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The Acceptance and Use of Cloud Computing Services by Small and Medium Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria

Description: This study explored the acceptance of cloud computing (CC) services by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lagos, Nigeria, which has been missing from CC services literature. It aimed to understand the motivations for adoption, the uses of the services, and the benefits they derive from it. The uses and gratification theory was applied as the theoretic framework for this endeavor. An online survey with close-ended and open-ended questions was distributed to 1200 randomly selected participants through email. In total, 392 valid responses were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics and categories. The results found that SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria had a low level of awareness and appreciation of CC services. The adoption rate was also low. Unlike their counterparts in other regions, SMEs primary concerns were service downtime, stable power supply, and better internet access. The study found that SMEs were not taking full advantage of the capabilities of CC services. Some sections, however, were doing better than others, such as the information and communications sub-sector. This study suggested that targeted interventions should be conducted to raise the awareness of CC services in SMEs, and to improve their efficient and effective use of CC services. The uses and gratification theory was appropriate for guiding this study to understand the acceptance and use of CC services by SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Azogu, Olajumoke O

Adequacy and Equity: How the Texas Supreme Court's Perceptions Have Changed Over the Past 50 Years

Description: The purpose of this study identifies state court cases involving public school finance specifically related to adequacy and equity in funding. Results address how state court cases have challenged the constitutionality of school finance in the United States, including Texas, over the last 50 years. The study further shows how the decisions from previous cases have influenced the Supreme Court of Texas decision in the Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness litigation.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Ford, Daniel William

Age Friendly Cities: The Bureaucratic Responsiveness Effects on Age Friendly Policy Adoption

Description: Challenging a long-held attachment to the medical model, this research develops a cultural model placing local governments at the center of policy making and refocusing policy attention on mobility, housing, the built environment and services. To examine the phenomenon of age friendly policy adoption by cities and the magnitude of adoption, a 21-question web-based survey was administered to a sample of 1,050 cities from the U.S. Census having a population over 10,000 and having at least 14% of their population aged 65 years and over. The goal of the questionnaire was to help identify what kind of policy objectives cities establish to facilitate the opportunity for older adults to live healthy and independent lives in their communities as they age. Multiple linear and ordinal regression models examined the likelihood of policy action by cities and provide evidence as to why some cities support more age friendly policy actions than others. Evidence illustrates theoretical advancement providing support for a cultural model of aging. The cultural model includes multiple factors including bureaucratic responsiveness reflected in the management values of the administration. Findings show variation in the integration of a cultural awareness of aging in the municipality's needs assessment, strategic goals, citizen engagement strategies, and budgetary principles. Cities with a cultural awareness of aging are more likely to adopt age friendly policies. Findings also provide support for the argument that the public administrator is not the driving sole factor in decision making. A shared spaced with mobilized citizen need of individuals 65 and over is identified.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Keyes, Laura Marie

An Analysis of Litigation against Kansas Educators and School Districts under the Kansas Tort Claims Act

Description: This dissertation examines the significance of the Kansas Tort Claims Act of 1979 on state of Kansas court decisions in litigation against Kansas school districts and their employees. Through providing a historical perspective of the adoption and abolishment of the doctrine of sovereign immunity in the United States, which subsequently led to the enactment of the Federal Tort Claims Act, and ultimately led to the Kansas Tort Claims Act, the researcher analyzes pertinent case law and scholarly commentary pertaining to school negligence litigation. The goal of the analysis is to answer the following research question: How have Kansas state courts interpreted the Kansas Tort Claims Act in litigation against state school districts and their employees? Although the KTCA provides citizens with a vehicle for redress against governmental entities by virtue of tort claims, the KTCA also provides immunities from liability for governmental entities and their employees under exceptions to the KTCA. Most notably, the discretionary function exception and the recreational use exception are two exceptions to liability applied in a significant number of tort cases against Kansas school districts and employees. The case law analysis provides explanations for the types of actions of negligence that Kansas courts have qualified for school district or school employee liability, and, when permitted, negligent actions that qualified for immunity under a KTCA exception to liability.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Perry, Shaun Patrick

