is $1.00 : $1.68. Each Am Law Library staff member is worth $295,000 in Revenue per Equity Partner to a firm. Law library practitioners can use the results to support evidenced-based strategic decision making in the administration of any private law firm library. Faculty and students in law librarianship programs will have a greater understanding of how to manage law libraries and collections to provide maximum value to their law firms. Benefits to library and information science research include validation of the research design and benchmarking as a theoretical framework for ...
Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish
Tissue samples from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from Caddo Lake. Gar and bass livers were subjected to histological investigation and color analysis. Liver color (as abs at 400 nm) was significantly correlated with total mercury in the liver (r2 = 0.57, p = 0.02) and muscle (r2 = 0.58, p = 0.01) of gar. Evidence of liver damage as lipofuscin and discoloration was found in both species but only correlated with liver mercury concentration in spotted gar. Inorganic mercury was the predominant form in gar livers. In order to determine the role of mercury speciation in fish liver damage, a laboratory feeding study was employed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed either a control (0.12 ± 0.002 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), inorganic mercury (5.03 ± 0.309 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), or methylmercury (4.11 ± 0.146 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt) diet. After 78 days of feeding, total mercury was highest in the carcass of zebrafish fed methylmercury (12.49 ± 0.369 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic mercury (1.09 ± 0.117 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in fish fed the control diet (0.48 ± 0.038 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt). Total mercury was highest in the viscera of methylmercury fed zebrafish (11.6 ± 1.86 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic diets (4.3 ± 1.08 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in the control fish (below limit of detection). Total mercury was negatively associated with fish length and weight in methylmercury fed fish. Condition factor was not associated with total mercury and might not be the best measure of fitness for these fish. No liver pathologies were observed in zebrafish from any treatment.
Ultrafast Laser Sampling of a Plant Tissue and ion Conductivity Measurement for Investigation of Light Stress Generation Mechanisms
In this study we applied ultra-short laser pulses on a biological sample (Arabidopsis), in order to cut it precisely in a square pattern and subsequently use it for studying stress generation mechanisms. For this purpose, we utilized femtosecond laser pulses at 100 fs pulse width and 80 MHz repetition rate. We took two processing parameters into consideration such as laser power, laser exposure time which is related to the stage speed. Therefore, we were able to find the laser optimum conditions for ablation of biological tissues. The mutant and wildtype (control) obtained from laser cutting with a size of 500 µm × 500 µm were directly transferred (in-situ with laser cutting) into a microfabricated chamber containing ~500 nanoliters deionized water for measuring ion conductivity. The ion conductivity is a signature of cell-death mechanisms caused by various stresses. A light with intensity of 100 µmol was exposed to the samples for 2 hours and 20 minutes as a source of stress. A quantitative electrical analysis with high accuracy was assured by utilizing a microchamber, which enables a measurement in nanoliter volume. We measured the impedance which is reciprocal of conductivity using a lock-in amplifier and a precise current source at frequency of 130 Hz. Initially high impedance of mutant sample tended to drop within 2 hours and finally approached the constant value which signified that the cell death mechanism was complete. However, the wildtype sample demonstrated approximately constant impedance (conductivity) during the experiment.
Faculty Members' Readiness for E-learning in the College of Basic Education in Kuwait
E-learning exposes students and instructors to different learning models such as constructivism rather than the traditional learning. E-learning as a part of today's technology has proven that it is appropriate for most students' mentalities and is a mind tool which promotes different learning models, such as problem solving strategy, collaborative learning, and critical thinking. The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) in Kuwait consists of more than 10 academic colleges with a total number of 120 faculty members. The College of Basic Education (CBE) is one of them. The implementation of e-learning at the College of Basic Education requires that all the learning community members, instructors and students, understand that an e-learning course is like a learning community with the privilege of sharing knowledge, opinions, experiences related to class subject, and productive outcomes that are beneficial to this learning community. This study indentified the statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics of e-learning adopters and non-adopters among faculty members at CBE, examining faculty members' attitudes and skills toward e-learning readiness. The study will explore perceived barriers that face e-learning at CBE. Applying the Rogers diffusion of innovation theory, the influence of 4 factors was examined regarding faculty readiness for e-learning at CBE. Chi-square techniques, t-tests, and factor analysis were conducted to analyze the data and answer research questions. Statistically significant differences were identified among e-learning adopters and non-adopters regarding age difference and department discipline, both technical and non-technical.
