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Trials & Tribulations: Effective Management of Electronic Resource Trials
Presentation for the 2019 Electronic Resources and Libraries conference. This presentation discusses best practices, the results of a survey of librarians on how trials are currently utilized, and responses from vendors about how trials are viewed
How Should You Publish?
Recording of "Building an Open Textbook Publishing Program", the Open Textbook Publishing Winter Webinar Series 2019. This presentation focuses on the high-level decisions necessary when deciding how to offer a publishing service.
How Should You Publish?
Presentation for the "Building an Open Textbook Publishing Program", the Open Textbook Publishing Winter Webinar Series 2019. This presentation focuses on the high-level decisions necessary when deciding how to offer a publishing service.
Identifying Gaps in Tools and Interfaces for Assessing Metadata Quality
This paper discusses qualitative research conducted by the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries regarding perceptions of quality by metadata creators and their managers. These perceptions of metadata quality are intended to identify gaps in tools and interfaces used to create metadata.
Preparing STEM Graduate Students for the Dissertation or Thesis Proposal
Poster presented at the 2019 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting. This poster describes outcomes from a library workshop designed to lower barriers students face when beginning a dissertation or thesis proposal.
Steps for Academic Success via Library Resources and Services
Presentation for the North Texas Community College Consortium Spring Leadership Conference. This presentation highlights library resources and services available for community colleges.
Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited
This commentary article discusses the key questions to be addressed before establishing a library publishing program for scholarly books.
Assessing the Success of a Mentoring Program for Academic Librarians
Presentation for the 2018 Library Assessment Conference. This presentation describes the assessment of a mentoring program at a large academic library.
Marketing via E-mail Solicitation by Predatory (and Legitimate) Journals: An Evaluation of Quality, Frequency, and Relevance
This article studies the marketing practices of predatory journals through the analysis of a a subset of the 1,816 e-mails received by a single university biology faculty member during a 24-month period.
Adolescent Academic Adjustment during Chronic Illness: Online Training for Child Life Specialists
Frequent absences resulting from a chronic illness can disrupt adolescent school involvement, impacting academic achievement and psychosocial development as a result. This study explores whether certified child life specialists (CCLSs) could be a resource for parents as they address their adolescents' academic disruptions. Specifically, this study assesses an online training program designed to increase CCLSs' knowledge and self-efficacy as related to adolescents' academic adjustment following frequent absences. This knowledge and skill based training was designed as a three part module with sections including: academic considerations, psychosocial considerations, and availability of school resources in promoting successful adolescent academic adjustment. 62 CCLSs were recruited to participate and complete measures evaluating knowledge, in relation to content included in each module, and self-efficacy, involving communication with parents in regards to adolescent academic adjustment. T-tests were conducted to determine whether there were differences in reports of self-efficacy and knowledge following participation in the intervention between and within the treatment and control groups. Results indicate statistical significance for enhanced knowledge and self-efficacy for the treatment group at post-test. Therefore, the outcomes from this study support the effectiveness of brief online training in fostering knowledge and feelings of efficacy for CCLSs in a context not typically included in child life education or certification. As a result, findings from this study may be used to expand intervention programs in the clinical setting to provide more comprehensive psychosocial care to adolescents diagnosed with a chronic illness.
African-American Achievement in Charter Schools and the Impact of Connectedness, Alignment, Rigor, and Engagement [CARE] on School Effectiveness
The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of charter schools on African-American students, this study sought to determine if the practice of connectedness, alignment, rigor, and engagement (C.A.R.E.) influenced academic outcomes. The research methodology employed a meta-analysis in conjunction with a systematic review as a cross-reference and to address variables not covered in the meta-analysis. Utilizing a meta-analysis allowed for a synthesis of the existing quantitative published data to consolidate the results. This produced a specific report of achievement data for African-American students. The results revealed that regardless of region, subject, type of assessment, or school focus charter school do positively influence African-American students' academic outcomes. This study also found the practices connectedness, alignment, rigor, and engagement, the C.A.R.E. model when employed in schools improve academic outcomes, especially when combined and implemented with best practices.
Allowing Students to Have VOICES [Voluntary Options in Chemical Education Schedules] in General Chemistry I
The purpose of this investigation (a quasi-experimental design called a non-equivalent design group (NEDG)) was to determine if allowing students in a science majors general Chemistry I course the choice in establishing the due dates that their homework was due to the instructor would improve course averages. This study covered two semesters with a total of 288 students participating with n = 158 in the fall and n = 130 in the spring. The students self-selected the homework group, VOICES, that best fit his/her needs which included (1) the instructor's homework schedule, (2) a student-customized schedule or a schedule that followed the exam schedule, or (3) all homework due by the last class day prior to the final exam. Online homework was assigned and graded with individual assignment and homework average grades collected and analyzed. No statistically significant differences were found among the VOICES groups with respect to final course average. Other results of this study replicated findings in the literature; namely, that there is a higher correlation between mathematics skills and course success. Course averages of students who had completed Calculus I or higher were statistically significantly higher than students with less completed mathematics coursework in all VOICES groups. Also, the percentage of successful students in the on-sequence semester (fall) was higher than the percentage of students in the off-sequence semester (spring). No differences were seen in any VOICES group's student demographics or high school chemistry preparation.