Applied Use of Video Modeling in Educational and Clinical Settings: A Survey of Autism Professionals

Description: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display deficits in communication and social interaction that can impact their ability to function in daily environments. To remediate these deficits, it is critical for professionals to use effective interventions. While there are many evidence-based practices (EBPs) identified for ASD (e.g., video modeling), the adoption of these EBPs may not occur automatically. Existing research suggests professionals have a generally favorable impression of video modeling. However, little research has examined opinions and applied use of video modeling, which was the purpose of the present study. Using survey methodology, data were collected from 510 professionals in various disciplines (e.g., special educators, speech-language pathologists [SLPs], and behavior analysts [BCBAs]). Data were analyzed primarily via factor analysis and multiple regression. Factor analysis was used to examine the underlying structure of the instrument, revealing two predominant factors: (1) interest in and (2) perceived accessibility of video modeling. Multiple regression was used to examine which demographic characteristics (e.g., age and years of experience) were associated with each factor. Results indicated that BCBAs and SLPs perceived video modeling as more accessible. In terms of interest, professionals who worked with preschool-aged students, who worked in a suburban location, and who had an extended family member with ASD showed higher interest in video modeling. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Caldwell, Nicole

An Argument in Favor of the Saxhorn Basse (French Tuba) in the Modern Symphony Orchestra

Description: The French tuba was a much-needed addition to the brasswind musical instrument family, adding depth, projection and a unique color to French orchestral literature. Its ancestors the serpent and ophicleide both lacked the tonal stability and sonic power to adequately present the bass wind role in a robust orchestra. Through the efforts of its developer and patent-holder Adolphe Sax, the French tuba made converts among players and composers, effectively creating its own niche in music history. Musical tastes change however, and the French tuba has been largely supplanted by tubists using instruments twice its size. Since French composers composed specifically with the distinct timbre of the French tuba in mind, this unique and characteristic musical entity deserves a resurgence in performances of French orchestral repertoire.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kleinsteuber, Carl

Artistic Decision Making and Implications for Engaging Theatrically Gifted and Talented Students in Non-Arts Classes

Description: This cognitive ethnographic study explored the mental processes that professional actors used when making artistic choices while engaged in creative practices to begin a conversation about how the theatrically gifted and talented population is viewed, researched, and educated in non-arts subjects. Professional actors at two sites were observed, videotaped, and interviewed over several rehearsals during play production. The major thematic findings indicated that artistic decision making results from actors engaging in a cyclical process of private work, affective validation, and collaboration. Implications for teaching theatrically gifted students call for classroom environments and processes that echo theatrical rehearsal structures, while engaging the imagination through personal connection and discovery.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Willerson, Amy

Becoming Successful in Education: Beating the Odds, Despite a Background Entrenched in Poverty

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of three relationships on academic achievement in mathematics in students of poverty. The three factors that were examined included: teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer- student relationships. The driving question for the research was as follows: Do external factors such as teacher-student relationships, parent-student relationships and peer-student relationships lead to academic success for students of poverty? The study employed a non-experimental, quantitative approach and utilized longitudinal data from a national database High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS) used a sample of 944 public and private high schools across the USA. A total 0f 28,240 were represented in the survey. Of these 28,240 students, 2641 were used in this study as identified by parental income below the poverty threshold. The outcome of the study indicated that there was little or no correlation between the three relationships and mathematics achievement (academic success). Correlations between the dependent variable (math achievement) and the independent variables even though some were statistically significant their weights had no concrete significance. The study recommends that several initiatives can be instated in schools to support and enhance academic achievement in students of poverty.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Thompson, Pauline A

Building an Effective Piano Technique while Avoiding Injury: A Comparison of the Exercises in Alfred Cortot's "Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique" and Carl Tausig's "Daily Studies for the Pianoforte"