The Works for Clarinet Commissioned by the Concours International d'Exécution Musicale de Genève: A Critical Survey and Performance Guide
Beginning in 1939, the Concours International d'Exécution Musicale de Genève (CIEM; Geneva International Music Competition) is unique among international music competitions in its multidisciplinary approach. To date, fifteen works have been commissioned for clarinet for the years in which the clarinet was involved. The most well-known of these works is the unaccompanied work by Heinrich Sutermeister, Capriccio for Solo Clarinet in A, written in 1946 for the 1947 competition. This work is a staple in the unaccompanied clarinet repertoire. However, the other fourteen works commissioned for the competition are little known and to date no document has been prepared that examines each of these works in the context of the competition and clarinet literature. While perhaps less notable, works were also commissioned for a sight reading portion of the competition for many of the years in which the clarinet was a discipline chosen for the competition, two of which were published. These works are examined as well. This survey provides a critical, analytical, historical, performance-related and biographical review of the published and unpublished works commissioned for the clarinet by CIEM. The composers, competitors and the significance of these works and winners in the clarinet literature and history are included. A chapter is dedicated to each piece which includes performance considerations, critical, analytical, and historical information as well as biographical information regarding the composer and the competitors where available.
Functional Neural Toxicity and Endocrine Responses in Mice Following Naphthalene Exposure
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a well studied and diverse class of environmental toxicants. PAHs act via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and studies have suggested that PAHs may elicit neurological and estrogenic effects. Doses of PAHs between 50 to 150 ppm may elicit neurotoxicity in rodent models. The present study investigated the effects of naphthalene on in vivo steroidogenesis in Swiss Webster male mice, and in vitro neural function of Balb-C/ICR mice frontal cortex neurons. These data suggest that naphthalene may not elicit steroidogenic effects at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 25 mg/kg/day, following a 7 day subcutaneous dosing regime. In addition, naphthalene may cause functional toxicity of frontal cortex neurons at concentrations of 32 to 160 ppm naphthalene.
Well-Being and Academic Success in Gifted College Students: Early-College Entrants and Honors College Students
As a society, we seek to have our young people, including the gifted, be healthy and happy, and go to good schools with good teachers. Framed by Sayler's theoretical model of giftedness and thriving, this study examined psychological constructs (i.e. general self-efficacy, theories of intelligence, hope, gratitude, religiosity, disposition, and resiliency) to determine their mediating effect on personal well-being and academic success in gifted college students. The 213 subjects for this study included gifted college students from two distinct programs at the University of North Texas. One hundred twenty-two participants were students from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS). TAMS is an early-college entrance program allowing gifted students to enter college after their sophomore year of high school. Ninety-one participants attended the UNT Honors College. Honors College students are gifted students who enter college after high school graduation. Latent transition, latent class, general linear model repeated measures, and regression analyses were used in the examination of the data. Results of the study revealed that positive disposition and hope-agency were significantly related to the development of personal well-being for gifted students during their first year of college. The ability to identify pathways to goals and the self-theory of intelligence as a fixed trait were significantly related to academic success during the first year at college. Knowledge of psychological constructs that are facilitative of the positive personal well-being and academic achievement helps parents, teachers, administrators, and counselors prepare gifted students for success in college.
"The Wider View": Engaging a New Generation of Singers through African-American Art Song
Through studying the poetry and its context, the lives of the poets and composers, and the musical choices which emerged from these combined influences, students of the "Millennial" generation may experience a deeper connection to art song and its role in defining and reflecting national character. Not yet a part of the traditional canon of American art song, the songs of African-American composers are of particular value in this regard, offering teachers, students, and recitalists less frequently-performed repertoire to explore. Representing a broad spectrum of literary and cultural influences, these songs are just as diverse, multi-faceted, and full of variety as any other body of art song repertoire and richly contribute to the past and present life of the genre. Going beyond the music and the words can only reinforce the study of technique and enrich the studio experience, while at the same time providing a multicultural learning environment which more accurately reflects the America in which these same students will become the singers and voice teachers of tomorrow.
Understanding News Media Consumption and Political Attitudes and Behavior in Latin America
News media consumption is vital to understanding democracy in Latin America. Democracy in the region lacks consolidation that may be encouraged by the ability of news media to shape individuals' political attitudes and behaviors. Yet, we know very little about how citizens of Latin American countries consume news media or how that consumption affects attitudes and behavior. This study offers a region-wide examination of the factors that shape news media consumption and the effects of that consumption on individuals in the region. To explore this topic, I examine survey data from the 2008 Latin American Public Opinion Project in 18 Latin American countries. I argue that news media promote democratic attitudes and political behavior by increasing the symbolic value of democracy and by supplementing those symbols with information that further encourages democratic attitudes and political participation. Additionally, political behavior is not temporally proximate to political behaviors such as voting. This necessitates a mediated path for news media consumption to influence participation through political interest, civil society participation and democratic attitudes. My findings illustrate that each news medium type (TV, radio, newspaper) must be considered separately from each other type. I find that news media consumption has little effect on attitudes. The effect of news media consumption on behavior is best understood as mediated paths through political interest and civil society participation. An additional analysis examines the state of internet use in the region. In total, this project offers a broad understanding of how news media consumption affects individual-level democracy in Latin America.