Anthropology of Aging: Assessment of Old Age Needs and Ethical Issues regarding the Use of Assistive Technologies
The main goal of this research has been to investigate elderly people's needs, perceptions, fears, hopes, and expectation regarding elderly care, including ethical issues linked to assistive technologies. As faith seems to take an important place in how some elders face the aging process, the spiritual dimension was also included. Therefore, the research was conducted among 15 church congregants. Results show that most respondents fear the physical and mental decay due to aging, often resulting in becoming a burden to someone else, along with abandonment and lack of financial resources. Most ethnic groups perceive that other cultures take better care of their elders than their own. Faith seems to offer a great support, as it gives the confidence that divine power will always be there for them even beyond death. The respondents in this research suggest that guidance should be provided in a more structured way, more focus should go on the youth and the elderly, more activities should be organized and practical information should be shared. Regarding the ethical issues of assistive technologies, they are not well informed about their possibilities but acknowledge their potential usefulness, combined with human care. They don't want technology to be too intrusive in their daily life, but they are willing to sacrifice (part of) their privacy for more (medical) safety. There is a general concern that the access to qualitative care would be depending on financial resources.
Assessing and Treating Oral Reading Deficits in Children with Developmental Disabilities
A brief reading assessment and preference assessment were conducted with three participants with developmental and learning disabilities (i.e., two participants were diagnosed with Autism, the third participant was diagnosed with intellectual disability) who did not acquire fluent reading in previous individualized instruction. The results of the brief reading assessment were analyzed in an alternating treatment design and a preference assessment was conducted to determine the participants' preferred reading intervention. Following the results of the two assessments, a reading intervention that matched effectiveness with preference when possible or favored effectiveness when a match was not possible. The selected interventions (and later combined interventions) were implemented for each participant using an A-B-A-C or an A-B-A-C-D design. The results suggest that the four reading strategies are effective options for improving reading fluency. Also, a brief reading assessment can help identify an effective reading strategy. The results are discussed in the context of fluency gains, limitations, and implications for future research.
Autonomic Nerve Activity and Cardiovascular Function in the Chicken Embryo [Gallus gallus]
The goal of this study was to build on the historic use of the avian model of development and also to further the knowledge of autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation of cardiovascular function in vertebrates. Vasoactive drugs sodium nitroprusside, a vasodilator and phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor were used to study the correlation of cardiovascular function relationship with nerve activity, both sympathetic and parasympathetic (vagal). Additionally, ANG II was used to assess its effects on vagal inhibition. The present study shows that pharmacologically-induced hypertension is associated with a fall in mSNA, indicating that the capacity for sympathetic autonomic cardiovascular regulation is established by late incubation however, late-stage embryonic chickens did not show a significant increase in mSNA during hypotension. The hypotensive response of the embryo was not accompanied by the expected inhibition of vagal discharge; however a slight but insignificant reduction in vagal discharge was noted. When vagal efferent output was isolated, a significant drop in vagal efferent activity was noted in response to hypotension. The present study showed late-stage embryonic chickens lack a vagal response to hypertension in both efferent and sensory limbs. In this study, vagal discharge was reduced from baseline levels in response to Ang II. Collectively, the present study indicates that the lack of a decreased heart rate, in response to increases in Pm caused by Ang II, is due to a central inhibitory action of Ang II on the vagus. Data from the present study suggests that although autonomic interaction with the cardiovascular system in present in late-stage chicken embryos, it is still underdeveloped and possesses a limited capacity.
Building Relationships between a Free Clinic and Its Donors
This thesis presents qualitative research conducted in summer 2017 at the Finger Lakes Free Clinic, which provides free medical and holistic care to people without insurance in upstate New York. The primary goal of this research was to strengthen the relationship between a free clinic and its donors by gathering donor concerns and perceptions regarding federal healthcare policy. Data from 32 interviews with donors, staff, board members, and volunteers, along with 100 hours of participant observation revealed that donors to this clinic were concerned about the potential impact of Congressional healthcare reform yet did not consider federal policy a strong influence on their donations. Rather, donors cited dedication to local giving and personal connections with the clinic as their primary motivations. These motivations suggest the value of viewing the clinic-donor relationship as a relationship of reciprocity. From this framework, the research identifies opportunities for the clinic to reciprocate donor generosity while expanding services in response to a growing need. Insights from the research will guide the clinic's response to federal policy changes and support the clinic's vision of becoming a national model for integrative care.
THE CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER PROBLEM
The Chief Security Officer Problem (CSO) consists of a CSO, a group of agents trying to communicate with the CSO and a group of eavesdroppers trying to listen to the conversations between the CSO and its agents. Through Lemmas and Theorems, several Information Theoretic questions are answered.
Child-Centered Play Therapists' Experiences Delivering Shortened Session Lengths
This phenomenological study examined the experiences and perceptions of child-centered play therapists who deliver shortened sessions in the clinic setting. Using the phenomenological analysis procedures based on Moustakas' modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method, a coding team of three doctoral students found 10 themes related to child-centered play therapists' (N = 5) experiences delivering shortened session lengths. Each theme is defined and further described using verbatim transcript examples. This study has practical and clinical implications for child-centered play therapist development and training. The results of this study point to the need for further research in child-centered play therapists' experiences delivering play therapy-as-usual. Finally, future research regarding the change process in child-centered play therapy theory is also implicated.