Description: It is the teacher's responsibility to guide students in building an effective and injury-free piano technique. Improper technique, poor training and bad posture at the instrument all may cause problems such as lack of muscle control, weakness, or tension in the hands. Many teachers are interested in finding information about specific exercises dealing with finger strengthening, stretching, and warm-up strategies, as well as guidelines for safe practicing. It is therefore important for both teachers and students to understand how to build a technique from the earliest years of instruction. Carl Tausig (1841-1871) and Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) both contributed to the development of piano technique by writing books that include a significant number of exercises and excerpts. Their books incorporate detailed instructions on how to play each exercise effectively and without fatigue. Subsequently, Heinrich Ehrlich (1822-1899) collected and systematically arranged Tausig's notes, complementing them with detailed information on how to play Tausig's exercises without causing injury. This dissertation compares and contrasts the exercises found in Alfred Cortot's book, Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique, and Carl Tausig's book, Daily Studies for the Pianoforte. The latter is based on the practical guidebook, How to Practise on the Piano: Reflections and Suggestions, written by Heinrich Ehrlich. Included in this study are references to the performing arts medical literature dealing with pianists' injuries. By comparing two different historical piano methods and considering their effectiveness in light of modern medical performance research, this dissertation aims to help teachers to determine which methods might be better for students to build a solid piano technique without injuring themselves.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Woo, Lae Hyung

Catastrophe in Permanence: Benjamin's Natural History of Environmental Crisis

Description: Walter Benjamin warned in 1940 of a certain inconspicuous threat to political thinking, not least of all to materialism, that takes progress as an historical norm. Implicit in this conception is what he describes as an empty continuum of time along which the prevailing tradition chronicles its own mythic development and drains everyday life of genuine historical experience. The myth of progressive history advances insidiously today in consumeristic and technocratic attempts at reconciling cultural imagery with organic nature. In this dissertation, I pursue the contradictions of such images as they crystallize around the natural history of twenty-first century commodity society, where promises of ecological remediation, sustainable urban development, and climate change mitigation have yet to introduce a true crisis of historical experience to the ongoing environmental crisis of capitalism. A more radical way of seeing the cultural representation of nature would, I argue, penetrate its mythic determination by market forces and bear witness to the natural-historical ruins and traces that constitute, in Benjamin's terms, a single "catastrophe" where others perceive historical continuity. I argue that Benjamin's critique of progress is instructive to interpreting those utopian dreams, ablaze in consumer life and technological fantasy, that recent decades of growing environmental concern have channeled into the recovery of an experience of the natural world. His dialectics of nature and alienated history confront the wish-image of organic abundance with the transience of its appropriated expression in the commodity-form. Drawing together this confrontation with a varied literature on collective memory, nature, and the city, I suggest that our poverty of experience is more than simply a technical, economic, or even ecological problem, but rather follows from the commodification of history itself. The goal of this work is to reflect upon the potentiality of communal politics that subsist not in rushing headlong into a progressive ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bower, Matthew S

Characteristics of Mothers among Counselor Education Faculty

Description: Pre-tenured faculty in higher education and as well as mothers have reportedly struggled with low wellness levels, high demands, little social support, and an imbalance of work and home life. Mothers in higher education and in counselor education have reported struggling with work-life balance, high scholarly productivity, and long hours as well as the emotional and physical energy demands of working with counselors-in-training. A search of the professional literature revealed a paucity of quantitative research regarding demographic characteristics, wellness levels, and social support levels of mothers among counselor education faculty (MCEs). Participants for this study were faculties of counselor education programs recruited from the Holland List of Counseling Programs and from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs online directory. A total of 180 MCEs participated (aged 29-63, with mean age 40.6 years; 83% Caucasian, 8% other, 5% African American, 3% Hispanic, <1% Asian). Results showed that faculty rank did not account for a significant difference among wellness scores of MCEs and that reported social support, tenure or non-tenure track, number of children in the care of MCEs, number of children under age 8, number of publications, and teaching workload accounted for 14% of the variance in wellness levels of MCEs. Specifically, reported higher teaching workload (β = -.194, rs2 = .35, p = .012) and higher social support (β = -.258, rs2 = .36, p = <.001) were found to be significant predictors of lower wellness levels among MCEs, both with small effects. Based on these results, MCEs may benefit from advocating that their departments and universities adapt to their unique needs to improve their levels of wellness and social support through mentoring, which, in turn, may result in not only their own increased productivity but also their students' increased wellness levels.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Jimenez, Kyrstin Anne