Helen Kotas (1916-200): A Female Pioneer in Major US Orchestras
Helen Kotas was an accomplished musician and teacher who helped open the door for women in major US orchestras. In 1941 the Chicago Symphony hired its first female brass musician, principal hornist Helen Kotas. With that daring move, she became a pioneer for her gender in the major orchestras of North America. Despite her many contributions to the musical community, Kotas's life has not been researched and documented. This paper looks at Helen Kotas's career as well as a glimpse at her life and personality. In addition to documenting her life, this dissertation attempts to show at least a portion of Kotas's philosophy of teaching and horn playing. She was an accomplished horn soloist and studied the literature extensively. Kotas performed in the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Woman's Symphony Orchestra, and Leopold Stokowski's All-American Youth Orchestra. Kotas was hired by Fritz Reiner as third horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony. When Frederick Stock, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, heard that Helen Kotas was going to Pittsburgh, he insisted that she audition for the CSO. Kotas auditioned on the Concerto for Horn by Richard Strauss and the concertmaster said, "Hire her!" She performed as principal horn with the orchestra until Artur Rodzinski was hired as conductor in 1948 and replaced Kotas with Philip Farkas. Following her time with the CSO, Kotas was principal horn of the Chicago Lyric Opera and taught at the Sherwood and American Conservatories. She was an active soloist and premiered works by Arne Oldberg and Hugo Kauder.
Effectiveness of Play Therapy on Problem Behaviors of Children with Intellectual Disabilities: A Single Subject Design
A growing disparity between the mental health needs of children and their lack of treatment served as the basis of this study. To address this existent gap, I proposed that child-centered play therapy (CCPT), a holistic treatment that fosters children's emotional, developmental, and social growth would serve as a viable treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of CCPT on problem behaviors among children identified with an intellectual disability. Specifically, a single case, A-B-A design (N = 2) was used to examine changes in participant's problem behaviors as measured on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) across conditions. Trained raters used the ABC to rate participant's problem behaviors 3 times per week during the course of this study. Participants completed 2 weeks of a no-intervention phase, 5 weeks of play therapy 3 times per week, and 2 weeks of a no-intervention maintenance phase. Additionally, participants were administered the Gesell Developmental Observation to assess their maturational age during the baseline and maintenance phases. Parents also completed the ABC during two intervals: baseline phase, and maintenance phase. Analysis of results indicated that problem behaviors decreased for both participants. Results from the percent of non-overlapping data (PND), an indice for effect size further revealed that play therapy was a very effective treatment for participants. Follow-up interviews suggested that play therapy is a viable intervention for children with intellectual disabilities and problem behaviors. Clinical observations and implications for future research are presented.
Civility Matters
While the proliferation of literature on the subject of growing incivility in society demonstrates the increasing importance given to civility by corporate America, there has been little academic investigation of the concept. The limited number of academic studies on civility reveals immense negative consequences for uncivil behavior. One question for marketers of businesses is whether lack of civility among front-end personnel can negatively influence sales. This dissertation is an attempt to fill this research gap by exploring responses to uncivil behavior under the theoretical framework of attribution theory. Using the CDSII scale based on attribution theory, experimental research design was used with current civil and uncivil behavior by the store employees and past experiences (positive, negative, and no-experience) with the store as stimulus. The consumers' perception of civility, attributions and behavioral intentions were measured and used as dependent variables. The results of the experiment showed that when a customer discerns employee behavior to be uncivil, the customer's perception of the level of the ability of the employee to control his own behavior decreases. The results of the study enhance the knowledge of two important consumer behaviors, namely complaining and switching behaviors by empirically studying their antecedents in a particular market interaction context. The results imply that it is important to eliminate or minimize any experience that the customer may construe as negative at a store. If practitioners can work towards eliminating or decreasing certain attributions of consumers, they can reduce the switching behaviors and thus impact customer retention rates and future sales. Though this study contributes to marketing theory and provides vital insights to practitioners, this study is but a starting point for further examination of the role of civility in consumer behavior and decision making.
An Analysis and Comparison of Four Rotations Pour Marimba, A Solo Marimba Suite, by Eric Sammut
Four Rotations Pour Marimba (1996) by Eric Sammut has become one of the most important marimba compositions in serious concert solo marimba literature. Four Rotations Pour Marimba is a suite of four short pieces; each of them demonstrates a different musical character while incorporating similar compositional components and techniques. The goal of this thesis project is to create a stylistic analysis for providing the concert marimbist with insight into the interpretation of these four pieces and also giving composers a more in-depth understanding of Sammut's compositional method. This thesis includes a formal analysis and comparisons of compositional elements used in Four Rotations. A brief biography of Sammut and historical significance of Four Rotations Pour Marimba are also included.