Chronic Homelessness and the Aging Population: Findings in a Homeless Sample from Arkansas
Understanding underlying mechanisms and pathways that lead to chronic homelessness would help develop intervention strategies that could help prevent subsequent episodes of homelessness. Quantitative data for this cross-sectional study was gathered by interviewing individuals who were homeless in the State of Arkansas, using a structured survey between 2007 and 2011. Qualitative data was gathered using semi-structured interviews between 2016 and 2018. Chi-square statistics and a multivariate logistic regression model was used to analyze the quantitative data, while phenomenological methods were used to analyze the qualitative data. Nearly half of the study participants identified themselves as being chronically homeless. Chronically homeless adults in this region were significantly more likely to be older men with no family ties, more likely to be victims of domestic violence, have higher rates of physical health problems, and have alcohol and substance abuse problems. Results from the multivariate nominal regression revealed that individuals who reported themselves as chronically homeless were more likely to be in the 50 years or older age group. In addition, study findings highlighted a dynamic interplay between three biopsychosocial risk factors for homelessness. Fostering development of inclusive sustainable communities, intergenerational relationships, and shared housing practices could help ease such social inequities and prevent problems such as chronic homelessness in older homeless adults.
Command Unity and the Air War against Germany
Starting in August 1942 the United States and United Kingdom started waging a strategic bombing offensive against Germany. Throughout the course of the 1942 and 1943 campaigns, American and British air forces struggled to gain the upper hand in the European air war. By November 1943 American and British defeats at the hands of the German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, had placed the air war in doubt. By February 1944, the air war had turned around in favor of the Allies. This dramatic turn of events has been explained by historians in a number of ways. The most popular narrative is that the introduction of the long range escort fighter, the P-51 "Mustang," turned the tide in the air war. Another narrative is that there was a change in the fighter tactics. Starting in January 1944, American fighters stopped defending the bombers and started aggressively pursuing German fighters. Yet, these analyses do not include a major command changes that took place from November to January 1944. After his appointment to command of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight D. Eisenhower used his position centralize all of the major air commands in Europe under his control. By unifying the air commands, the Allies were able to better coordinate and concentrate their air against Germany. In February 1944 the Allies focused their air forces against the Luftwaffe ultimately wearing down German fighter strength. After finally removing a major obstacle impending the strategic air war against Germany, the Allies concentrated their air forces against transportation and oil targets. The destruction of these two major economic systems crippled Germany's ability to fight the Allies in 1944 and 1945. By changing the command structure, Eisenhower was able to use his air forces in successful coordinated strategic air offensives that the Allies had previously been ...
A Comparative Study of Piano Etudes by György Sandor Ligeti and Unsuk Chin: A Technical and Stylistic Guide to Mastering the Difficulties of Their Etudes
Unsuk Chin (b.1961), a Korean-born woman composer, was a student of Gyorgy Sandor Ligeti (1923-2006). Chin's work reflects the influence of Ligeti but also undeniably has its own style. This study investigates the six piano etudes so far published from 12 Piano Etudes (1995-2003) by Unsuk Chin and compares them with Ligeti's piano etudes to highlight the influence of the teacher on the student and to aid pianists in facing the unique technical challenges posed by both sets of etudes. The practice guide provided in this study for each specific technical difficulty requires a degree of patience from a student which, if followed, will enhance the performance.
Comparative Study of Thermal Comfort Models Using Remote-Location Data for Local Sample Campus Building as a Case Study for Scalable Energy Modeling at Urban Level Using Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure [VIFI]
The goal of this dissertation is to demonstrate that data from a remotely located building can be utilized for energy modeling of a similar type of building and to demonstrate how to use this remote data without physically moving the data from one server to another using Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure (VIFI). In order to achieve this goal, firstly an EnergyPlus model was created for Greek Life Center, a campus building located at University of North Texas campus at Denton in Texas, USA. Three thermal comfort models of Fanger model, Pierce two-node model and KSU two-node model were compared in order to find which one of these three models is most accurate to predict occupant thermal comfort. This study shows that Fanger's model is most accurate in predicting thermal comfort. Secondly, an experimental data pertaining to lighting usage and occupancy in a single-occupancy office from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has been implemented in order to perform energy analysis of Greek Life Center assuming that occupants in this building's offices behave similarly as occupants in CMU. Thirdly, different data types, data formats and data sources were identified which are required in order to develop a city-scale urban building energy model (CS-UBEM). Two workflows were created, one for an individual scale building energy model and another one for CS-UBEM. A new innovative infrastructure called as Virtual Information Fabric Infrastructure (VIFI) has been introduced in this dissertation. The workflows proposed in this study will demonstrate in the future work that by using VIFI infrastructure to develop building energy models there is a potential of using data for remote servers without actually moving the data. It has been successfully demonstrated in this dissertation that data located at remote location can be used credibly to predict energy consumption of a newly built building. When the ...
A Comparison of Fixed- and Variable-Ratio Token Exchange-Production Schedules with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
The token economy is a widely used and versatile motivational system within applied behavior analysis. Moreover, token reinforcement procedures have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the experimental analysis of behavior, token reinforcement contingencies are conceptualized as three interconnected schedule components: (1) the token-production schedule, (2) the exchange-production schedule, and (3) the token-exchange schedule. Basic work with nonhuman subjects has demonstrated that the exchange-production schedule is the primary driver of performance in these arrangements, and that variable-ratio exchange-production results in reduced pre-ratio pausing and greater overall rates of responding relative to fixed-ratio exchange-production schedules. However, little applied research has been conducted to assess the generality of these findings within applied settings. The purpose of this study was to determine if fixed- and variable-ratio token exchange-production schedules would exert differential effects on pre-ratio pausing and overall rates of responding for three children with ASD during a free-operant sorting task. The results showed that pre-ratio pausing and overall rates of responding were not differentially effected by the fixed- and variable-ratio exchange-production schedules. Discrepancies between the experimental work and the current study are discussed along with additional limitations.
