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African Refugee Parents' Involvement in Their Children's Schools: Barriers and Recommendations for Improvement

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine involvement of African refugee parents in the education of their elementary school children. The setting of the study was Northern and Southern Texas. African refugee parents and their children's teachers completed written surveys and also participated in interviews. In the study's mixed-method design, quantitative measures provided data about parent involvement at home, parent involvement at school, frequency of parent-teacher contact, quality of parent-teacher relationship, parent endorsement of children's schools, and barriers to parent involvement. Qualitative data from the open-ended questions provided data on barriers and strategies to improve involvement. Sixty-one African refugee parents responded to the survey and also participated in an in-depth face-to-face or telephone interview. Twenty teacher participants responded to an online survey. Quantitative data gathered from the parent and teacher surveys were analyzed using frequency distributions and analyses of variance. Qualitative data were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories using Weft QDA, an open-source qualitative analysis software. From these data, I identified barriers to African refugee parent involvement in their children's schools, as well as challenges that teachers face as they try to involve African refugee parents. Results of analyses of variance revealed statistically significant differences in parent involvement between African refugee parents with limited English proficiency and those with high English proficiency. A key finding of the research was that, whereas the overall level of parent involvement for African refugee parents was low, a major barrier to involvement was language. Teachers and parents cited enrolment in English as a second language programs as the best strategy to enhance parent involvement of African refugees. Additionally, parents who reported higher education levels were more involved in their children's education both at home and at school. All groups of African refugee parents reported high endorsement of their children's ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Githembe, Purity Kanini

A Catalog of Extinctions

Description: The preface describes the construction of a book-length, interwoven sequence of poems. This type of sequence differs from other types of poetry collections in its use of an overarching narrative, repeated images, and recurring characters. Three interwoven sequences are used as examples of how to construct such a sequence.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Casey, Edward Anthony

Chamber Music with Double Bass: A New Approach to Function and Pedagogy.

Description: The first part of the paper states the problem of the double bass not being incorporated into the chamber music program at many universities and the resulting lack of skills that can only be developed through this discipline. The double bass is trying to catch up with the other string instruments as it has been historically ignored, misunderstood and not as developed musically and technically. The historical background and current state of research are being examined to understand why this problem occurred in the first place, noting the vast amount of chamber music repertoire that is unknown and identifying some important but underperformed works. Further the pedagogical benefits of playing chamber music are discussed in order to realize the vital importance of integrating the double bass into the curriculum at major universities. Specific examples from the four major style periods are discussed in detail to show the benefits of studying this repertoire. Finally an implementation process is suggested to help change the current state of chamber music neglect as it pertains to the double bass.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Raschen, Gudrun

Cyberbullying: Responses of Adolescents and Parents toward Digital Aggression

Description: Cyberbullying is a category of bullying that occurs in the digital realm which affects our students at astonishing rates. Unlike traditional bullying, where displays of aggression may be evident to bystanders, the ramification of cyberbullying occurs through unconventional ways (e.g., text messaging; online weblogs; video sharing), which results in many cases being camouflaged by the advancement in technology. Nonetheless, the effects of this digital form of peer aggression can be as detrimental as face-to-face bullying. The characteristics of cyberbullying and its influences on adolescents and parents of adolescents were examined. The data accrued is based on an anonymous survey through one of the following methods: (a) paper-pencil survey for adolescent group with 37-question items on the adolescent questionnaire and (b) web-based survey for the parent group with 22-question items on the parent questionnaire. Each survey was systematically coded according to the participating group and assigned code numbers (i.e., 1 represents adolescent group and 2 represents parent group) was provided to ensure confidentiality of the study. Survey examined individual variables among the two target groups: (a) adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age and (b) parents of adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age. Specifically, individual variables examined include (a) demographics, (b) personal experiences, (c) vicarious experiences, and (d) preventative resources. A total of 137 participants (62 adolescents; 75 parents) responded to the survey. Results indicated that 90% of the participants from the adolescent group have reported to experience either as victims or as bystanders of cyberbullying. In addition, 70% of the victims have been cyberbullied 1 to 2 times within a month period and 50% of the victims did not know the perpetrator. Secondly, 89% of parent participants indicated to be knowledgeable about the issues relating to cyberbullying and 89% reported to have no knowledge if their child ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Wong-Lo, Mickie

Electrical resistivity as a measure of change of state in substrates: Design, development and validation of a microprocessor-based system.

