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Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

Description: In 1939, composer Julia Smith's first opera Cynthia Parker dramatized the story of a Texas legend. Smith manipulated music, text, and visual images to make the opera accessible for the audience in accordance with compositional and institutional practices in American opera of the 1930s. Transparent musical themes and common Native Americans stereotypes are used to define characters. Folk music is presented as diegetic, creating a sense of authenticity that places the audience into the opera's Western setting. The opera is codified for the audience using popular idioms, resulting in initial but not lasting success.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Buehner, Katie R.

AGenesis: A Novel

Description: AGenesis is a novel of "postmortal fiction" set entirely in an afterlife. Nessie, a recently dead woman, accidentally kills an already-dead man, and in the confusion that follows, sets out to discover how he could have died and what after-afterlife he might have gone to. During her travels, she is raped and then help captive by a city of tormented souls; she descends into madness until rescued by children, and she and her newborn but "undead" daughter set out again, this time to find the end of the afterlife. Nessie's daughter eventually seeks a way to enter a living world she's never known, while Nessie tries to end her suffering and find peace.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Snoek-Brown, Samuel Jeremiah

Aliens and atheists: The Plurality of Worlds and Natural Theology in Seventeenth-Century England.

Description: The plurality of worlds has had a long history in England, which has not gone unnoticed by scholars. Historians have tended to view this English pluralist tradition as similar to those found on the continent, and in doing so have failed to fully understand the religious significance that the plurality of worlds had on English thought and society. This religious significance is discovered through a thorough investigation of plurality as presented by English natural philosophers and theologians, and in so doing reveals much about England in the seventeenth century. As natural philosophers incorporated plurality within the larger framework of natural theology, it became a weapon of science and reason to be used against the unreasonable atheists of late seventeenth-century England.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Oliver, Ryan

The American Community College's Obligation to Democracy

Description: In this thesis, I address the dichotomy between liberal arts education and terminal vocational training in the American community college. The need is for reform in the community college in relation to philosophical instruction in order to empower citizens, support justice and create more sustainable communities. My call for reform involves a multicultural integration of philosophy into terminal/vocational programs as well as evolving the traditional liberal arts course to exist in a multicultural setting. Special attention is focused on liberating the oppressed, social and economic justice and philosophy of education.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Pokross, Amy Elizabeth

An Analysis of Location and Offender Characteristics for Motor Vehicle Theft in Texas from 2001 to 2005

Description: Motor vehicle theft is the costliest property crime in the United States equaling billions of dollars in losses each year. Despite law enforcement success in decreasing the rate of motor vehicle theft in recent years, the actual number of thefts has increased. It is vital for law enforcement agencies to know who is committing motor vehicle theft and where vehicles are being stolen. This study answers these questions by examining offender demographic characteristics and the location types most targeted for motor vehicle theft in Texas from 2001 to 2005. The state of Texas was chosen because Texas has continually been ranked second in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report for the number of reported incidents of motor vehicle theft in the United States.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Adger, Katherine

An analysis of the syntactic and lexical features of an Indian English oral narrative: A Pear Story study.

Description: This pilot study addresses the distribution of nonstandard syntactic and lexical features in Indian English (IE) across a homogeneous group of highly educated IE speakers. It is found that nonstandard syntactic features of article use, number agreement and assignment of verb argument structure do not display uniform intragroup distribution. Instead, a relationship is found between nonstandard syntactic features and the sociolinguistic variables of lower levels of exposure to and use of English found within the group. While nonstandard syntactic features show unequal distribution, nonstandard lexical features of semantic reassignment, and mass nouns treated as count nouns display a more uniform intragroup distribution.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Seale, Jennifer Marie

Anderson Localization in Two-Channel Wires with Correlated Disorder: DNA as an Application