The Civic Roles of Neighborhood Associations in Seoul, Korea: Implications for Urban Governance

Description: This dissertation answers three research questions: "What differences and similarities exist among neighborhood associations in the United States, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea?," "What are the civic roles of neighborhood associations in apartment complexes in Seoul, South Korea?," and "What factors promote neighborhood associations to play civic roles in urban governance?" To answer the first question, this research analyzes the purposes, governance structures, roles, and legal substance of neighborhood associations by reviewing previous studies, public and legal documents, court cases in the U.S., and by conducting interviews. To answer the second and the third questions, a 2016 survey, "Understanding the Roles of Neighborhood Associations in Urban Governance" was conducted with 154 representatives of neighborhood associations in Seoul. Social capital theory, government failure theory, and third party government theory were used to create hypotheses that test proposed relationships about neighborhood interactions, community characteristics, and the civic roles played by neighborhood associations. The findings show that neighborhood associations have adopted several roles including service provider, partner in public service delivery for local government, and advocate for residents in urban governance. The findings also show that social capital created by neighborhood interactions and community characteristics facilitates neighborhood associations to play civic roles in urban governance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kim, Jung Wook

Collective Security and Coalition: British Grand Strategy, 1783-1797

Description: On 1 February 1793, the National Convention of Revolutionary France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands, expanding the list of France's enemies in the War of the First Coalition. Although British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger had predicted fifteen years of peace one year earlier, the French declaration of war initiated nearly a quarter century of war between Britain and France with only a brief respite during the Peace of Amiens. Britain entered the war amid both a nadir in British diplomacy and internal political divisions over the direction of British foreign policy. After becoming prime minister in 1783 in the aftermath of the War of American Independence, Pitt pursued financial and naval reform to recover British strength and cautious interventionism to end Britain's diplomatic isolation in Europe. He hoped to create a collective security system based on the principles of the territorial status quo, trade agreements, neutral rights, and resolution of diplomatic disputes through mediation - armed mediation if necessary. While his domestic measures largely met with success, Pitt's foreign policy suffered from a paucity of like-minded allies, contradictions between traditional hostility to France and emergent opposition to Russian expansion, Britain's limited ability to project power on the continent, and the even more limited will of Parliament to support such interventionism. Nevertheless, Pitt's collective security goal continued to shape British strategy in the War of the First Coalition, and the same challenges continued to plague the British war effort. This led to failure in the war and left the British fighting on alone after the Treaty of Campo Formio secured peace between France and its last continental foe, Austria, on 18 October 1797.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Jarrett, Nathaniel W

Coming Out: The Lived Experiences of LGB College Students who Feel Supported by Their Parents

Description: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how LGB college students created meaning out of their coming out process to their parents. I recruited LGB college students who perceived support from their parents during their coming out process and asked the following research question: What are the lived experiences of LGB college students who have experienced support from their parents during the coming out process? Seven White (n = 4), African American (n = 2), and Hispanic (n = 1) college students, three men and four women aged 18-24 years, shared narratives that included time periods before, during, and after their coming out disclosures to their parents. Using an adapted phenomenological analysis, I identified nine major themes: awareness of feeling different, positive relationship with parents prior to coming out, college impacting the coming out process, feeling unsure of how parents would respond to disclosure, parents assuring continued loved and acceptance, parents affirming LGB identity, increased relational depth with parents, increased sense of authenticity, and an appreciation for family's response and support. The findings provide insight into how counselors might work most beneficially with LGB college students and their parents around the coming out process. Opportunities for future research and limitations of the study are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Price, Eric W

Community College Student Retention and Completion based on Financial Expenditures and Hispanic-Serving Status