Compartmentalization of Jojoba Seed Lipid Metabolites
Seeds from the desert shrub Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) are one of the only known natural plant sources to store a majority of its oil in the form of liquid wax esters (WE) instead of triacylglycerols (TAGs) and these oils account for ~55% of the seed weight. Jojoba oil is highly valued as cosmetic additives and mechanical lubricants, yet despite its value much is still unknown about its neutral lipid biosynthetic pathways and lipid droplet packaging machinery. Here, we have used a multi-"omics" approach to study how spatial differences in lipid metabolites, gene expression, and lipid droplet proteins influence the synthesis and storage of jojoba lipids. Through these studies mass spectrometry analyses revealed that WEs are compartmentalized primarily in the cotyledonary tissues, whereas TAGs are, surprisingly, localized to the embryonic axis tissues. To study the differences in gene expression between these two tissues, a de novo transcriptome was assembled from high throughput RNAseq data. Differential gene expression analysis revealed that the Jojoba Wax Synthase, which catalyzes the formation of wax esters, and the Diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase1, which catalyzes the final acylation of triacylglycerol synthesis, were differentially expressed in the cotyledons and embryonic axis tissues, respectively. Furthermore, through proteomic analysis of lipid droplet proteins from lipid droplets of the cotyledons and embryonic axis, it was estimated that each of these tissues contains a different proportion of the major lipid droplet proteins, oleosins, steroleosins, caleosins, and lipid droplet associated proteins. The Jojoba Olesosin1, Lipid Droplet Associated Protein 1, and Lipid Droplet Associated Protein 3, were identified as potential lipid droplet proteins that could be important for storage of wax esters. The coding sequences of these genes were transiently expressed in N. benthamiana leaves individually, and with co-expression of Mus musculus diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2, and in all cases were able to induce neutral lipid accumulation. ...
A Conductor's Guide to Hyo-won Woo's Choral Music as Reflected in "Oh! KOREA"
The choral music of Hyo-won Woo, the composer of Oh! KOREA, is being widely performed by universities and professional choruses in Korea, as well as throughout the world. The work exhibits Woo's remarkable compositional style, which displays traditional Korean musical influences. Hyo-Won Woo's Oh! KOREA consisting of four movements, is for chorus, two pianos, and both Eastern and Western percussion instruments. Woo's Oh! KOREA employs an excellent introduction to the Korean choral repertoire for Western audiences, rooted in traditional Korean folk tunes. As today's choral conductors, singers, and audience cannot fully appreciate the value of this traditional Korean work and will likely not understand its intended context, it is therefore necessary to provide an in-depth investigation of this work for any conductor considering a performance of this piece. This study includes influences of traditional Korean elements within Oh! KOREA and rehearsal and performance consideration for Western choir directors.
The Construction of Identity through Early Childhood Curriculum: Examining Picturebooks from a Critical Feminist Lens
Picturebooks are an important part of the classroom environment in early childhood education. They open doors to new experiences, nurture students' cultural identities, and invite students to explore connections across cultures. In the United States today, many of the picturebooks that are available to teachers and students in preschool classrooms come from the state curriculum that the school district has implemented. Shifting demographic trends have led many educators to recognize a need for more diversity of literature in classrooms. This study was conducted in response to this growing concern that books should better reflect the cultures and identities of the children who read them, with a particular emphasis on young female children of color. The research question guiding this study is: How do picturebook texts and illustrations in an early childhood curriculum represent the identities of female characters of color as viewed through a critical feminist theoretical lens? To investigate this question, I critically analyzed children's picturebooks from a current early childhood curriculum adopted by the state of Texas, focusing on representations of gender and race. The selected books were analyzed using critical content and critical visual analyses to consider how the text and illustrations together represent female characters of color. Although earlier studies of picturebooks have pointed out a deficit of authentic portrayals of female characters of color, this study found that books in the sample did show some attention to authentic cultural themes including motherhood, action and agency, and subjugated knowledge and culture. However, implications for practice and research included the need for more balanced representation of diverse cultures within the curriculum to better reflect preschool demographics, as well as the need for more classroom instruction on books that give voice and agency to young female children of color as they develop their personal and cultural identities.
Contingency Management of Physical Rehabilitation: The Role of Feedback
Modern advances in technology have allowed for an increase in the precision with which we are able to measure, record, and affect behavior. These developments suggest that the domains in which behavior analysis might contribute are considerably broader than previously appreciated, for instance the area of behavioral medicine. One way the field of behavior analysis can begin to address problems in behavioral medicine is with biosensor technology, like surface electromyography (sEMG). For sEMG technology to be useful in behavioral medicine, specifically recovery from total knee arthroplasty, a reference value (the maximum voluntary individual contraction-MVIC) must be established. The MVIC value allows for the comparison of data across days and may allow the programming of contingencies. However, current MVIC methods fall short. Study 1 compares MVIC values produced by a participant given the typical instruction only method with two alternative methods: instruction + feedback, and instruction + feedback in a game context. Across 10 participants both feedback conditions lead to higher MVIC values then the instruction only condition. Study 2 applies the MVIC techniques developed during Study 1 to an exercise procedure. Using an MVIC value as the criteria for feedback Study 2 compares the same three conditions, however this time assessing for the conditions under which exercise performance is optimal. Across all 9 participants the instruction + feedback in a game context lead to the participant ‘working harder' and 8 out of 9 participants exceeded the MVIC value more often during this condition then in the other two conditions.
