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Island Empire: the Influence of the Maceo Family in Galveston

Description: From the 1920s until the 1950s, brothers, Sam and Rosario Maceo, ran an influential crime family in Galveston, Texas. The brothers’ success was largely due to Galveston’s transient population, the turbulent history of the island, and the resulting economic decline experienced at the turn of the 20th century. Their success began during Prohibition, when they opened their first club. The establishment offered bootlegged liquor, fine dining, and first class entertainment. After Prohibition, the brothers continued to build an empire on the island through similar clubs, without much opposition from the locals. However, after being suspected of involvement in a drug smuggling ring, the Maceos were placed under scrutiny from outside law enforcement agencies. Through persistent investigations, the Texas Rangers finally shut down the rackets in Galveston in 1957. Despite their influence through the first half of the 20th century, on the island and off the island, their story is largely missing from the current literature.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Boatman, T. Nicole

Texas Principals’ Data Use: Its Relationship to Leadership Style and Student Achievement

Description: This study applies an empirical research method determine whether Texas public school principals’ leadership styles, coupled with their use of real time data in a data warehouse, influenced their leadership ability as measured by student achievement. In today’s world of data rich environments that require campuses and districts to make data-driven decisions, principals find themselves having to organize and categorize data to help their school boards, campuses, and citizenry make informed decisions. Most school principals in Texas have access to data in multiple forms including national and state resources and a multitude of other data reports. A random sample of principals was selected to take the Multi Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ5x) and the Principals Data Use Survey. The MLQ5x measured principals’ leadership styles as transformational, transactional, or passive avoidant. The Principals Data Use Survey measured how principals use data to inform campus decisions on student achievement, shaping the vision of the campus, and designing professional development. Data obtained from the survey were correlated to determine the relationship between principals’ use of data warehouses and their leadership styles on student achievement as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The results yielded significant relationships between student achievement, principals’ leadership styles, and the principals’ data use with a data warehouse. Student achievement scores were highly correlated with the campuses that participated in the study and provided limited differences between those with data warehouses and those without data warehouses.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Bostic, Robert E.

Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the AIDS Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Description: This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Bundschuh, Molly Ellen

Weeding Out the Undesirables: the Red Scare in Texas Higher Education, 1936-1958

Description: When the national Democratic Party began to transform to progressive era politics because of the New Deal, conservative reactionaries turned against the social welfare programs and used red scare tactics to discredit liberal and progressive New Deal Democrat professors in higher education. This process continued during the Second World War, when the conservatives in Texas lumped fascism and communism in order to anchor support and fire and threaten professors and administrators for advocating or teaching “subversive doctrine.” In 1948 Texas joined other southern states and followed the Dixiecrat movement designed to return the Democratic Party to its original pro-business and segregationist philosophy. Conservatives who wanted to bolster their Cold Warrior status in Texas also played upon the fears of spreading communism during the Cold War, and passed several repressive laws intended to silence unruly students and entrap professors by claiming they advocated communist doctrine. The fight culminated during the Civil Rights movement, when conservatives in the state attributed subversive or communist behavior to civil rights organizations, and targeted higher education to protect segregated universities. In order to return the national Democratic Party to the pro-business, segregationist philosophy established at the early twentieth century, conservatives used redbaiting tactics to thwart the progressivism in the state’s higher education facilities.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Bynum, Katherine E.

Identifying Cultural and Non-cultural Factors Affecting Litter Patterns in Hickory Creek, Texas

Description: Plastic deposition in hydrological systems is a pervasive problem at all geographic scales from loci of pollution to global ocean circulation. Much attention has been devoted to plastic deposition in marine contexts, but little is known about inputs of plastics into local hydrological systems, such as streams. Any attempt to prevent plastic litter must confront people’s behaviors, so archaeological concepts are used to distinguish between various cultural inputs (e.g., littering) and non-cultural forces (e.g., stream transport) that affect litter patterns on the landscape. Litter surveys along Hickory Creek in Denton, TX, are used to assess these factors.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Carpenter, Evan S.