Description: Despite declining community college funding being allocated increasingly on the basis of student success, U.S. community college student retention and completion rates over the past decade have either remained steady or decreased, especially for Latino students. Using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models with secondary data procured from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), I analyzed student success rates—full time student retention and completion rates—based on community college financial allocations and Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) status. To equitably analyze community colleges in the sample (n = 909), I separated them into four groups based on institutional size as defined by the Carnegie Classification. Descriptive results indicated that instructional divisions spent an average of 43% of the college's total allocated budget—often more than three times the allocated budget of any other division. Regression results indicated that instructional expenditures had the most consistent impact on student success regardless of college size and that scholarship expenditures and academic support expenditures generally had a negative impact on student retention and completion rates. Regarding Latino student success in particular, findings indicated that the manner in which colleges allocated their funds impacted only small and medium-sized community colleges. Of the nine different types of institutional expenditures, only student services expenditures and public services expenditures had a statistically significant impact on Latino student success. Additionally regression analysis indicated that community college HSI status did not have a large impact on overall full-time student retention and completion rates but did have a significant impact on full-time Hispanic student retention and completion rates for all institution sizes. Findings of this study confirmed that HSI status does impact Latino student success in public community colleges. This finding is consistent with prior studies on the positive impact of instructional expenditures on student success rates. Further research on the specific elements within ...
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Date: May 2017
Creator: DaSilva, Jose E.

Composer/Performer Collaboration as Seen in the Solo Piano Part of Percy Grainger's Edition of the Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16

Description: The purpose of this document is threefold. First, it demonstrates what Grieg contributes to the musical text compared with the original Peters edition, particularly, those additions that refer to expression, interpretation, and style. Second, this document focuses on presenting Grainger's changes that were approved by Grieg. Third, the document evaluates Grainger's own suggestions for pedaling, hand redistribution and fingering, addition of notes, tempo markings, and other performance guidelines.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Lee, Sung Yo

Consequences of Coworker Bullying: A Bystander Perspective

Description: Previous research on workplace bullying primarily focuses on two main actors – the bully and the victim – while neglecting a third actor: the bystander of the bullying. The prevalence of workplace bullying is increasing across organizations, resulting in more employees becoming subjected to the effects of workplace bullying. Furthermore, witnessing coworker-on-coworker bullying is likely to influence the relationships that the bystander has with the two coworkers involved in the bullying episode. Two areas are proposed to investigate their effect on the coworker bystander: coworker interpersonal justice and personal identification with coworkers. Coworker interpersonal justice involves the perceived fairness between coworkers, while personal identification refers to how these bystanders identify with the specific actors of the bullying event. In addition to work-related outcomes, bystanders are affected at a personal level. That is, being exposed to bullying situations causes these bystanders to alter their anxiety levels and their core affect, with core affect being a precursor to moods and emotions. In addition to the aforementioned outcomes of witnessing a coworker bullying incident, there are also contextual aspects which may influence these relationships. Personal-level factors, such as a bystander's empathy and sense of coherence (i.e., coping mechanisms), may influence the effect of witnessing a coworker being bullied. Similarly, the gender of the victim in relation to the gender of the bystander may also play a role. Using affective events theory, I investigate how witnessing coworker bullying in the workplace effects bystanders. This research employs a 2 x 2 experimental design with multi-wave data collection and an in-person lab session to test the proposed hypotheses. AET is operationalized by creating a fictional coworker bullying situation in which observers are either exposed to the bullying situation or not. This research offers several contributions to the management literature as well as to practitioners. First, it ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Medina, Michele Nicole

Construct Validation and Measurement Invariance of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory for Educational Settings

Description: The present study examined the factor structure and measurement invariance of the revised version of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI-28), following adjustment of the wording of items such that they were appropriate to assess Coping Skills in an educational setting. A sample of middle school students (n = 1,037) completed the revised inventory. An initial confirmatory factor analysis led to the hypothesis of a better fitting model with two items removed. Reliability of the subscales and the instrument as a whole was acceptable. Items were examined for sex invariance with differential item functioning (DIF) using item response theory, and five items were flagged for significant sex non-invariance. Following removal of these items, comparison of the mean differences between male and female coping scores revealed that there was no significant difference between the two groups. Further examination of the generalizability of the coping construct and the potential transfer of psychosocial skills between athletic and academic settings are warranted.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Sanguras, Laila Y

