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2010 Forest Carbon Workgroup: Final Report

Description: This document provides a detailed report and recommendations of the 2010 Forest Carbon Work group to the Director of the Department of Ecology and the Commissioner of Public Lands. The recommendations relate to the critical role Washington’s forest lands will play in addressing the challenge of climate change; appropriate responses to pressure for conversion of working forest lands to non-forest uses; and the role of ecosystem service markets, including carbon offset markets, and other incentive systems in bringing about desired results. The 2010 Work group included some members of a similar 2008 Work group and built on the results of that 2008 effort. The report appendix contains purpose statements by each participating interest, explaining its rationale for participation. In light of the 2010 Work group emphasis, this document focused on three topics: Forest carbon considerations in avoiding forest land use conversion; incentives to reward forest landowners for providing ecosystem services, including carbon storage and improvement of forest health; and features of forest carbon offset protocols and registries that are appropriate for use by forest offset project developers in Washington State.
Date: January 2011
Creator: Partridge, Craig; Boese, Jerry & Bernath, Stephen

The Academic Steroid: Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants at a North Texas University

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Pennington, Cody W.

An Action Research Study of Community Building with Elementary Students in a Title I School

Description: “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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Dew, SaraBeth

Alignment of Middle School Core TEKS with Visual Arts TEKS

Description: 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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hartman, Jennifer

Alternative Certification Teaching Programs in Texas: A Historical Analysis

Description: Before 1984, nearly 975 of teachers entered the teaching profession after graduating from a traditional university-based program. However, beginning in the mid-1980s, alternative routes leading to teacher certification began to emerge in the United States. As of 2010, nearly one-third of all new teachers graduated from an alternative preparation program. As alternative certification (AC) routes approach 30 years since establishment, programs continue to evolve and increase in enrollment. This study focused on the changes that have come about in the maturation of alternative certification programs in Texas since legislation was passed in 1985. The purpose of the study was to delineate the evolution of AC programs using a historical approach, the study used both primary and secondary resources as research tools and employed the use of eight interviews and the literature review for the collection of data. The prediction of future teacher shortages, the need for diversity in the profession the political view to privatize education, and economic recessions were all motivating factors for establishing alternative teacher programs. In the beginning, graduation from AC programs were perceived as not authentic teachers and not as prepared for teaching as graduates from traditional programs. AC programs have become a legitimate and viable option for educator preparation programs as they offer greater flexibility, staff/instructor diversity, and multiple approaches to instruction. This data suggests that AC programs in Texas have emerged as a real and sustainable option to traditional certification programs leading to certification and licensure.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Etheredge, David K.

Amarillo Globe-News: How Did Gene Howe and the Globe-News Help Guide Amarillo, Texas through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression?

Description: For many years newspapers were locally owned by editors and publishers. However, today many are run by corporations from out of state. As a result, many communities have lost the personal relationship between the family owned publication and the community. Gene Howe, who served as editor, publisher and columnist of the Amarillo Globe-News from 1926 until his death in 1952, believed the community was where the focus should be and the newspaper should do all that it can to help their readers. Despite the fact that Howe was not born in Amarillo, Texas, his passion and love for the city and its inhabitants compensated for it. During the Dust Bowl and Great Depression Howe and the Globe-News helped Amarillo survive the dust and economic storms that blew through the Texas Panhandle, an area that has not been written as much as other parts of Texas. Through his “Tactless Texan” column, which served as a pulpit to the community, to the various contests and promotions the newspaper sprang up, including the creation of Mother in Law Day, Gene Howe gave the newspaper another dimension little has been studied about, the role of the editor and publisher in guiding a community through a dramatic era. Understanding Howe’s ethos can allow others to examine the roles editors and newspapers play in communities throughout the country.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hasman, Gregory R. C.

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

Description: 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.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Ramirez, Carlos

An Analysis of the 4:2:1 Documentary

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Li, Tingting

An Application of Digital Video Recording and Off-grid Technology to Burrowing Owl Conservation Research

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Williams, Jennifer M.

An Application of Marxian and Weberian Theories of Capitalism: the Emergence of Big Businesses in the United States, 1861 to 1890

Description: This study was an examination of businesses that became big businesses in the United States during the time period between the years of 1861 and 1890, a period of time frequently referred to as the “big business era.” The purpose of the study was to identify actions taken by businesses that enabled them to become and remain big businesses. A secondary purpose of the study was to show that these actions were explained by theories of Karl Marx and Max Weber. The results of the study showed that businesses which took specific actions were able to become and remain big businesses and these actions were explained by the theories of Marx and Weber. The results of the study demonstrate the ability of classical sociological theory to explain macro-level social change.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Magness, Penny J.