The Otha Turner Family Picnic: Occupying Musical and Social Space In-Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
This thesis concerns African-American fife and drum band music, a pre-blues genre that was a fixture at summer picnics in the Mississippi hill country from the late nineteenth century through most of the twentieth century. The picnics held a unique place in African-American life, a crossroads of juke joints and churches, blues and gospel, individuality and family. Using the African-American paradigm of a Saturday night / Sunday morning people, I describe the Otha Turner Family Picnic, the last picnic to feature fife and drum band music, locating it and the music in-between the secular and sacred aspects of African-American life from both a musical and a social standpoint.
The Fallow Ground: A Composition for Pierrot Ensemble with Percussion and Male Voice
The inspiration for The Fallow Ground is the time period of the Second Great Awakening (1790-1840s) and, in particular, the life and impact of one of the period's central figures: Charles Grandison Finney. Finney was a lawyer-turned-evangelist whose preaching style led to explosive and emotional conversions and helped spread the fire of revival throughout the state of New York and eventually throughout the country. In The Fallow Ground I have taken different events from Finney's life and the revivalist culture to create musical analogs that examine and critique the events within a twenty-first century musical aesthetic. Quotation and allusion of revival period hymns play a significant part in The Fallow Ground. Inspired by the works of Ives, Crumb, Ligeti, and Schnittke, quotation is used in this piece to develop or subvert the material, thus creating different contextual meanings from familiar material. In this way, the quotation not only alludes to an idea outside of the piece, but also casts a critical view of that idea by its placement in the context of the piece. Concerning the instrumentation, The Fallow Ground is written for what is commonly called the Pierrot ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion) with male soloist. In my piece, the soprano has been replaced by a baritone soloist. The piece, approximately thirty minutes in length, has a chiastic five-movement structure with each of the movements depicting certain events or concepts that were prevalent during the time of Charles Finney and the Second Great Awakening.
Piezoresistive Polyvinylidene Fluoride/Carbon Filled Nanocomposites
This thesis examines the value of using dispersed conductive fillers as a stress/strain sensing material. The effect of the intrinsic conductivity of the filler on the ability to be effective and the influence of filler concentration on the conductivity are also examined. To meet these objectives, nanocomposites of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared by melt-blending using a twin screw extruder. Since PVDF has a potential to be piezoresistive based on the type of crystalline phase, the effect of CNFs on PVDF crystallinity, crystalline phase, quasi static and dynamic mechanical property was studied concurrently with piezoresponse. Three time dependencies were examined for PVDF/CNTs nanocomposites: quasi-static, transient and cyclic fatigue. The transient response of the strain with time showed viscoelastic behavior and was modeled by the 4-element Burger model. Under quasi-static loading the resistance showed negative pressure coefficient below yield but changed to a positive pressure coefficient after yield. Under cyclic load, the stress-time and resistance-time were synchronous but the resistance peak value decreased with increasing cycles, which was attributed to charge storage in the nanocomposite. The outcomes of this thesis indicate that a new piezoresponsive system based on filled polymers is a viable technology for structural health monitoring.
Transformative Learning in Online Theological Education: A Case Study of an Online Program at a Theological Seminary
Using Mezirow's (1991) transformative learning theory as a framework, this qualitative case study investigated conditions conducive to transformative learning experiences among theological students in an online program at a seminary. Learning Activities Survey developed by King in 1998, a Community of Inquiry framework proposed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer in 2000, and semi-structured interviews were employed. Emails were sent to 85 students (81 current In-Ministry M.Div. students and four recent graduates), and 38 (44.7%) took the online survey. A typical participant in this survey was a married White male in his 30s. Of the 38 survey respondents, 30 (78.9%) indicated having experienced transformation during their study. Among those 30, class assignment (66.7%) and a person (60.6%) were two factors that influenced them the most in their transformative learning experiences. Data collected from the online survey and two online courses shed light on the semi-structured interviews conducted with 11 students. A qualitative analysis software ATLAS ti. and Strauss and Corbin's grounded theory were utilized to analyze the data. This resulted in a proposed integrative learning condition model which proposed two conditions conducive to transformation, being in-ministry and using integrative learning strategy. These two conditions were significantly influenced by physical presence. A surprising result was that physical presence does not indicate a three- or four-year stay on campus at a traditional seminary, but is a by-product of a blended, online program which gives students more opportunities to develop quality relationships both during their on-campus intensives and in their local ministries. This study provides empirical evidence supporting the idea of online theological education using a blended model which promotes integrative learning strategy and learners being in-ministry.