Description: This research studied the Anderson localization of electrons in two-channel wires with correlated disorder and in DNA molecules. It involved an analytical calculation part where the formula for the inverse localization length for electron states in a two-channel wire is derived. It also involved a computational part where the localization length is calculated for some DNA molecules. Electron localization in two-channel wires with correlated disorder was studied using a single-electron tight-binding model. Calculations were within second-order Born-approximation to second-order in disorder parameters. An analytical expression for localization length as a functional of correlations in potentials was found. Anderson localization in DNA molecules were studied in single-channel wire and two-channel models for electron transport in DNA. In both of the models, some DNA sequences exhibited delocalized electron states in their energy spectrum. Studies with two-channel wire model for DNA yielded important link between electron localization properties and genetic information.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Bagci, V. M. Kemal

Antecedents of the Psychological Adjustment of Children and Grandparent Caregivers in Grandparent-Headed Families

Description: Grandparent-headed families are diverse in nature and represent a rapidly growing family type. While challenges facing grandparent caregivers are well documented, less is known about the well-being of their grandchildren, with many early studies relying on small samples of convenience. This study used an existing large national database, the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), to compare differences in well-being of both children and grandparent caregivers across the independent variables of family type, ethnicity, gender, and age. Findings suggested better mental health and less parental aggravation for caregivers in traditional two parent intact families as compared to grandparents co-parenting in a multi-generation home, skipped generation grandparents (raising their grandchild with no parent present) or single parents. Skipped generation grandparents in particular reported most caregiver aggravation. Child physical health was reported to be worse by skipped generation grandparent caregivers. Behavior problems were reported to be worse for children in grandparent headed households than those in traditional families, particularly for teenagers raised in skipped generation households by their grandmothers. Specific results, limitations and future directions for research on grandparent-headed households were discussed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jooste, Jane Louise

Automated Syndromic Surveillance using Intelligent Mobile Agents

Description: Current syndromic surveillance systems utilize centralized databases that are neither scalable in storage space nor in computing power. Such systems are limited in the amount of syndromic data that may be collected and analyzed for the early detection of infectious disease outbreaks. However, with the increased prevalence of international travel, public health monitoring must extend beyond the borders of municipalities or states which will require the ability to store vasts amount of data and significant computing power for analyzing the data. Intelligent mobile agents may be used to create a distributed surveillance system that will utilize the hard drives and computer processing unit (CPU) power of the hosts on the agent network where the syndromic information is located. This thesis proposes the design of a mobile agent-based syndromic surveillance system and an agent decision model for outbreak detection. Simulation results indicate that mobile agents are capable of detecting an outbreak that occurs at all hosts the agent is monitoring. Further study of agent decision models is required to account for localized epidemics and variable agent movement rates.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Miller, Paul

"Between the Staves" - Adaptations of Debussy's Six épigraphes antiques and Creative Tasks of the Performer

Description: The Six épigraphes antiques represent a cross-section of Debussy's creative output that traces the composer's germ-seed from his original setting of the work in 1901 as incidental music to accompany the recitation of several poems, to the four-hand piano version of 1914, and its consequent reduction for solo piano. What can be gleaned by the methods of derivation from his original sketches to the final, mature works is an understanding of Debussy's use of musical metaphor and his connection to the poetry - the Chansons de Bilitis of Pierre Louÿs. Embedded literary procedures create a new musical expression of the work whereby text and music become integrated. Rather than serving as accompaniment to the poems, the Épigraphes function as the primary vessel for the conveyance of these ancient scenes. Several of Debussy's hallmark symmetrical and structural moulds, such as the whole-tone, chromatic, octatonic, and mirroring techniques reflect the omnipresent symmetry of Classical Greece. Various other artistic creations emanated from the Épigraphes, most significantly the orchestration of Ernest Ansermet in 1939. A look at the techniques used by Ansermet for the augmentation of the piano work serves to extrapolate the multifarious layers relevant in performance. In order to facilitate the four-hand version for solo piano, Debussy used a variety of reductive methods. There are, however, means by which some of the extracted material might be restored to the solo version. Like the late work of many great masters, the Épigraphes are redolent of the tendency so many artists have near the end of their days - to revert back to the purest techniques of their language. The scoring of Debussy's Épigraphes is scaled back, compared to his Préludes (often consisting of three staves of notation), and incorporates leaner textures generated from lapidary motifs which transmit the antique realms evoked by the ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Astilla, Christopher

A Case Study of NASA's Columbia Tragedy: An Organizational Learning and Sensemaking Approach to Organizational Crisis.