Description: Smart structures are relevant and significant because of their relevance to phenomena such as hazard mitigation, structural health monitoring and energy saving. Electrical resistance could potentially serve as an indicator of structural well-being or damage in the structure. To this end, the development of a microprocessor-based automated resistance measurement system with customized GUI is desired. In this research, a nodal electrical resistance acquisition circuit (NERAC) system was designed. The system hardware interfaces to a laptop, which houses a customized GUI developed using DAQFactory software. Resistance/impedance was measured using DC/AC methods with four-point probes technique, on three substrates. Baseline reading before damage was noted and compared with the resistance measured after damage. The device was calibrated and validated on three different substrates. Resistance measurements were taken from PVDF samples, composite panels and smart concrete. Results conformed to previous work done on these substrates, validating the effective working of the NERAC device.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Le, Dong D.

Electrochemical Deposition of Zinc-Nickel Alloys in Alkaline Solution for Increased Corrosion Resistance.

Description: The optimal conditions for deposition of zinc-nickel alloys onto stainless steel discs in alkaline solutions have been examined. In the past cadmium has been used because it shows good corrosion protection, but other methods are being examined due to the high toxicity and environmental threats posed by its use. Zinc has been found to provide good corrosion resistance, but the corrosion resistance is greatly increased when alloyed with nickel. The concentration of nickel in the deposit has long been a debated issue, but for basic solutions a nickel concentration of 8-15% appears optimal. However, deposition of zinc-nickel alloys from acidic solutions has average nickel concentrations of 12-15%. Alkaline conditions give a more uniform deposition layer, or better metal distribution, thereby a better corrosion resistance. Although TEA (triethanolamine) is most commonly used to complex the metals in solution, in this work I examined TEA along with other complexing agents. Although alkaline solutions have been examined, most research has been done in pH ≥ 12 solutions. However, there has been some work performed in the pH 9.3-9.5 range. This work examines different ligands in a pH 9.3-9.4 range. Direct potential plating and pulse potential plating methods are examined for optimal platings. The deposits were examined and characterized by XRD.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Conrad, Heidi A.

Examining Career Transitions during Mid-Adulthood through the Lens of Bioecological and Microdevelopmental Research

Description: Using hierarchical multiple linear regression, this study examined the predictive relationship between micro-career transitions and career related outcomes and how those relationships were moderated by equilibration style. Participants (n = 177) answered an online survey which included a variety of measures for control, predictor, moderator, and outcome criterion (i.e., demographic descriptors, Instrumentality, Openness, Job Insecurity, Social Support Satisfaction, Microtransitions, Equilibration Style, Job Satisfaction, Job Burnout, Life Dissatisfaction, and Career Optimism). Research questions addressed the nature of micro-career transitions (e.g., frequencies, average stress ratings, category types), their predictive relationship with job and career outcomes, and the moderating role of Identity Styles on that relationship. Micro-career transitions were described according to responses for the research sample (n = 638). Significant effects were discovered between microtransitions and career outcomes (p < .05 and .01). Equilibration styles were also established as having a moderating effect on the predictive relationship between microtransitions and career outcomes (p < .05 and .01). Interaction terms were decomposed to examine the direction of significant moderating effects. In all cases where interaction terms were significant, moderators enhanced the negative predictive relationship between microtransitions and career outcomes.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Davis, Joe Edd

Impact of Forecasting Method Selection and Information Sharing on Supply Chain Performance.