Effects of Using Logic and Spatial Cybergames to Improve Student Success Rates in Lower-Division Chemistry Courses
A study was conducted to investigate the relationships between cybergaming treatment groups and the control group (N = 99: ncontrol = 8; nlogic = 29; nspatial = 30; ncombination = 32) with success in the organic chemistry I course as measured by achievement over a 10-week period. The treatment groups included logic training, spatial training, and combination logic-spatial training. Students' ability was measured by pre/post exams using the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT) to measure logic ability, Purdue Visualizations of Rotations (ROT) test to measure spatial skills, and the General-Organic-Biochemistry (GOB) Exam to measure content attainment. Finally, students' responses about participation in this experience were evaluated using open- and closed-ended questions on a self-developed survey. A second study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between the cybergaming treatment and control groups (N = 88: nexperimental = 27; ncontrol = 61) with success in the general chemistry I course as measured by achievement and final course averages and grades. The cybergaming treatment group underwent intensive combination logic-spatial training for 10 weeks. Students' progress was measured using three pre/post instruments: Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT) measured logic ability, Purdue Visualizations of Rotations (ROT) Test measured spatial skills, and the California Chemistry Diagnostic Exam measured content attainment. Finally, students' responses about their participation in this experience were evaluated using open- and closed-ended questions on a self-developed survey. Analyses of the data were performed to determine the relationships between cybergaming treatments and control groups in organic chemistry I and general chemistry I courses. In organic chemistry I results showed no statistical or practical significance as to students' success. In general chemistry I results indicated statistical significance and medium practicality for students with an average grade of C and for females over males as to improvement of spatial skills.
The Relation of Witnessing Interparental Violence to PTSD and Complex PTSD
Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) integrates symptoms common to victims of "complex" traumas, like childhood physical or sexual abuse, with the diagnostic criteria of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It was hypothesized that a history of witnessing interparental violence would be related to adulthood CPTSD symptoms. Results from hierarchical multiple regressions with 287 college students showed that witnessing interparental violence and experiencing child physical abuse predicted higher levels of CPTSD, PTSD, and depression symptoms. After controlling for child abuse, witnessing interparental violence predicted higher levels of traditional PTSD symptoms, but it did not predict an increase in overall CPTSD symptom severity or depression. Results suggest that the traditional PTSD construct, rather than CPTSD, best accounts for the symptoms of those who witnessed interparental violence in childhood.
Structural Validity and Item Functioning of the LoTi Digital-Age Survey.
The present study examined the structural construct validity of the LoTi Digital-Age Survey, a measure of teacher instructional practices with technology in the classroom. Teacher responses (N = 2840) from across the United States were used to assess factor structure of the instrument using both exploratory and confirmatory analyses. Parallel analysis suggests retaining a five-factor solution compared to the MAP test that suggests retaining a three-factor solution. Both analyses (EFA and CFA) indicate that changes need to be made to the current factor structure of the survey. The last two factors were composed of items that did not cover or accurately measure the content of the latent trait. Problematic items, such as items with crossloadings, were discussed. Suggestions were provided to improve the factor structure, items, and scale of the survey.
Evaluating and Blending Multimedia Mobile Applications into Technical Training
This study in the aerospace ground equipment (AGE) apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, examined the use of mobile digital devices to determine which device leveraged the best results and was most compatible with military technical training requirements. The sample consisted of 160 students who attended the course between January and June, 2010. Three devices loaded with course materials were issued to the students, who used the devices in the classroom and were encouraged to use the devices to enhance their study time after class. Quantitative data were obtained by comparing block test scores to determine if any device produced a significant change in student learning. Qualitative data were collected from surveys administered to instructors and students to measure which device instructors and students found easiest to understand and use, and student satisfaction with the device. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a statistically significant difference (p < .05) in the block test mean scores between groups using mobile devices and the students in the control group that had no device. Post hoc comparisons on each block showed that there was a statistically significant difference between students using the smartphone and students using the other devices, but no statistically significant difference in the block test mean scores between students using the iPod and the netbook. The netbook leveraged the best results, both in block test scores and student satisfaction. The greatest reported disadvantage of the smartphone and the iPod Touch was the small screen size.
It's a Wonderful Business: The Art of Production Sound
It's a Wonderful Business: The Art of Production Sound is a documentary film that offers an inside look at what it takes to record the dialog of actors and diegetic sounds on a movie set. This is the job of the production sound crew, in charge of recording the voices of some of the most talented and prominent performers in the motion picture industry. The documentary features interviews with former and current production sound mixers and boom operators from some of the most acclaimed films in the history of cinema. The film also explores the personal demands, the working conditions, and the sacrifices sound crews have endured to succeed in the always challenging, but very exciting, world of film making.
The Biopsychosocial Approach to Understanding, Subtyping, and Treating Depression: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey - Replication.