Contribution of Psychopathic Traits in the Prediction of Generalized Prejudice in Males
Very few studies have investigated how psychopathic traits might contribute to our understanding of prejudicial attitudes. Moreover, previous studies involve a number of limitations which cloud interpretation of their findings. The current study examined the relationship between prejudice and a number of its predictors (e.g., social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA)), while also including psychopathic traits and an innovative new measure of empathy using an online sample. A path analytic framework was employed to comprehensively model relations among psychopathic traits, SDO, RWA, and affective empathy domains in the prediction of generalized prejudice. Overall, there was support for certain psychopathic traits being modest predictors of racial prejudice, although more proximal measures were much stronger predictors. The results revealed a number of novel relationships that may help in further understanding the links between psychopathic propensities, empathy, and social-cognitive variables predictive of racial prejudice.
A Control Theoretic Approach for Resilient Network Services
Resilient networks have the ability to provide the desired level of service, despite challenges such as malicious attacks and misconfigurations. The primary goal of this dissertation is to be able to provide uninterrupted network services in the face of an attack or any failures. This dissertation attempts to apply control system theory techniques with a focus on system identification and closed-loop feedback control. It explores the benefits of system identification technique in designing and validating the model for the complex and dynamic networks. Further, this dissertation focuses on designing robust feedback control mechanisms that are both scalable and effective in real-time. It focuses on employing dynamic and predictive control approaches to reduce the impact of an attack on network services. The closed-loop feedback control mechanisms tackle this issue by degrading the network services gracefully to an acceptable level and then stabilizing the network in real-time (less than 50 seconds). Employing these feedback mechanisms also provide the ability to automatically configure the settings such that the QoS metrics of the network is consistent with those specified in the service level agreements.
Creative Matter: Exploring the Co-Creative Nature of Things
This dissertation is about new materialism as it relates to art education. It is a speculative inquiry that seeks to illuminate the interconnectivity of things by considering the ways in which things participate in generative practices of perceiving and making. To do so, the dissertation pioneers an arts-based methodology that allows for broad considerations about who and what can be considered an agent in the process of art making. In this inquiry, the researcher is an artist-participant with other more-than-human and human participants to construct an (im)material autohistoria-teoría, a revisionist interdisciplinary artwork inspired by the work of Anzaldúa. The term w/e is developed and discussed as new language for expanding upon Braidotti's posthumanist subjectivity. New theories called thing(k)ing (including found poetry) and (im)materiality are discussed as movements towards better understanding the contributions of the more-than-human in artmaking practices.
Critique, Hope, and Action: A Critical Content Analysis of Teacher-Selected Literature for the Elementary Classroom
The purpose of this study was to analyze teacher-selected children's literature for its potential use with critical pedagogy in the elementary classroom. This multi-analytical study uses tenets from critical multicultural analysis (CMA) and components from visual analysis (VA) to guide a critical content analysis of teacher-selected children's literature. Since it is the only nationally-recognized book list solely selected by educators, the texts for this study were selected from the Teachers' Choices Reading List titles. Although prior research on teacher-selected literature for the potential use of critical pedagogy in the elementary classroom does not exist, the results of this study show many opportunities for such within the last three years of the Teachers' Choices Reading List. A discussion on these results is presented through Paulo Freire's concept of critical pedagogy, as described in three stages: critique, hope, and action. Implications for practice and research are suggested based on the results of the study.
Demand and Supply Explanation: Nonprofit Sector Size in Homeless Services
This study explores the demand and supply oriented factors that may contribute to the size of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. communities. This research tests demand theory, which indicated that nonprofit organizations grow more in communities where large service demand exists and when there is a service gap between community demand and government service supply. On the other hand, supply theories contend that nonprofit organizations are prevalent where a community carries the supply of human capital and financial resources and these supply of human and economic capital will mobilize nonprofit organizations to fulfill civic duties. For the scientific test of demand and supply theories, this study employs hierarchical linear model (HLM) and develops a longitudinal data set from multiple sources such as Department of Housing and Urban Development and National Charitable Center for Statistics, and Census. The proposed model analyzes how demand and supply indicators explain homeless serving nonprofit organizations size. The size of homeless service nonprofit was measured by three indicators: number of nonprofits, revenue of nonprofits and number of shelter beds. The findings of HLM analyses confirmed some of demand and supply factors that contribute homeless service nonprofit size. The communities with higher level of chronic homeless population have more nonprofit organizations when we control community size. Also, we found the communities with a greater number of educated individuals are more likely to invest in nonprofit organizations. And it was noteworthy that the higher education institution was a positive supply factor for the nonprofit size in our communities.