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

Framing Bilingual Education Policy: Articulation and Implementation in Texas

Description: Language education policy and its implementation have been controversial and ongoing issues throughout the United States, especially in the border state of Texas, with its large population of students who are learning English. This dissertation reports two studies, the first of which was a frame analysis of problems and solutions as represented by the five bills amending the Texas Education Code with regard to bilingual education and English as a second language programs. These laws, passed in 1969, 1973, 1975, 1981, and 2001, have been enacted since 1968, the year the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) was passed. The problem framed consistently by these state policy documents was inadequate instruction for children who come to school speaking languages other than English. More variability was seen in the framing of solutions, with approaches changing from the authorization of instruction in languages other than English, to the establishment of mandated bilingual programs, to the extension of special language programs, and to the establishment of dual language immersion programs. The primary ideology influencing the policy documents was the monolingual English ideology; however, alternative ideologies are apparent in the policies that allow for dual language immersion programs. Geographic information systems (GIS) analysis was used in the second study to investigate the geographic locations of particular programs and the demographics of students they served. Choropleth maps showed variability in program distribution across the state with distinct patterns apparent in only two programs. The maps indicated that districts with high percentages of student enrollment in one-way dual language programs tended to be located in and near the major metropolitan areas, whereas many districts offering early exit transitional bilingual programs tended to be located along the Texas-Mexico border. Despite the literature on bilingual/ESL program effectiveness, the predominant program in the border region of Texas is among those considered ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Dixon, Kathryn V.

Joaquín de Arredondo in Texas and Northeastern New Spain, 1811-1821

Description: Joaquín de Arredondo was the most powerful and influential person in northeastern New Spain from 1811 to 1821. His rise to prominence began in 1811 when the Spanish military officer and a small royalist army suppressed Miguel Hidalgo’s revolution in the province of Nuevo Santander. This prompted the Spanish government to promote Arredondo to Commandant General of the Eastern Internal Provinces, making him the foremost civil and military authority in northeastern New Spain. Arredondo’s tenure as commandant general proved difficult, as he had to deal with insurgents, invaders from the United States, hostile Indians, pirates, and smugglers. Because warfare in Europe siphoned much needed military and financial support, and disagreements with New Spain’s leadership resulted in reductions of the commandant general’s authority, Arredondo confronted these threats with little assistance from the Spanish government. In spite of these obstacles, he maintained royalist control of New Spain from 1811 to 1821, and, in doing so, changed the course of Texas, Mexican, and United States history. In 1813, he defeated insurgents and American invaders at the Battle of Medina, and from 1817 to 1820, his forces stopped Xavier Mina’s attempt to bring independence to New Spain, prevented French exiles from establishing a colony in Texas, and defeated James Long’s filibustering expedition from the United States. Although unable to sustain Spanish rule in 1821, Arredondo’s approval of Moses Austin’s petition to settle families from the United States in Texas in 1820 and his role in the development of Antonio López de Santa Anna, meant the officer continued to influence Mexico. Perhaps Arredondo’s greatest importance is that the study of his life provides a means to learn about an internationally contested region during one of the most turbulent eras in North American history.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Folsom, Bradley, 1979-

Reckoning in the Redlands: the Texas Rangers’ Clean-up of San Augustine in 1935

Description: The subject of this manuscript is the Texas Rangers “clean-up” of San Augustine, which was undertaken between late January 1935 until approximately July 1936 at the direction of then newly-elected Governor James V. Allred, in response to the local “troubles” that arose from an near decade long “crime wave.” Allred had been elected on a platform advocating dramatic reform of state law enforcement, and the success of the “clean-up” was heralded as validation of those reforms, which included the creation of – and the Rangers’ integration into – the Texas Department of Public Safety that same year. Despite such historic significance for the community of San Augustine, the state, and the Texas Rangers, no detailed account has ever been published. The few existing published accounts are terse, vague, and inadequate to address the relevant issues. They are often also overly reliant on limited oral accounts and substantially factually flawed, thereby rendering their interpretive analysis moot in regard to certain issues. Additionally, it is a period of San Augustine’s history that haunts that community to this day, particularly as a result of the wide-ranging myths that have taken hold in the absence of a thoroughly researched and documented published account. Concerns over offending the descendants of the key antagonists, many of whom still live in the area, has long made local historians wary of taking on the topic. Nevertheless, many of them have privately expressed the need for just such a treatment, as they have crossed paths with enough evidence in pursuit of other topics that they recognize and appreciate the historical significance, and lack of an accurate modern understanding, of those events. Furthermore, descendants of some of the victims have expressed frustration over the lack of such an account, because it makes them feel victimized once more to see the ...
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Ginn, Jody Edward