The most effective and useful way to diagnose and subtype depression has been a long debated topic which even now does not have a definite answer. The biopsychosocial approach to diagnosis may be a solution to this problem by linking various etiologies to symptom presentation. The biopsychosocial model, in regard to depression, takes into account biological risk factors/contributors, psychological or cognitive risk factors/contributors, and social risk factors/contributors to depression when making diagnosis and subtyping determinations. However, the most effective way to use this model in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of depression is not yet clear. In this study, the utility of the biopsychosocial model as an effective approach to conceptualizing and treating depression was assessed by testing hypotheses that showed that etiological contributors are related to the presence and differential presentation of depression, and that these etiologically-based subtypes of depression respond differently to different forms of treatment. These hypotheses were tested using data from the National Comorbidity Survey - Replication (NCS-R). Results showed that the biopsychosocial model can effectively predict the presence, severity and chronicity of depression, and may inform specific biopsychosocially-based subtypes. No conclusions could be drawn regarding success in treatment based on the biopsychosocial model. Future directions for research based on the current study are discussed.
Epidemiological Evaluation of Pain Among String Instrumentalists
Pain and performance anxiety (PA) are common problems among string players. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess and compare PA and prevalence rates and locations of pain in violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists. Subjects completed a questionnaire that included sections on demographics, musical background, practice habits, musculoskeletal problems, non-musculoskeletal problems, and PA. Anthropometric data were gathered on all 115 subjects. Results show that there are differences in both pain and PA across instrument groups. Violinists reported the highest number of pain sites, followed by violists, bassists, and cellists. The left shoulder was the most-often reported pain site, followed by the neck and right shoulder. Aching was the most cited term selected to describe pain. Several anthropometric indices were significantly correlated with pain, notably right thumb to index finger span in both cellists and bassists. In all instrument groups, at least one pain site was significantly correlated with one of four PA questions. Results warrant the development of intervention strategies and further study of the relationship between pain and performance anxiety.
A Corpus-Based Approach to Gerundial and Infinitival Complementation in Spanish ESL Writing
This exploratory case study aims to develop a set of best practices for integrating online discussion forums into the foreign language curriculum, focusing specifically on a group of learners in an advanced French grammar course at a large, public U.S. university. During a period of two months, 26 participants completed a series of tasks designed to provide three different types of data: 1) exploration and analysis of interactional, linguistic, and social features of Web forum discourse; 2) participation in Web forums; and 3) feedback from students. Since the feedback received from two questionnaires was ultimately the most consistent and reliable type of data collected, this study focuses on students' participation patterns and their perceptions of Web forums as a communication space having the potential to provide opportunities for learning French. Although some students indicated that they would neither consider visiting a French-language Web forum nor actually visit one, in both cases, more than half of the participants who completed these questionnaires indicated that they would both consider visiting a French-language Web forum and might actually visit one. Since encouraging students to use French beyond the classroom and to engage in the lifelong use of French for personal enrichment (following the Communities standard of the U.S. Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century), at least one goal of this study-the main goal-has been partially achieved.
A Corpus-Based Approach to Gerundial and Infinitival Complementation in Spanish ESL Writing
This paper examines the use of infinitival and gerundial constructions by intermediate Spanish learners. The use of those two patterns creates problems for second language learners at intermediate and advanced levels. However, there are only few studies on their second language acquisition, and fewer focus on Spanish learners. This study tries to resolve this and to this end, I retrieved all hits of the two constructions from the Spanish component of the International Learner Corpus of English (SP-ICLE). I run a distinctive collexeme analysis (DCA) to identify the verbs that are associated with either pattern. The results are discussed at three different levels: (i) the identification of verbs that Spanish learners associate with each construction; (ii) a systematic comparison with previous studies on native speakers to show possible similarities/discrepancies; and (iii) a comparison of the results with findings on German learners to discuss possible effects of language similarity and transfer.
Cattle Capitol: Misrepresented Environments, Nineteenth Century Symbols of Power, and the Construction of the Texas State House, 1879-1888
State officials, between 1882 and 1888, exchanged three million acres of Texas Panhandle property for construction of the monumental Capitol that continues to house Texas government today. The project and the land went to a Chicago syndicate led by men influential in business and politics. The red granite Austin State House is a recognizable symbol of Texas around the world. So too, the massive tract given in exchange for the building, what became the "fabulous" XIT Ranch, also has come to symbolize the height of the nineteenth century cattle industry. That eastern and foreign capital dominated the cattle business during this period is lesser known, absorbed by the mythology built around the Texas cattle-trail period - all but at an end in 1885. This study examines the interaction of Illinois Republicans and Texas Democrats in their actions and efforts to create what have become two of Texas's most treasured symbols.
The Lexicographer's Daughter: A Memoir
This creative nonfiction dissertation is a memoir of the author's search for the somewhat mysterious hidden past of her father, the lexicographer Charles J. Lovell, who died in 1960, when the author was nine. Her father's early death left the author with many unanswered questions about his past and his family and so she undertakes a search to answer, if possible, some of those questions. Her search takes her to Portland, Maine; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Pasadena, California, where she tries to discover the facts and uncover the forces that shaped her father's life. Along the way, she realizes how profoundly his death affected and shaped her own life, contributing to the theme of loss that pervades the memoir. In addition, she begins to realize how much her mother, Dixie Hefley Lovell, whose significance she previously overlooked, shaped her life. Ultimately, she comes to understand and accept that some of her questions are unanswerable.