Assessing Social Determinants of Severe Mental Illness in High-Risk Groups

Description: 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.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Sun, Qi

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

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

Back on the Home Front: Demand/Withdraw Communication and Relationship Adjustment Among Student Veterans

Description: Today’s military encompasses a wide variety of families who are affected by deployments in multiple and complex ways. Following deployments, families must reconnect in their relationships and reestablish their way of life. Appropriate and effective communication during this time is critical, yet many military couples struggle with this process. Moreover, student service members/veterans and their families are in a unique position. In addition to coping with changes in their marital relationship, student veterans may feel isolated or unsupported on college campuses, often experiencing anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, or suicidality. The current study seeks to bridge the gap between the military family literature and the student service member/veteran literature by examining how deployment experiences, mental health issues, and communication patterns influence post-deployment relationship adjustment among student veterans. Analyses tested whether communication style and/or current mental health concerns mediate associations between combat experiences and couples’ relationship adjustment, as well as between experiences in the aftermath of battle and relationship adjustment. Results suggest that although posttraumatic stress is significantly related to deployment experiences among student veterans, participants report no significant negative effects of deployment on relationship adjustment. Communication style, however, was significantly associated with relationship adjustment, and a lack of positive communication was found to correlate with PTSD diagnosis. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Carver, Kellye Diane Schiffner

Bank Capital, Efficient Market Hypothesis, and Bank Borrowing During the Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Zia, Mujtaba

Bass Reeves: a History • a Novel • a Crusade, Volume 1: the Rise

Description: This literary/historical novel details the life of African-American Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves between the years 1838-1862 and 1883-1884. One plotline depicts Reeves’s youth as a slave, including his service as a body servant to a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War. Another plotline depicts him years later, after Emancipation, at the height of his deputy career, when he has become the most feared, most successful lawman in Indian Territory, the largest federal jurisdiction in American history and the most dangerous part of the Old West. A preface explores the uniqueness of this project’s historical relevance and literary positioning as a neo-slave narrative, and addresses a few liberties that I take with the historical record.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Thompson, Sidney, 1965-

The Best Medicine

Description: The Best Medicine is an animated documentary that explores the true stories behind the live performances of stand-up comedians. The film juxtaposes live stand-up performances with candid interview footage combined with animation and illustration. Three subjects– Michael Burd, Casey Stoddard, and Jacob Kubon– discuss alcoholism, childhood abuse, and sexual anxiety, respectively. Their candid, intimate interviews reveal personal information, creating a new context with which to understand live stand-up comedy performance. This illustrates themes of finding humor in dark or painful circumstances and the cathartic nature writing and performance.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Lechler, Ron

Broadening Access to Books on Texas and Oklahoma: Application Cover Page and Narrative for Grant Application for Humanities Open Book Program

Description: This two-year project, led by the University of North Texas Libraries, will broaden access to 141 books selected by one of three publishers or by the UNT Libraries for their relevance to the history of Texas and Oklahoma. It will also broaden access to five humanities-related books to be selected once the grant starts. Those books not yet available online through the Gateway to Oklahoma History, Portal to Texas History, or UNT Digital Library websites will be digitized, with full-text searching, and added to the appropriate site. All books will be converted to EPUB and Kindle formats, made available to download with the digitized version online, and added to the UNT Library Catalog and to WorldCat. The project also includes the production of “print-ready” PDFs from the scans of many of the books to allow them to be made available for sale in print again using print-on-demand technology. This proposal was submitted in June 2015 and funded in December 2015 by the National Endowment for the Humanities for $95,599.
Date: June 2015
Creator: Hawkins, Kevin S.

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

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

A Case Study of an Urban Charter School’s Journey of School Improvement: Organizational Theory, Institutional Learning and School Reform

Description: The problem for this study was the need to increase and maintain in student achievement in charter schools. The purpose of this single-case study was to discover how an inner city charter school with a high percentage of at-risk students increased overall student achievement and attained acceptable performance status when faced simultaneously with administrative challenges and increases in state and federal standards. The participants for the single-case study included the school district’s superintendent, the high school principal, the dean of students, four faculty of the district, and one outside consultant appointed to work with the district by the state of Texas. The sampling for this study allowed for the opportunity to study in greater depth the choice of reform strategies and organizational structure designed to result in increased student achievement and student success over the course of two years. Since this was a single-case study of one charter school district, participants were referenced by the role in which they served. All district, campus, and participant names remained anonymous. The results showed the increased student achievement was made possible by several reform strategies and best practices. The primary reform strategies and best practices that had the greatest impact were consistent campus leadership and parent and community involvement with the campus. Mission and focus were secondary strategies that contributed to increasing teacher effectiveness and student achievement. All of the interviewees stated their work was “all about the kids” to support the theme of the common mission and focus the campus and district.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Subjinski, Amanda