Developing a Forest Gap Model to Be Applied to a Watershed-scaled Landscape in the Cross Timbers Ecoregion Using a Topographic Wetness Index

Description: A method was developed for extending a fine-scaled forest gap model to a watershed-scaled landscape, using the Eastern Cross Timbers ecoregion as a case study for the method. A topographic wetness index calculated from digital elevation data was used as a measure of hydrologic across the modeled landscape, and the gap model modified to have with a topographically-based hydrologic input parameter. The model was parameterized by terrain type units that were defined using combinations of USDA soil series and classes of the topographic wetness index. A number of issues regarding the sources, grid resolutions, and processing methods of the digital elevation data are addressed in this application of the topographic wetness index. Three different grid sizes, 5, 10, and 29 meter, from both LiDAR-derived and contour-derived elevation grids were used, and the grids were processed using both single-directional flow algorithm and bi-directional flow algorithm. The result of these different grids were compared and analyzed in context of their application in defining terrain types for the forest gap model. Refinements were made in the timescale of gap model’s weather model, converting it into a daily weather generator, in order to incorporate the effects of the new topographic/hydrologic input parameter. The precipitation model was converted to use a Markov model to initiate a sequence of wet and dry days for each month, and then daily precipitation amounts were determined using a gamma distribution. The output of the new precipitation model was analyzed and compared with a 100-year history of daily weather records at daily, monthly, and annual timescales. Model assumptions and requirements for biological parameters were thoroughly investigated and questioned. Often these biological parameters are based on little more than assumptions and intuition. An effort to base as many of the model’s biological parameters on measured data was made, including a new ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Goetz, Heinrich

UNT Libraries Strategic Plan Priorities FY 2014-2017: Key prospective Goal Areas for the UNT Libraries

Description: This report summarizes key strategic priorities for the UNT Libraries in the FY 2014-2017 period, and will inform planning activities during this time. This document should be read in close conjunction with other associated strategic planning documents of the UNT Libraries, including the following: 2014 Strategic Plan Alignment Map of UNT Libraries and Academic Affairs, UNT Libraries Strategic Plan 2011-2015, and UNT Press Strategic Plan 2014-2019. This document lays out the primary directions that the UNT Libraries will undertake during the coming four years. It builds on previous work and accomplishments during the 2011-2014 period, and serves as a transitional planning guide for moving beyond the 2011-2015 strategic plan. The most important priority for the next three years will be the first one listed: improving library resources. Without adequate resources, it is unlikely that progress will be made on the other priorities.
Date: September 2014
Creator: Halbert, Martin & Hartman, Cathy Nelson

Resource Allocation Efficiency at the Elementary and Middle School Levels in a Texas School District

Description: In recent years much attention has gone to school efficiency, as determined by assessing student achievement relative to expenditures at the school district level. The present study built on prior work in school efficiency with a focus on the school campus level instead of the district level. Included in the study were 28 elementary and middle school campuses in a selected school district in Texas. The approach taken in the investigation was data envelopment analysis (DEA), which provided scores for efficiency and was intended to provide clarity on efficiency research at the campus level. Past studies using the DEA model have involved business and private institutions, but not public schools. The DEA model calculated and assigned efficiency scores for each campuses. The two variable categories used to determine campus efficiency were student demographics and resource allocation. The total enrollment numbers included the number of White, economically disadvantaged, at-risk, and limited English proficiency students. The resource allocation variables included the total expenditures in instruction, instructional related services, instructional leadership, campus leadership, and student support services. The efficiency scores paired with student achievement scores determined campus efficiency and effectiveness. An effective and efficiency framework was used to represent the data with student achievement on the y-axis and campus efficiency scores on the x-axis. I applied Pearson product moment and regression analyses using the same variables as previous studies. The Pearson product moment assessed the correlation between student demographic variables, function code variables, and campus efficiency. The Pearson product showed a weak positive relationship between the number of White students and the number of LEP students enrolled in the district. The analysis also showed moderate and strong negative relationships between efficiency and instructional leadership and student support services. The regression analysis identified the student demographic and function code variables that affected the level ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Hamlin, Lance