The Influence of Ohmic Metals and Oxide Deposition on the Structure and Electrical Properties of Multilayer Epitaxial Graphene on Silicon Carbide Substrates
Graphene has attracted significant research attention for next generation of semiconductor devices due to its high electron mobility and compatibility with planar semiconductor processing. In this dissertation, the influences of Ohmic metals and high dielectric (high-k) constant aluminum oxide (Al2O3) deposition on the structural and electrical properties of multi-layer epitaxial graphene (MLG) grown by graphitization of silicon carbide (SiC) substrates have been investigated. Uniform MLG was successfully grown by sublimation of silicon from epitaxy-ready, Si and C terminated, 6H-SiC wafers in high-vacuum and argon atmosphere. The graphene formation was accompanied by a significant enhancement of Ohmic behavior, and, was found to be sensitive to the temperature ramp-up rate and annealing time. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) showed that the interface between the metal and SiC remained sharp and free of macroscopic defects even after 30 min, 1430 °C anneals. The impact of high dielectric constant Al2O3 and its deposition by radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering on the structural and electrical properties of MLG is discussed. HRTEM analysis confirms that the Al2O3/MLG interface is relatively sharp and that thickness approximation of the MLG using angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS) as well as variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) is accurate. The totality of results indicate that ARXPS can be used as a nondestructive tool to measure the thickness of MLG, and that RF sputtered Al2O3 can be used as a (high-k) constant gate oxide in multilayer grapheme based transistor applications.
An Ecological Understanding of Teacher Quality in Early Childhood Programs: Implications and Recommendations
This research examined whether or not relationships exist between preschool teacher quality and parent involvement as indicated by the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler Model of Parent Involvement Survey. Additionally, the study also considered family income and child membership in special education as predictors of parent involvement. The survey instruments included the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale, Revised (ECERS-R) and the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler Parent Involvement Survey. A total of 306 parents across 35 preschool classrooms participated in the study. Effect sizes, beta weights and structure coefficients from a series of multiple regression analyses measured the relationship between variables. A regression equation comprised of teacher quality, family income and child membership in special education was statistically significant in predicting parent school-based involvement. In the school-based involvement model the predictors teacher quality and child membership in special education accounted for a greater percentage of variance than did family income. Teacher quality demonstrated a small, negative beta weight but accounted for the greatest amount of variance among the three predictors within the school-based parent involvement model. A negative relationship between teacher quality and school-based parent involvement suggested that as teacher quality improved, parents reported less involvement in school-based activities and events. Findings for special education membership, however, demonstrated a reverse effect in the model and appeared to have a positive significant effect on school-based involvement of parents. The study contributes to the literature on the relationship between teacher quality and parent involvement in early childhood preschool programs.
Perceptions of Control and Social Support: Correlates of HIV-Related Self-Efficacy
This study examines the extent to which locus of control and social support are linked to self-efficacy with regard to disease management in HIV-positive adults. Perceived ability to effectively manage illness was measured with the Self-Efficacy for Managing Chronic Disease Scale. Scores from the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale were used as predictors. The gender-balanced sample (N = 69) of HIV+ adults was primarily African-American (65.3%) and European American (30.5%), with a mean age of 47 years (SD = 8.37). Correlational analyses suggested significant positive relationships between self-efficacy, social support, and locus of control due to powerful others. A regression analysis found that the model accounted for 23% of the variance in self-efficacy (adj. R-squared =.23, F (5, 63) = 4.81, p < .01), with social support (&#946; = .37, t = 3.28, p < .01) and locus of control (&#946; = .25, t = 2.26, p < .05) both significant predictors. Results suggest that social support and locus of control contribute to the belief that HIV can be managed. Interestingly, an external locus of control contributed to this belief, perhaps due to the perception of a physician, religious icon, or partner as a "powerful other." Results suggest that a strong supportive relationship with a trusted other along with enhanced social support typically associated with group-based interventions may improve health outcomes by increasing self-efficacy in disease management in HIV-positive adults.
Toward a Data-Type-Based Real Time Geospatial Data Stream Management System
The advent of sensory and communication technologies enables the generation and consumption of large volumes of streaming data. Many of these data streams are geo-referenced. Existing spatio-temporal databases and data stream management systems are not capable of handling real time queries on spatial extents. In this thesis, we investigated several fundamental research issues toward building a data-type-based real time geospatial data stream management system. The thesis makes contributions in the following areas: geo-stream data models, aggregation, window-based nearest neighbor operators, and query optimization strategies. The proposed geo-stream data model is based on second-order logic and multi-typed algebra. Both abstract and discrete data models are proposed and exemplified. I further propose two useful geo-stream operators, namely Region By and WNN, which abstract common aggregation and nearest neighbor queries as generalized data model constructs. Finally, I propose three query optimization algorithms based on spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal constraints of geo-streams. I show the effectiveness of the data model through many query examples. The effectiveness and the efficiency of the algorithms are validated through extensive experiments on both synthetic and real data sets. This work established the fundamental building blocks toward a full-fledged geo-stream database management system and has potential impact in many applications such as hazard weather alerting and monitoring, traffic analysis, and environmental modeling.