Description: Effective supply chain management gains much attention from industry and academia because it helps firms across a supply chain to reduce cost and improve customer service level efficiently. Focusing on one of the key challenges of the supply chains, namely, demand uncertainty, this dissertation extends the work of Zhao, Xie, and Leung so as to examine the effects of forecasting method selection coupled with information sharing on supply chain performance in a dynamic business environment. The results of this study showed that under various scenarios, advanced forecasting methods such as neural network and GARCH models play a more significant role when capacity tightness increases and is more important to the retailers than to the supplier under certain circumstances in terms of supply chain costs. Thus, advanced forecasting models should be promoted in supply chain management. However, this study also demonstrated that forecasting methods not capable of modeling features of certain demand patterns significantly impact a supply chain's performance. That is, a forecasting method misspecified for characteristics of the demand pattern usually results in higher supply chain costs. Thus, in practice, supply chain managers should be cognizant of the cost impact of selecting commonly used traditional forecasting methods, such as moving average and exponential smoothing, in conjunction with various operational and environmental factors, to keep supply chain cost under control. This study demonstrated that when capacity tightness is high for the supplier, information sharing plays a more important role in effective supply chain management. In addition, this study also showed that retailers benefit directly from information sharing when advanced forecasting methods are employed under certain conditions.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Pan, Youqin

Interactions of equivalence and other behavioral relations: Simple successive discrimination training.

Description: The experimenter asked if documented equivalence class membership would influence the development of shared discriminative stimulus function established through simple successive discrimination training. In Experiment 1, equivalence classes were established with two sets of 9 stimuli. Common stimulus functions were then trained within or across the equivalence classes. Greater acquisition rates of the simple discriminations with stimuli drawn from within the equivalence classes were observed. In Experiment 2, a third stimulus set was added with which no equivalence relations were explicitly trained. The findings of Experiment 1 were replicated, but the Set 3 results were inconsistent across subjects. The outcomes of the two experiments demonstrate that equivalence classes have an effect on other behavioral relations which requires further investigation.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Brackney, Ryan

Letters, Liberty, and the Democratic Age in the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville

Description: When Alexis de Tocqueville observed the spread of modern democracy across France, England, and the United States, he saw that democracy would give rise to a new state of letters, and that this new state of letters would influence how democratic citizens and statesmen would understand the new political world. As he reflected on this new intellectual sphere, Tocqueville became concerned that democracy would foster changes in language and thought that would stifle concepts and ideas essential to the preservation of intellectual and political liberty. In an effort to direct, refine, and reshape political thought in democracy, Tocqueville undertook a critique of the democratic state of letters, assessing intellectual life and contributing his own ideas and concepts to help citizens and statesmen think more coherently about democratic politics. Here, I analyze Tocqueville's critique and offer an account of his effort to reshape democratic political thought. I show that through his analyses of the role of intellectuals in democratic regimes, the influence of modern science on democratic public life, the intellectual habits that democracy fosters, and the power of literary works for shaping democratic self-understanding, Tocqueville succeeds in reshaping democratic language and thought in a manner that contributes to the preservation of intellectual and political liberty within the modern democratic world.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Elliot, Natalie J.

Level Curves of the Angle Function of a Positive Definite Symmetric Matrix

Description: Given a real N by N matrix A, write p(A) for the maximum angle by which A rotates any unit vector. Suppose that A and B are positive definite symmetric (PDS) N by N matrices. Then their Jordan product {A, B} := AB + BA is also symmetric, but not necessarily positive definite. If p(A) + p(B) is obtuse, then there exists a special orthogonal matrix S such that {A, SBS^(-1)} is indefinite. Of course, if A and B commute, then {A, B} is positive definite. Our work grows from the following question: if A and B are commuting positive definite symmetric matrices such that p(A) + p(B) is obtuse, what is the minimal p(S) such that {A, SBS^(-1)} indefinite? In this dissertation we will describe the level curves of the angle function mapping a unit vector x to the angle between x and Ax for a 3 by 3 PDS matrix A, and discuss their interaction with those of a second such matrix.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Bajracharya, Neeraj