Description: No other government agency receives as much attention as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The high-profile agency frequently captures attention of the media in both positive and negative contexts. This thesis takes a case study approach using organizational learning and sensemaking theories to investigate crisis communication within NASA's 2003 Columbia tragedy. Eight participants, who in some capacity had worked for NASA during the Columbia tragedy in a communication centered position, were interviewed. Using a grounded theory framework, nine themes emerged pertaining to organizational learning, leadership, structure, and organizational culture. The results of the study aid in understanding how high risk organization's (HROs) can learn from previous failures and details how organizational culture can hinder organizational change.
Date: December 2007
Creator: James, Eric Preston

Changes in Social Distance Among American Undergraduate Students Participating in a Study Abroad Program in China

Description: As the world becomes increasingly interdependent, mutual understanding becomes increasingly important. Therefore, it is essential that people strive for reductions in social distance on an international level. Study abroad is one of the ways to approach internationalization and promote understanding among different peoples and cultures. Prior research has been done on the degrees of social distance between people from different cultures; however, little research has been done regarding changes that cultural immersion produces among those who reside in different cultures. Studies about study abroad programs have focused on cultural sensitivity and adaptability, yet few have combined the study abroad experience with the perceptions of self and other cultural groups. This study presents a framework for understanding people through intercultural activities. It studied social distance and attitude changes brought about in social distance as an artifact of cultural immersion. The study took place both in China and in the United States. It focused on the social distance among American undergraduate students who participated in a China Study Abroad program sponsored by the University of North Texas. The study measured before and after social distance of a group of American students who studied abroad in China. The study abroad program itself was the intervention and lasted for three weeks. A mixed methods research design was used in the study. Social distance data were collected before and after students studied abroad in China. Both inferential statistics and descriptive statistics were used. Qualitative data were also collected and analyzed in the study. Most of the sample population were close to the Chinese people to begin with. Some participants positively changed their social distance and attitudes towards the Chinese people after the study abroad program, even though the changes were not statistically significant. This study merits replication among randomly selected samples. Study abroad programs should ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Chen, Danxia

Changes in Trading Volume and Return Volatility Associated with S&P 500 Index Additions and Deletions

Description: When a stock is added into the S&P 500 Index, it is automatically "cross-listed" in the index derivative markets (i.e., S&P 500 Index futures and Index options). I examined the effects of such cross-listing on the trading volume and return volatility of the underlying component stocks. Traditional finance theory asserts that futures and "cash" markets are connected by arbitrage mechanism that brings both markets to equilibrium. When arbitrage opportunities arise, arbitrageurs buy (sell) the index portfolio and take short (long) positions in the corresponding index derivative contracts until prices return to theoretical levels. Such mechanical arbitrage trading tends to create large order flows that could be difficult for the market to absorb, resulting in price changes. Utilizing a list of S&P 500 index composition changes occurring over the period September 1976 to December 2005, I investigated the market-adjusted volume turnover ratios and return variances of the stocks being added to and deleted from the S&P 500, surrounding the effective day of index membership changes. My primary finding is that, after the introduction of the S&P 500 index futures and options contracts, stocks added to the S&P 500 experience significant increase in both trading volume and return volatility. However, deleted stocks experience no significant change in either trading volume or return volatility. Both daily and monthly return variances increase following index inclusion, consistent with the hypothesis that derivative transactions "fundamentally" destabilize the underlying securities. I argue that the increase in trading volume and return volatility may be attributed to index arbitrage transactions as derivative markets provide more routes for index arbitrageurs to trade. Other index trading strategies such as portfolio insurance and program trading may also contribute to the results. On the other hand, a deleted stock is not associated with changes in trading volume and volatility since it represents an ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Lin, Cheng-I Eric