A Wireless Traffic Surveillance System Using Video Analytics
Video surveillance systems have been commonly used in transportation systems to support traffic monitoring, speed estimation, and incident detection. However, there are several challenges in developing and deploying such systems, including high development and maintenance costs, bandwidth bottleneck for long range link, and lack of advanced analytics. In this thesis, I leverage current wireless, video camera, and analytics technologies, and present a wireless traffic monitoring system. I first present an overview of the system. Then I describe the site investigation and several test links with different hardware/software configurations to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system. The system development process was documented to provide guidelines for future development. Furthermore, I propose a novel speed-estimation analytics algorithm that takes into consideration roads with slope angles. I prove the correctness of the algorithm theoretically, and validate the effectiveness of the algorithm experimentally. The experimental results on both synthetic and real dataset show that the algorithm is more accurate than the baseline algorithm 80% of the time. On average the accuracy improvement of speed estimation is over 3.7% even for very small slope angles.
A Pattern Oriented Data Structure for Interactive Computer Music
This essay describes a pattern oriented data structure, or PODS, as a system for storing computer music data. It organizes input by sequences or patterns that recur, while extensively interlinking the data. The interlinking process emulates cognitive models, while the pattern processing draws specifically from music cognition. The project aims at creating open source external objects for the Max/MSP software environment. The computer code for this project is in the C and Objective-C computer programming languages.
"Do You Remember?": Remembering Gay Victims of the Holocaust Through Jake Heggie's Theater Piece, For a Look or a Touch
American composer Jake Heggie's For a Look or a Touch exists as the only classical music work of remembrance based on the topic of remembering homosexual victims of the Holocaust. The composer, after being approached by Mina Miller, wrote this 2007 composition as part of the Music of Remembrance concert series. The music of this work varies in style from a blazing swing dance to a haunting vocalise on "oo." Gene Scheer created the text, delivered in the work by the characters Manfred Lewin and Gad Beck, as a compilation of many influential stories from the documentary film Paragraph 175. For a Look or a Touch chronicles the horrendous treatment of homosexuals before, during, and after World War II. Chapters include an introduction to homosexual persecution during Hitler's reign, a look at current works of remembrance and how For a Look or a Touch came to fruition, an explanation of the texts created by Gene Scheer, a discussion on Jake Heggie's musical setting of this text, and avenues for possible future research. Appendices include text of the German anti-sodomy laws as written in Paragraph 175, the mission statement for the organization Music of Remembrance, transcripts from personal interviews with both Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, correspondence with Heggie, and the source delineation of Gene Scheer's text.
Rapid E-Learning Simulation Training and User Response
A new trend in e-learning development is to have subject matter experts use rapid development tools to create training simulations. This type of training is called rapid e-learning simulation training. Though companies are using rapid development tools to create training quickly and cost effectively, there is little empirical research to indicate whether training created in this manner meets the needs of learners. The purpose of this study was to compare user responses to rapid e-learning simulation training to user responses receiving instructor-led training. The target population for this study was employees of a medium size private company in North America. Employees were divided into two groups and either received instructor-led training (comparison group) or received rapid e-learning simulation training (experimental group). The instrument used to measure user response was an adaptation of the technology acceptance model. Three variables were measured: training satisfaction, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness. Though no statistical significance was found between the two groups for training satisfaction and perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use was found to be statistically significant. Overall results fail to demonstrate the superiority of rapid e-learning simulation training over instructor-led training; however, this study indicates that rapid e-learning simulation training may be a viable substitute for classroom instruction based on user response.
Teachers' Perspectives on Student Problematic Behavior and Social Skills
The research investigation reported herein examined program outcomes of student problem behavior and social skills, based on teachers' perspectives, before and after early behavioral intervention services. The study targets students in kindergarten through grade five who are identified by the school system for being at-risk for being labeled with emotional and behavioral disorders. Students identified received early intervention services based on individualized positive behavioral supports (i.e., social skills training, functional behavioral assessment, and team collaboration). Teachers completed a teacher form of the Social Skills Rating System before and after the student received program services to determine differences in social skills and problematic behavior pre- and post- program early intervention services. An analysis was also made of the differences among gender, ethnicity, and grade according to the teachers' perspectives. Data indicated statistically significant results in the area of social skills and problem behavior. The results indicate early intervention services that teach social skills and use functional behavioral assessments to deal with problem behavior are beneficial to children displaying behavior challenges.