Negotiating Interests: Elizabeth Montagu's Political Collaborations with Edward Montagu; George, Lord Lyttelton; and William Pulteney, Lord Bath

Description: This dissertation examines Elizabeth Robinson Montagu's relationships with three men: her husband, Edward Montagu; George Lyttelton, first baron Lyttelton; and William Pulteney, earl of Bath to show how these relationships were structured and how Elizabeth Montagu negotiated them in order to forward her own intellectual interests. Montagu's relationship with her husband Edward and her friendships with Lord Lyttelton and Lord Bath supplied her with important outlets for intellectual and political expression. Scholarly work on Montagu's friendships with other intellectual women has demonstrated how Montagu drew on the support of female friends in her literary ambitions, but at the same time, it has obscured her equally important male relationships. Without discounting the importance of female friendship to Montagu's intellectual life, this study demonstrates that Montagu's relationships with Bath, Lyttleton, and her husband were at least as important to her as those with women, and that her male friendships and relationships offered her entry into the political sphere. Elizabeth Montagu was greatly interested in the political debates of her day and she contributed to the political process in the various ways open to her as an elite woman and female intellectual. Within the context of these male friendships, Montagu had an opportunity to discuss political philosophy as well as practical politics; as a result, she developed her own political positions. It is clear that contemporary gender conventions limited the boundaries of Montagu's intellectual and political concerns and that she felt the need to position her interests and activities in ways that did not appear transgressive in order to follow her own inclinations. Montagu represented her interest in the political realm as an extension of family duty and expression of female tenderness. In this manner, Montagu was able to forward her own opinions without appearing to cross conventional gender boundaries.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Bennett, Elizabeth Stearns

A New N-way Reconfigurable Data Cache Architecture for Embedded Systems

Description: Performance and power consumption are most important issues while designing embedded systems. Several studies have shown that cache memory consumes about 50% of the total power in these systems. Thus, the architecture of the cache governs both performance and power usage of embedded systems. A new N-way reconfigurable data cache is proposed especially for embedded systems. This thesis explores the issues and design considerations involved in designing a reconfigurable cache. The proposed reconfigurable data cache architecture can be configured as direct-mapped, two-way, or four-way set associative using a mode selector. The module has been designed and simulated in Xilinx ISE 9.1i and ModelSim SE 6.3e using the Verilog hardware description language.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Bani, Ruchi Rastogi

Peonies for Topaz

Description: A collection of three, interwoven short stories set in Japantown, San Francisco and the Topaz Internment Camp in central Utah during World War II. The pieces in this collection feature themes of cultural identity and the reconstruction of personal identity in times of change and crisis. Collection includes the stories "Moving Sale," "Evacuation," and "Resettlement."
Date: December 2009
Creator: Churchill, Amanda Gann

Personal Properties: Stage Props and Self-Expression in British Drama, 1600-1707

Description: This dissertation examines the role of stage properties-props, slangily-in the construction and expression of characters' identities. Through readings of both canonical and non-canonical drama written between 1600 and 1707-for example, Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy (1607), Edward Ravenscroft's adaptation of Titus Andronicus (1678), Aphra Behn's The Rover (1677), and William Wycherley's The Plain Dealer (1677)-I demonstrate how props mediate relationships between people. The control of a character's props often accords a person control of the character to whom the props belong. Props consequently make visual the relationships of power and subjugation that exist among characters. The severed body parts, bodies, miniature portraits, and containers of these plays are the mechanisms by which characters attempt to differentiate themselves from others. The characters deploy objects as proof of their identities-for example, when the women in Behn's Rover circulate miniatures of themselves-yet other characters must also interpret these objects. The props, and therefore the characters' identities, are at all times vulnerable to misinterpretation. Much as the props' meanings are often disputed, so too are characters' private identities often at odds with their public personae. The boundaries of selfhood that the characters wish to protect are made vulnerable by the objects that they use to shore up those boundaries. When read in relation to the characters who move them, props reveal the negotiated process of individuation. In doing so, they emphasize the correlation between extrinsic and intrinsic worth. They are a measure of how well characters perform gender and class rolls, thereby demonstrating the importance of external signifiers in the legitimation of England's subjects, even as they expose "legitimacy" as a social construction.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Bender, Ashley Brookner