Design Principles for Metal-Coordinated Frameworks as Electrocatalysts for Energy Storage and Conversion
In this dissertation, density functional theory calculations are performed to calculate the thermodynamic and electrochemical properties of metal coordinated frameworks for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Gibb's free energy, overpotential, charge transfer and ligands effect are evaluated. The charge transfer analysis shows the positive charges on the metal coordinated frameworks play an essential role in improving the electrochemical properties of the metal coordinated frameworks. Based on the calculations, design principles are introduced to rationally design and predict the electrochemical properties of metal coordinated frameworks as efficient catalysts for ORR and OER. An intrinsic descriptor is discovered for the first time, which can be used as a materials parameter for rational design of the metal coordinated frameworks for energy storage and conversion. The success of the design principles provides a better understanding of the mechanism behind ORR and OER and a screening approach for the best catalyst for energy storage and conversion.
A Detailed Investigation, Comparison, and Analysis of the Practice Habits of Undergraduate Vocal and Piano Performance Majors
For musicians of all kinds, practice is an essential component in establishing and refining their skills. How a musician learns the art of practicing, and at what point in their musical and cognitive development can vary drastically. The purpose of this research is to understand how two groups of musicians, undergraduate vocal performance majors and undergraduate piano performance majors, developed (or consequently failed to develop) their respective knowledge pertaining to effective practice prior to entering the university setting, and how their practice habits changed (or consequently failed to change) after beginning study with a university instructor. This is accomplished by comparing the practice habits of the two groups prior to entering the university setting, and, after gaining admission into the degree program. Findings are supplemented with recent research pertaining to the study of learning and various types of practice.
Detection of Generalizable Clone Security Coding Bugs Using Graphs and Learning Algorithms
This research methodology isolates coding properties and identifies the probability of security vulnerabilities using machine learning and historical data. Several approaches characterize the effectiveness of detecting security-related bugs that manifest as vulnerabilities, but none utilize vulnerability patch information. The main contribution of this research is a framework to analyze LLVM Intermediate Representation Code and merging core source code representations using source code properties. This research is beneficial because it allows source programs to be transformed into a graphical form and users can extract specific code properties related to vulnerable functions. The result is an improved approach to detect, identify, and track software system vulnerabilities based on a performance evaluation. The methodology uses historical function level vulnerability information, unique feature extraction techniques, a novel code property graph, and learning algorithms to minimize the amount of end user domain knowledge necessary to detect vulnerabilities in applications. The analysis shows approximately 99% precision and recall to detect known vulnerabilities in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Software Assurance Metrics and Tool Evaluation (SAMATE) project. Furthermore, 72% percent of the historical vulnerabilities in the OpenSSL testing environment were detected using a linear support vector classifier (SVC) model.
Development and Integration of a Low-Cost Occupancy Monitoring System
The world is getting busier and more crowded each year. Due to this fact resources such as public transport, available energy, and usable space are becoming congested and require vast amounts of logistical support. As of February 2018, nearly 95% of Americans own a mobile cell phone according to the Pew Research Center. These devices are consistently broadcasting their presents to other devices. By leveraging this data to provide occupational awareness of high traffic areas such as public transit stops, buildings, etc logistic efforts can be streamline to best suit the dynamics of the population. With the rise of The Internet of Things, a scalable low-cost occupancy monitoring system can be deployed to collect this broadcasted data and present it to logistics in real time. Simple IoT devices such as the Raspberry Pi, wireless cards capable of passive monitoring, and the utilization of specialized software can provide this capability. Additionally, this combination of hardware and software can be integrated in a way to be as simple as a typical plug and play set up making system deployment quick and easy. This effort details the development and integration work done to deliver a working product acting as a foundation to build upon. Machine learning algorithms such as k-Nearest-Neighbors were also developed to estimate a mobile device's approximate location inside a building.
Development of a Wireless Sensor Network System for Occupancy Monitoring
The ways that people use libraries have changed drastically over the past few decades. Proliferation of computers and the internet have led to the purpose of libraries expanding from being only places where information is stored, to spaces where people teach, learn, create, and collaborate. Due to this, the ways that people occupy the space in a library have also changed. To keep up with these changes and improve patron experience, institutions collect data to determine how their spaces are being used. This thesis involves the development a system that collects, stores, and analyzes data relevant to occupancy to learn how a space is being utilized. Data is collected from a temperature and humidity sensor, passive Infrared sensor, and an Infrared thermal sensor array to observe people as they occupy and move through a space. Algorithms were developed to analyze the collected sensor data to determine how many people are occupying a space or the directions that people are moving through a space. The algorithms demonstrate the ability to track multiple people moving through a space as well as count the number of people in a space with an RMSE of roughly 0.39 people.
Development of an Observation System to Measure Narratives of a Teaching Interaction
Having a measurable way to analyze how staff members describe teaching interactions is important for staff training and building a community of effective and caring practice. The purpose of this project, part of a larger program, is to develop a measurement system that captures descriptions of connected events (narratives) during teaching interactions. This project involved development of a reliable measurement system that discriminates between experienced and novice narratives of teaching interactions (contingency arrangements) across multiple cases of instruction. The participants were employees of a non-profit agency serving children with autism and their families. They volunteered to participate in the study. The development of the code included the systematic selection of high quality autism intervention video clips and asking participants to view the clips and describe events, and then coding responses. The participant narratives were then categorized by themes and analyzed. The results are described in the context of usefulness and limitations of the measurement systems. A mutielement design comparing responses across stimulus conditions was used to evaluate the sensitivity of the measurement system in discriminating between novice and experienced interventionists.