A Chronological Study of Experiential Education in the American History Museum

Description: This study traced the evolution of experiential education in American history museums from 1787 to 2007. Because of a decline in attendance, museum educators need to identify best practices to draw and retain audiences. I used 16 museology and history journals, books, and archives of museums prominent for using the method. I also interviewed 15 museum educators who employ experiential learning, one master interpreter of the National Park Service, and an independent museum exhibit developer. Experiential education involves doing with hands touching physical materials. Four minor questions concerned antecedents of experiential learning, reasons to invest in the method, the influence of social context, and cultural pluralism. Next is a review of the theorists whose works support experiential learning: Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Lewin, Bruner, Eisner, Hein, and David Kolb plus master parks interpreter Freeman Tilden. The 8 characteristics they support include prior experiences, physical action, interaction with the environment, use of the senses, emotion, social relationships, and personal meaning. Other sections are manifestation of experiential learning, transformation of history museums, and cultural pluralism in history museums. The research design is descriptive, and the procedure, document analysis and structured interview. Findings are divided by decades after the first 120 years. Social context, examples of experiential learning, and multicultural activities are detailed. Then findings are discussed by patterns of delivery: sensory experiences, actions as diversion and performance, outreach of traveling trunks and of organized activity, crafts as handwork and as skills, role-playing, simulation, hands-on museum work, and minor patterns. The decline of involvement of citizens in the civic and cultural life of the community has adversely affected history museums. Experiential learning can stop this trend and transform museum work, as open-air museums and the National Park Service have demonstrated. In the future history museums may include technology, a more diverse audience, and adults ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Cook, Bettye Alexander

College Counseling Center Professional Staff Involvement in Professional Organizations.

Description: College counselors today face increasing challenges, with fewer resources than in the past. Little has been known as to whether college counselors take advantage of resources and benefits available through involvement in professional organizations in these increasingly challenging professional times. College counseling center professionals in one state in the Southwest were surveyed regarding their professional organization involvement (N = 152). Participants were selected by targeting specific 4-year institutions with undergraduate populations and specific counseling professionals who work in college counseling centers within these schools. Most college counselors surveyed were involved in professional organizations, and involved in a variety of ways within these organizations. Many professional organizations catering to college counselors were identified. Specific motivations for involvement and hindrances to involvement were identified. In addition, no significant difference was found among the involvement of professional counselors versus psychologists.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Greenhaw, Kimberly J.

A Comparison of Discounting Parameters Obtained Through Two Different Adjusting Procedures: Bisection and Up-Down.

Description: The study compared delay discounting in adult humans using two different methods of adjustments. Both methods used hypothetical choices of monetary outcomes. One involved adjustments using a fixed sequence of ascending or descending amounts, the other used a bisection algorithm in which the changes in amounts varied as a function of the subjects' choices. Two magnitudes of delayed outcomes were used: $1,000 and $10,000. A within subject design was used to compare indifference curves and discounting measures across the two adjusting procedures. Twenty four subjects were divided in two groups and exposed to the procedures in opposite order, to account for sequence effects. Results from within subject comparisons showed no systematic differences between procedures.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Woelz, Thomas Anatol da Rocha

A Comparison of Morris' News from Nowhere and Life in the Twin Oaks Community

Description: It is the purpose of this paper to explore how Morris' novel relates to life in Twin Oaks, primarily as depicted in two books: Living the Dream (1983) by Ingrid Komar, a long-term visitor to the commune and Kinkade's Is It Utopia Yet? (1996). This comparison will demonstrate that the experiences of contemporary intentional communities such as Twin Oaks provide a meaningful context for reading News from Nowhere because of the similarities in goals and philosophy. It will further demonstrate that though Twin Oaks was originally inspired by a utopian novel much more in the tradition of Bellamy's work than Morris', the community's subsequent evolution has brought it much closer in philosophy to News from Nowhere than Looking Backward.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Garner, Royce Clifton

A Computational Investigation of the Photophysical, Electronic and Bonding Properties of Exciplex-Forming Van der Waals Systems