A Content Analysis of Medical School Problem-Based Learning Cases

Description: Problem-based learning (PBL) was developed for use in medical education to incorporate more active, learner-centered instruction. Central to problem-based learning is the problem, which in medical education is usually case a case presentation, revealed in stages to allow learners to form and research learning objectives. The purpose of this study was to identify themes present across the PBL cases, including the patient-centeredness of the cases. Content analysis was used to examine 62 PBL cases that comprised the first and second years' core curriculum at a public medical school. The cases included a patient population similar to the local population, but care was more hospital-centric than would be expected from the actual patterns of medical utilization in the United States. Analyzing along two axes of patient-centeredness, the PBL cases demonstrated a good understanding of the patient (knowing the patient), but other qualities such as shared decision making was not as exemplified. Medical educators can use the results to understand elements that contribute to patient-centeredness and apply the analysis framework to evaluate future cases.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kinkade, Scott Edward

Content and Temporal Analysis of Communications to Predict Task Cohesion in Software Development Global Teams

Description: Virtual teams in industry are increasingly being used to develop software, create products, and accomplish tasks. However, analyzing those collaborations under same-time/different-place conditions is well-known to be difficult. In order to overcome some of these challenges, this research was concerned with the study of collaboration-based, content-based and temporal measures and their ability to predict cohesion within global software development projects. Messages were collected from three software development projects that involved students from two different countries. The similarities and quantities of these interactions were computed and analyzed at individual and group levels. Results of interaction-based metrics showed that the collaboration variables most related to Task Cohesion were Linguistic Style Matching and Information Exchange. The study also found that Information Exchange rate and Reply rate have a significant and positive correlation to Task Cohesion, a factor used to describe participants' engagement in the global software development process. This relation was also found at the Group level. All these results suggest that metrics based on rate can be very useful for predicting cohesion in virtual groups. Similarly, content features based on communication categories were used to improve the identification of Task Cohesion levels. This model showed mixed results, since only Work similarity and Social rate were found to be correlated with Task Cohesion. This result can be explained by how a group's cohesiveness is often associated with fairness and trust, and that these two factors are often achieved by increased social and work communications. Also, at a group-level, all models were found correlated to Task Cohesion, specifically, Similarity+Rate, which suggests that models that include social and work communication categories are also good predictors of team cohesiveness. Finally, temporal interaction similarity measures were calculated to assess their prediction capabilities in a global setting. Results showed a significant negative correlation between the Pacing Rate and ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Castro Hernandez, Alberto

A Content Originality Analysis of HRD Focused Dissertations and Published Academic Articles using TurnItIn Plagiarism Detection Software

Description: This empirical exploratory study quantitatively analyzed content similarity indices (potential plagiarism) from a corpus consisting of 360 dissertations and 360 published articles. The population was defined using the filtering search criteria human resource development, training and development, organizational development, career development, or HRD. This study described in detail the process of collecting content similarity analysis (CSA) metadata using Turnitin software (www.turnitin.com). This researcher conducted robust descriptive statistics, a Wilcoxon signed-rank statistic between the similarity indices before and after false positives were excluded, and a multinomial logistic regression analysis to predict levels of plagiarism for the dissertations and the published articles. The corpus of dissertations had an adjusted rate of document similarity (potential plagiarism) of M = 9%, (SD = 6%) with 88.1% of the dissertations in the low level of plagiarism, 9.7% in the high and 2.2% in the excessive group. The corpus of published articles had an adjusted rate of document similarity (potential plagiarism) of M = 11%, (SD = 10%) with 79.2% of the published articles in the low level of plagiarism, 12.8% in the high and 8.1% in the excessive group. Most of the difference between the dissertations and published articles were attributed to plagiarism-of-self issues which were absent in the dissertations. Statistics were also conducted which returned a statistically significant justification for employing the investigative process of removing false positives, thereby adjusting the Turnitin results. This study also found two independent variables (reference and word counts) that predicted dissertation membership in the high (.15-.24) and excessive level (.25-1.00) of plagiarism and published article membership in the excessive level (.25-1.00) of plagiarism. I used multinomial logistic regression to establish the optimal prediction model. The multinomial logistic regression results for the dissertations returned a Nagelkerke pseudo R2 of .169 and for the published articles a Nagelkerke pseudo R2 ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Mayes, Robin James