The role of resilience in mediating outcomes associated with grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Description: The occurrence of custodial grandparents is increasing greatly. These grandparents face added stress and many adversities that arise from caregiving. Findings of current research tends to be mixed on the effects of grandparents raising grandchildren experience. Much research concludes that grandparent caregivers experience negative declines in overall health and well-being, while other research points out that the caregiving role may actually be a positive experience for the grandparent. The current study hypothesizes that mixed research may be a result of varying levels of resilience in the custodial grandparent population. The model proposed in this study looks at resilience as a mediator between several variables that effect custodial grandparenting. The current sample consisted of 239 custodial grandparents. A regression/correlation analysis was conducted on the data, and it was found that resilience levels were significant in mediating the effects of grandparent caregiving.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Davis, Shanna R.

True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction

Description: True Selves: Narrative Distance in Stories of Fiction and Nonfiction consists of a scholarly preface and four creative works. The preface discusses narrative distance as used in both fiction and nonfiction, and as compares to other narrative agents such as point of view, especially in contemporary creative writing. The selection of stories examines relationships, especially familial, and themes of isolation, community, and memory. Collection includes two chapters of a novel-in-progress, Fences, short fiction story "Trees and Furniture," and creative nonfiction essays, "Floating" and "On the Sparrow."
Date: December 2009
Creator: Al-Qasem, Ruby


Description: Clutch is the title of the creative portion of my thesis as well as the name of my theory 'clutch' which I outline in the preface section. The purpose of the clutch theory is to recognize modes of inspiration in the body, heart and mind so that the poet can consciously move beyond passive receptivity to engage inspiration more fully. Mechanically, to "clutch" does not mean to create inspiration, but it is the opportunistic, spirited encouragement of these moments of inspiration and, more importantly, the direction of the artist's own response in moving from inspiration to creation. The clutch process unfolds through three centers: body, heart and mind, where we initially encounter inspiration. And, through a discussion of three notable poets' work, Henri Cole, Li-Young Lee and T.S. Eliot, the relationship between a completed work and clutch as a process further explains the boundaries of each mode.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bauge, Jessica M.

God's Perfect Timing

Description: When I was thirty-three years old, I discovered I was an adoptee. In this memoir of secrecy and love, betrayal and redemption, I reflect on my early experiences as a doted-on only child firmly rooted in the abundant love of my adoptive family, my later struggles with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, my marriage to a fellow-adoptee, my discovery of my own adoption and the subsequent reunion with my birth family, my navigation through the thrills and tensions of newly complicated family dynamics, and my witness to God's perfect timing through it all.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Rizzo, Steven

Linkage of a nitrilase-containing Nit1C gene cluster to cyanide utilization in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764.

Description: Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764 (Pf11764) is uniquely able to grow on the poison cyanide as its sole nitrogen source. It does so by converting cyanide oxidatively to carbon dioxide and ammonia, the latter being assimilated into cellular molecules. This requires a complex enzymatic machinery that includes nitrilase and oxygenase enzymes the nature of which are not well understood. In the course of a proteomics analysis aimed at achieving a better understanding of the proteins that may be required for cyanide degradation by Pf11764, an unknown protein of 17.8 kDa was detected in cells exposed to cyanide. Analysis of this protein by ESI-coupled mass spectrometry and bioinformatics searches gave evidence of strong homology with a protein (Hyp1) of unknown function (hypothetical) present in the bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens subsp. laumondii TTO1 (locus plu_1232). A search of available microbial genomes revealed a number of Hyp1 orthologs the genes of which are found in a conserved gene cluster known as Nit1C. Independent studies revealed that in addition to Hyp1, Pf11764 possesses a gene (nit) specifying a nitrilase enzyme whose closest homologue is a nitrilase found in Nit1C gene clusters (77% amino acid identity). DNA sequence analysis has further revealed that indeed, hyp1Pf11764 and nitPf11764 are contained in a cluster that includes also a gene specifying an oxygenase. Given the possible connection of Nit1C-endoded nitrilase and oxygenase enzymes to enzymatic cyanide degradation, there is strong reason for thinking that the genes specifying these enzymes contribute to bacterial growth on cyanide in those bacteria containing the Nit1C cluster. Because the biological function of the Hyp1 protein is currently unknown, it was cloned and the protein expressed in E. coli so that its properties could further be explored. Unfortunately, the expression of the protein in an insoluble form complicated these analyses. However, at least two lines of ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Ghosh, Pallab