Description: Calculations were performed on transition-metal complexes to (1) extrapolate the structure and bonding of the ground and phosphorescent states (2) determine the luminescence energies and (3) assist in difficult assignment of luminescent transitions. In the [Pt(SCN)4]2- complex, calculations determined that the major excited-state distortion is derived from a b2g bending mode rather than from the a1g symmetric stretching mode previously reported in the literature. Tuning of excimer formation was explained in the [Au(SCN)2]22- by interactions with the counterion. Weak bonding interactions and luminescent transitions were explained by calculation of Hg dimers, excimers and exciplexes formed with noble gases.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Sinha, Pankaj

Computational Studies of Selected Ruthenium Catalysis Reactions.

Description: Computational techniques were employed to investigate pathways that would improve the properties and characteristics of transition metal (i.e., ruthenium) catalysts, and to explore their mechanisms. The studied catalytic pathways are particularly relevant to catalytic hydroarylation of olefins. These processes involved the +2 to +3 oxidation of ruthenium and its effect on ruthenium-carbon bond strengths, carbon-hydrogen bond activation by 1,2-addition/reductive elimination pathways appropriate to catalytic hydrogen/deuterium exchange, and the possible intermediacy of highly coordinatively unsaturated (e.g., 14-electron) ruthenium complexes in catalysis. The calculations indicate a significant decrease in the Ru-CH3 homolytic bond dissociation enthalpy for the oxidation of TpRu(CO)(NCMe)(Me) to its RuIII cation through both reactant destabilization and product stabilization. This oxidation can thus lead to the olefin polymerization observed by Gunnoe and coworkers, since weak RuIII-C bonds would afford quick access to alkyl radical species. Calculations support the experimental proposal of a mechanism for catalytic hydrogen/deuterium exchange by a RuII-OH catalyst. Furthermore, calculational investigations reveal a probable pathway for the activation of C-H bonds that involves phosphine loss, 1,2-addition to the Ru-OH bond and then reversal of these steps with deuterium to incorporate it into the substrate. The presented results offer the indication for the net addition of aromatic C-H bonds across a RuII-OH bond in a process that although thermodynamically unfavorable is kinetically accessible. Calculations support experimental proposals as to the possibility of binding of weakly coordinating ligands such as dinitrogen, methylene chloride and fluorobenzene to the "14-electron" complex [(PCP)Ru(CO)]+ in preference to the formation of agostic Ru-H-C interactions. Reactions of [(PCP)Ru(CO)(1-ClCH2Cl)][BAr'4] with N2CHPh or phenylacetylene yielded conversions that are exothermic to both terminal carbenes and vinylidenes, respectively, and then bridging isomers of these by C-C bond formation resulting from insertion into the Ru-Cipso bond of the phenyl ring of PCP. The QM/MM and DFT calculations on full complexes ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Barakat, Khaldoon A.

Conflict Resolution Strategies in Young Children: Do They Do What They Say?

Description: This study examined the consistency between verbal responses to hypothetical conflict scenarios and the actual conflict resolutions techniques children apply in everyday play. Twenty-one children were interviewed and observed in order to determine their conflict resolution strategies. During the interview process, each child was asked to finish 6 hypothetical conflict scenarios. During the observation portion, each child was observed in 2 conflict scenarios. Significant (p < .05) differences were found with regards to verbal responses for 3 scenarios, verbal and behavioral responses of females (females exhibited more socially acceptable conflict resolution strategies in their verbal responses, yet less socially acceptable conflict resolution strategies in their behavioral responses), and socially acceptable responses to conflict in verbal strategies. Results were discussed in light of previous research comparing gender differences and peer relationships to conflict resolution strategies.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Leventhal, Julie Erin

A Constructional Canine Aggression Treatment: Using a Negative Reinforcement Shaping Procedure With Dogs in Home and Community Settings.