Culturally Competent Evaluations

Description: Significant growth in the number of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools is anticipated to continue, demanding that educators and evaluators have the skills necessary to distinguishing language difference from disability and provide appropriate services to these students. However, little research exists examining the role of evaluator's cultural competence in evaluating ELLs for special education; furthermore, what does exist shows that many evaluators report low levels of self-efficacy as it relates to assessing ELLs. The first chapter of the dissertation reports on a review of 21 articles conducted to address best practices for evaluating culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners, evaluator self-efficacy, and recommendations for conducting culturally competent assessments and evaluations. The majority of the articles identified in this review focused on recommendations for best practices for conducting evaluations rather than reporting empirical findings related to the topic. Only one study was identified that focused on appropriate training needed by evaluation staff to effectively discriminate between language difference and a disability. Based on the findings of this review, additional research, using a rigorous methodology is needed. Addressing that need, the second chapter reports the results of a study conducted to examine the effectiveness of Project PEAC3E (Preparing Evaluators to Accurately Conduct Culturally Competent Evaluations), a reform-oriented professional development model, using case-based activities designed to increase evaluators' sense of self-efficacy, cultural competence, and the accuracy of evaluator eligibility decisions for English language learners (ELLs). The study found that Project PEAC3E was effective in increasing evaluator self-efficacy.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Chen, Cristina Rodriguez

Design Considerations and Implementation of Portable Mass Spectrometers for Environmental Applications

Description: Portable mass spectrometers provide a unique opportunity to obtain in situ measurements. This minimizes need for sample collection or in laboratory analysis. Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS) utilizing a semi permeable membrane for selective rapid introduction for analysis. Polydimethylsiloxane membranes have been proven to be robust in selecting for aromatic chemistries. Advances in front end design have allowed for increased sensitivity, rapid sample analysis, and on line measurements. Applications of the membrane inlet technique have been applied to environmental detection of clandestine drug chemistries and pollutants. Emplacement of a mass spectrometer unit in a vehicle has allowed for large areas to be mapped, obtaining a rapid snapshot of the various concentrations and types of environmental pollutants present. Further refinements and miniaturization have allowed for a backpackable system for analysis in remote harsh environments. Inclusion of atmospheric dispersion modeling has yielded an analytical method of approximating upwind source locations, which has law enforcement, military, and environmental applications. The atmospheric dispersion theories have further been applied to an earth based separation, whereby chemical properties are used to approximate atmospheric mobility, and chemistries are further identified has a portable mass spectrometer is traversed closer to a point source.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Mach, Phillip Michael

Design Principle on Carbon Nanomaterials Electrocatalysts for Energy Storage and Conversion

Description: We are facing an energy crisis because of the limitation of the fossil fuel and the pollution caused by burning it. Clean energy technologies, such as fuel cells and metal-air batteries, are studied extensively because of this high efficiency and less pollution. Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are essential in the process of energy storage and conversion, and noble metals (e.g. Pt) are needed to catalyze the critical chemical reactions in these devices. Functionalized carbon nanomaterials such as heteroatom-doped and molecule-adsorbed graphene can be used as metal-free catalysts to replace the expensive and scarce platinum-based catalysts for the energy storage and conversion. Traditionally, experimental studies on the catalytic performance of carbon nanomaterials have been conducted extensively, however, there is a lack of computational studies to guide the experiments for rapid search for the best catalysts. In addition, theoretical mechanism and the rational design principle towards ORR and OER also need to be fully understood. In this dissertation, density functional theory calculations are performed to calculate the thermodynamic and electrochemical properties of heteroatom-doped graphene and molecule-adsorbed graphene for ORR and OER. Gibb's free energy, overpotential, charge transfer and edge effect are evaluated. The charge transfer analysis show the positive charges on the graphene surface caused by the heteroatom, hetero-edges and the adsorbed organic molecules play an essential role in improving the electrochemical properties of the carbon nanomaterials. Based on the calculations, design principles are introduced to rationally design and predict the electrochemical properties of doped graphene and molecule-adsorbed graphene as metal-free 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-free catalysts with carbon nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion. The success of the design principle provides a better ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Zhao, Zhenghang