The Museum of Coming Apart

Description: This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses use of second person pronoun in contemporary American poetry; and Part II, The Museum of Coming Apart, which is a collection of poems. As confessional verse became a dominant mode in American poetry in the late 1950s and early 60s, so too did the use of the first-person pronoun. Due in part to the excesses of later confessionalism, however, many contemporary poets hesitate to use first person for fear that their work might be read as autobiography. The poetry of the 1990s and early 2000s has thus been characterized by distance, dissociation, and fracture as poets attempt to remove themselves from the overtly emotional and intimate style of the confessionals. However, other contemporary poets have sought to straddle the line between the earnestness and linearity of confessionalism and the intellectually playful yet emotionally detached poetry of the moment. One method for striking this balance is to employ the second person pronoun. Because "you" in English is ambiguous, it allows the poet to toy with the level of distance in a poem and create evolving relationships between the speaker and reader. Through the analysis of poems by C. Dale Young, Paul Guest, Richard Hugo, Nick Flynn, Carrie St. George Comer, and Moira Egan, this essay examines five common ways second person is employed in contemporary American poetry-the use of "you" in reference to a specific individual, the epistolary form, the direct address to the reader, the imperative voice, and the use of "you" as a substitute for "I"-and the ways that the second-person pronoun allows these poems to take the best of both the confessional and dissociative modes.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Lee, Bethany Tyler

The Other Side of Yesterday

Description: The four stories in this collection follow different, yet strikingly similar, protagonists who are facing crossroads in life. These stories include memories and specific scenes from the past that combine with scenes from the present to trace the development of the characters.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Rose, John

Accuracy Variations in Human Facial Identification Based on Time of Exposure.

Description: This study examined the relationship between time of exposure to the human face and accurate subsequent photo line-up identification. A volunteer group of 124 undergraduate students was divided into three approximately equal sized subgroups. The three groups were then exposed to a video or a portion of a video depicting a theft. Exposure times ranged from two minutes to 30 seconds. The subjects were then given a questionnaire and shown a photo line-up of the mock perpetrator and five foils. Subjects were asked to identify the perpetrator and mark that identification on the questionnaire. Results of the experiment indicated that the longer a subject was exposed the greater the possibility of an accurate identification.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Cowle, Kenneth M.

Adolescent Insomnia as a Predictor of Early Adulthood Outcomes

Description: Recent research found insomnia is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders in adults. To see if the same would be true in adolescents, the current study re-analyzed data from a national longitudinal study collected by ADDHealth that evaluated health behaviors in 4552 adolescents (mean age 14.9 years [SD 1.7]) at baseline and again 7-8 years later (n = 3489) during young adulthood. Insomnia was reported by 9.2% of the adolescents. Cross-sectionally, adolescent insomnia was associated with alcohol, cannabis, non-cannabis drugs, and tobacco use, and depression after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Prospectively, adolescent insomnia was a significant risk factor for depression diagnosis, suicidal ideation, and the use of depression and stress prescription medications in young adulthood after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and significant baseline variable. In addition, a trend was noted for suicidal attempts.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Roane, Brandy Michelle