Direct Assessment of Quality of Care in a Memory-Care Residential Setting: A Systematic Replication
The quality of care of residents in nursing homes receive is an important issue facing our society, and reliable methods to assess and measure important indicators of quality of care are necessary to ensure that nursing homes are providing adequate services. Previous researchers have developed methodologies to evaluate indicators of quality of care, including environmental conditions, resident conditions, resident activities, and staff activities using momentary-time sampling procedures across a variety of settings and populations. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend the time-sampling methodology used in previous research in two units in a nursing home.
Dis/Appearance, In/Visibility and the Transitioning Body on Social Media: A Post-Qualitative and Multimodal Inquiry
In this theoretical and creative sensory-rich multimodal dissertation, encompassing video, audio, photography, a graphic novel, interactive timeline, and other creative visual/textual provocations, I focus on transgender subjectivity and gender transition (re)presentations on social media. The theoretical framework of the study relies on Judith Butler's notions of performativity and precarity and Julia Serano's considerations on oppositional and cis- sexism. From the review of the literature, I analyze transgender histories and theories as well as contested areas of research in qualitative and post-qualitative approaches to inquiry. Influenced by the theories, inquiries, speculations, and experiences that emerged from the study, I aim to move beyond conventional qualitative research that has become normalized and regimented and beyond book form dissertations in favor of digital dissertations that use nontraditional multimodal formats. I use personal learning network (PLN) sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Tumblr and the dissertation website as research constellations. These assemblages are comprised of theoretical and creative proximal bodies of knowledge with high levels of connectivity and contingency, a phenomenon I argue is needed to rethink how transgender knowledges and ontologies are learned, transferred, and (re)created via social media. This study also suggests that the analytical constructs of dis/appearance, in/visibility, and trans/digressions shed light on how gender precarity performs transitioning bodies in the physical and digital world. I draw tentative conclusions in terms of future inspirations and movements for art and art education with/in post-qualitative inquiry and transgender theory, in particular, a shift into multimodal, trans-affirmative and inclusive experiences and pedagogies.
Disaster Preparedness in Escambia County: The Influence of Oral Narratives
This work addresses hurricane preparedness in Escambia County, Florida. It explores preparing for hurricanes as an informal learning process occurring within personal networks and embedded in beliefs, values, and attitudes. Findings reveal that participants learned to prepare from their parents in childhood and improved upon that knowledge through direct experience in adulthood. Later, they passed this knowledge on to their children as well as co-workers. These preparations are embedded in beliefs of self-determination and attitudes of endurance. However, this body of knowledge and their respective practices are not equally accessible to all. Recommendations are provided so local organizations can incorporate local knowledge and practices with preparedness improvement efforts and foster social cohesion as well.
Discovering Solutions: How are Journalists Applying Solutions Journalism to Change the Way News is Reported and What Do They Hope to Accomplish?
Solutions journalism, rigorous reporting on responses to social problems, has gained great traction in the last decade. Using positive psychology theory, also known as the theory of well-being, this qualitative study examines the impact of reporting while using solutions journalism techniques. Applying the five pillars of positive psychology theory: positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment (PERMA), this study used interviews and content analysis to investigate how journalists are applying the tools of solutions journalism as well as what they hope to accomplish in the process. Findings revealed that the application of solutions journalism techniques produces hope and community engagement resulting in flourishing and positive change for individuals, communities and all involved in the reporting process.
Distributed Consensus, Optimization and Computation in Networked Systems
In the first part of this thesis, we propose a distributed consensus algorithm under multi-layer multi-group structure with communication time delays. It is proven that the consensus will be achieved in both time-varying and fixed communication delays. In the second part, we study the distributed optimization problem with a finite-time mechanism. It is shown that our distributed proportional-integral algorithm can exponentially converge to the unique global minimizer when the gain parameters satisfy the sufficient conditions. Moreover, we equip the proposed algorithm with a decentralized algorithm, which enables an arbitrarily chosen agent to compute the exact global minimizer within a finite number of time steps, using its own states observed over a successive time steps. In the third part, it is shown the implementation of accelerated distributed energy management for microgrids is achieved. The results presented in the thesis are corroborated by simulations or experiments.
DOES THE METHOD OF FINANCING STOCK REPURCHASES MATTER? Examining the Financing of Share Buybacks and its Effect on Future Firm Investments and Value
Recent increases in stock repurchases among U.S. corporations coupled with a historically low cost of debt since the Global Financial Crisis has created media speculation that firms in recent years are paying for their expanding share buyback programs with debt. Repurchasing stock by increasing leverage, instead of using internal funds, implies that managers may speculate on current low interest rate environments at the expense of shareholders. Recent studies find that stock repurchases are associated with reductions in future firm employment and investments such as capital expenditures and research and development expenses. This study expands on prior studies by evaluating how debt-financed stock repurchases affect firm investment, investigating the likelihood of these repurchases in low interest rate environments and assessing the effects on firm value. Results confirm that, in recent years, debt-financed repurchases have increased substantially and the probability of debt-financed repurchases increases in the presence of low interest rates. This relationship is especially pronounced in the years following the Global Financial Crisis. Debt-financed repurchases are associated with small reductions in firm investment; however, these reductions are significantly less after adjusting for industry conditions. Finally, there is little evidence that the method of financing repurchases affects firm value nor does it increase a firm's operating performance.