Immunity for New Mexico Public School Districts and the 1978 Tort Claims Act

Description: In a 3-year timeframe, nearly 800 student negligence suits were filed, and most involved some claim of personal injury. Despite heightened public attention of negligence lawsuits against school districts and their employees, an empirical study of court decisions revealed that the volume of litigation against school districts remained steady from 1990 to 2005, the majority of cases were ruled in favor of the school district employees, and government and official immunity were most often the basis for these rulings. Researchers have concluded that immunity laws are strong in the United States, although they vary by state in their application. However, a primary recommendation was that, because of the misconception of a lack of immunity for public school employees, a comprehensive study on governmental and official immunity is needed. This dissertation employed legal research, analysis, and methodology to engage in a comprehensive investigation of teacher immunity in the four southern states of Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Of central concern to this dissertation was the Tort Claims Act of 1978 from the State of New Mexico. The Tort Claims Act is the vehicle by which immunity is granted to public school employees. Court findings over the last 35 years point to three primary domains under which cases pertaining to immunity fall: negligence (62.5%), evaluation and supervision (16.7%), and student discipline (8.3%). Immunity appears strong across all three domains; however, only future studies on cases by state will determine whether states in the southwest United States are the norm or an anomaly.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Herauf, Todd J.

Leadership Styles and Cultural Sensitivity of Department Chairs at Texas Public Universities

Description: As the U.S. population diversifies, so do its higher education institutions. Leadership at these institutions should be prepared for this diversification of students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this study was to gain greater knowledge about the leadership styles and cultural sensitivity of department chairs. Survey research was used to determine if department chairs’ leadership styles correlated with their cultural sensitivity. The target population was department chairs from public universities in the state of Texas. The survey was distributed to 406 randomly selected department chairs. The participants completed three measures: Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire (LDBQ) for leadership style, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) for cultural sensitivity, and a demographic questionnaire (gender, age range, race/ethnicity, and years of service as department chair). The sample included 165 usable surveys (40% return rate). The department chairs were primarily male (72%), White (78%), and over 50 (71%) years of age. First, a statistically significant negative correlation (r = -.431, p < .0001) occurred between LBDQ overall scores and overall ISS scores: As chairs scored higher on leadership ability, they scored lower on intercultural sensitivity. Second, leadership style by demographic variable displayed mixed results. No significant difference was found for leadership style by age, gender, years of service, or region of service. For ethnicity, White participants scored significantly lower than Minority participants on the LBDQ scales of consideration (t [162] = -2.021, p = .045), structure (t [162] = -2.705, p = .008), and overall (t [162] = -2.864, p = .005). Minority participants might work more diligently to increase their leadership abilities based on their higher LDBQ scores. Third, findings on intercultural sensitivity by demographic variable were mixed. No statistical significance was observed between any of the ISS scales and age, gender, years of service, and region. For ethnicity, Minority participants’ scores showed ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Hernandez-Katz, Melissa

Evaluation of Program Effectiveness: a Look at the Bedford Police Department’s Strategy Towards Repeat Victimization in Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Description: The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program being run by the Bedford Police Department’s Repeat Victimization Unit on domestic violence and mental health and mental retardation. The study sought to determine whether the program was effective in reducing instances of repeat victimization in domestic violence and MHMR victims. Additionally the program investigated whether or not the program was effective at reducing victimization severity, and which demographic could be identified as the most victimized. Participants consisted of 157 domestic violence and MHMR victims in the city of Bedford, Tx between November 11, 2012 to July 30, 2013. Findings indicate that levels of repeat victimization for domestic violence and MHMR are relatively low regardless of whether the victim received services through the repeat victimization program or not. Additionally the severity of these repeat victimizations remains relatively constant regardless of whether services were received through the program or not. Implications and findings are discussed.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Huskey, Michael G.