The Double Down: The Autoethnography of Navigating as Black American Male Instructing Preservice Teachers Methods of Teaching Social Studies
This inquiry is an autoethnography of my experiences as a Black American male serving as a methods of social studies instructor to preservice teachers. Although some may deem this study as subjective, I have embraced that designation to provide insider information to others that face intersectionality and to inform institutional practices in teacher education programs.
Educator Perceptions of Forces Influencing Implementation of a Statewide Writing Portfolio Assessment
Leaders of the 84th Texas Legislature drafted and ratified HB 1164 (2015), prompting the Texas Education Agency to pilot a portfolio assessment option for assessing student writing growth and proficiency. The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions, characterize the experiences, and identify the forces that influenced initial implementation of the statewide writing pilot. Through interviews with district leaders and the collection of open-ended questionnaires from participating educators, a collective case study method was conducted and allowed for analysis of cross-case themes. The identification of restraining and driving forces affecting implementation of the statewide pilot program provided insight into considerations for next steps in the evaluation of student writing achievement and growth. Three primary perceptions emerged as restraining forces influencing implementation: influences of inadequate funding, inconsistencies of implementation, and navigation of multiple assessment systems. Six primary themes related to driving forces influencing implementation were identified: using sociocultural and authentic methods, engaging in reflective practices, increasing volume and variety of writing opportunities, assessing student growth, aligning methods of instruction and assessment, and reducing stress for students. Effective professional development, dependent upon funding and staffing allocations; two-way channels of communication for participant reflection and feedback; and effective assessment structures must be aligned with the purpose and goals of a student-centered assessment system, which requires collaborative conversations between policy makers, state-level decision makers, and educators.
The Effects of an Instructional Package on the Emergence of Novel Intraverbals in Children with Autism
We evaluated the effects of an instructional package on the emergence of novel intraverbals in children diagnosed with autism. Participants were two boys with a diagnosis of autism who had tact and listener repertoires for common objects and events, some intraverbal responses, and showed an ability to learn new intraverbal responses through direct instruction prior to participating in the study. Tact training, listener training, sorting training, and mixed training (listener and tact training) were conducted with each participant, with a probe to test for emergent intraverbals following each training step. If some emergence was seen during a probe following a training step, probes were conducted with the remaining sets to test for emergence in those sets as well. Multiple-exemplar training was conducted following the training steps if all targets within a set did not meet the criterion for emergence during probes. Results showed that for one participant, all four training steps, in addition to multiple-exemplar training, were needed to see emergence in all targets during probes for two sets, with the last two sets requiring only tact training before all targets had emerged during probes. The second participant required only tact training during three sets, with listener training required for one target in one set before all targets in all sets emerged during probes.
Effects of Cultural Intelligence and Social Support on Adjustment of International Students
The purpose of this study was to investigate direct and interaction effects of cultural intelligence and social support on the adjustment of international students to U.S. higher education. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to test (a) if cultural intelligence was a predictor for adjustment of international students to U.S. higher education; (b) if social support was a predictor for adjustment of international students to U.S. higher education; and (c) if there was an interaction effect between cultural intelligence and social support on international students' adjustment to U.S. higher education. The participants included 262 international students from a southwestern university. The results found only social support from the university was a significant predictor of international students' adjustment. There was no interaction effect between cultural intelligence and social support from any sources on international students' adjustment.
The Effects of Graphic Organizers on Building Comprehension in Students on the Autism Spectrum
Many students on the autism spectrum display a strong ability to process and comprehend information at elevated levels when presented with it visually. Despite this, students who have autism are increasingly being educated in general education content classrooms that utilize lessons directed to whole groups of students and limit the use of visually presented material. For some students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this presentation introduces difficulties related to attention as well as comprehension and retention of material. Research indicates promising results associated with using a graphic organizer to increase comprehension accuracy in students who answer wh-questions following the reading of a short passage. The purpose of this study was to document the relationship between using a graphic organizer and increasing reading comprehension. The study employed a single-subject multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate if the use of a graphic organizer impacted the correctness of answering wh-questions for grade-level social studies content. Participants included four eighth grade students in an urban public school who had been diagnosed with ASD. Results supported research by showing an increase in comprehension skills with the use of a graphic organizer.
The Effects of Modeling and Coaching on Verbal Narratives of Teaching Interactions by Novice Behavior Analysts
Research has shown that well-trained staff within early and intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) provide more effective treatment. An important part of training is learning the vocabulary and concepts of treatment. This aids in conceptual understanding of the principles and procedures. The process of learning behavioral concepts also develops the necessary verbal repertoire needed to communicate among members of a community of practice; a group of people who have common reinforcers and are working toward a common goal. Learning to tact a series of sequential descriptions, or verbally narrate, exemplary teaching interactions should be a goal when teaching behavior analysis because it is how we, as a community, interact and establish an understanding of behavior analysis. The purpose of the current study is to train novice behavior analysts to narrate exemplary intervention sequences that are responsive, flexible, and effective teaching interactions. The effects of the training were evaluated using a multiple baseline design across training conditions, replicated across 3 participants. The results suggest that the training was effective in increasing the number of narrative statements as well as the number of narrative statements related to five critical features of a teaching interaction and the relations between those features. The results are discussed in the context of future research directions, including studies of correspondence between verbal behavior and teaching interaction performance.