Description: Aggression in dogs is a significant public health concern with 7.2 mortality cases per 100 million inhabitants and approximately 4.7 million dog bites annually. Canine aggression is typically viewed as a genetic trait and treated as pathology through the use of medical or respondent behavioral procedures. In this study the effects of the differential negative reinforcement of safe, alternative behaviors to aggression using distancing as the reinforcer were evaluated. The results demonstrated that even when the aggression was in evidence throughout most of the dog's lifetime, it responded quickly to changes in reinforcement contingencies.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Snider, Kellie Sisson

Crude Oil and Crude Oil Derivatives Transactions by Oil and Gas Producers.

Description: This study attempts to resolve two important issues. First, it investigates the diversification benefit of crude oil for equities. Second, it examines whether or not crude oil derivatives transactions by oil and gas producers can change shareholders' wealth. With these two major goals in mind, I study the risk and return profile of crude oil, the value effect of crude oil derivatives transactions, and the systematic risk exposure effect of crude oil derivatives transactions. In contrast with previous studies, this study applies the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) methodology to measure the risk and return profile of crude oil. The results show that crude oil is negatively correlated with stocks so adding crude oil into a portfolio with equities can provide significant diversification benefits for the portfolio. Given the diversification benefit of crude oil mixed with equities, this study then examines the value effect of crude oil derivatives transactions by oil and gas producers. Differing from traditional corporate risk management literature, this study examines corporate derivatives transactions from the shareholders' portfolio perspective. The results show that crude oil derivatives transactions by oil and gas producers do impact value. If oil and gas producing companies stop shorting crude oil derivatives contracts, company stock prices increase significantly. In contrast, if oil and gas producing companies start shorting crude oil derivatives contracts, stock prices drop marginally significantly. Thus, hedging by producers is not necessarily good. This paper, however, finds that changes in policy regarding crude oil derivatives transactions cannot significantly affect the beta of shareholders' portfolios. The value effect, therefore, cannot be attributed to any systematic risk exposure change of shareholders' portfolios. Market completeness, transaction costs, and economies of scale are identified as possible sources of value effect. The following conclusions have been obtained in this study. Crude oil provides significant diversification benefits ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Xu, He

Determinants of International Terrorist Group Formation, 1968-1999

Description: Terrorism has become a focus of much political thought over the past few years, and with good reason, yet most quantitative studies of terrorism investigate the likelihood of a terrorist incident while ignoring the precursors to terrorist group formation. I examine cases of new terrorist group formations between the years 1968 and 1999 as a function of domestic demographic, geographic, governmental and societal factors. This is done by Poisson regression analysis, which determines the significance of the independent variables on a count of new international terrorist group formations per country year. The results indicate that higher levels of material government capability, high levels of political freedom, the availability of low-cost refuge, and a cultural tradition of terrorism all have a positive impact on the number of new terrorist group formations, while a higher degree of governmental durability has a negative impact.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Worrell, Blake

Developmentally Appropriate Beliefs and Practices of Public and Private Kindergarten Teachers in the United States and Taiwan

Description: The purposes of the present study are to: (a) describe the beliefs and practices of the US and Taiwan (TW) public and private kindergarten teachers regarding developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), (b) examine the group differences between the four groups of teachers, and (c) identify the salient factors related to the variability of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practice in these teachers. Three hundred and fifty-seven kindergarten teachers participated in the study. The group sizes were 123, 123, 57, and 54 for Taiwan private, Taiwan public, US private, and US public kindergarten teachers, respectively. A survey was used to collect data. Findings from this study showed: (a) Both the US and Taiwan kindergarten teachers highly endorsed beliefs about DAP; (b) US and Taiwan kindergarten teachers also held strong beliefs about developmentally inappropriate practices (DIP); (c) DAP activities occurred regularly in the classrooms; (d) developmentally inappropriate practice (DIP) activities also took place a lot although they were lower than the DAP activities; (e) the Taiwan teachers had higher beliefs about DAP and lower beliefs about DIP than the US teachers; (f) the US teachers reported both higher DAP and DIP activities than the Taiwan teachers; (g) there were no differences between public and private kindergarten teachers; (h) hierarchical regression analyses using teacher's personal demographic variables as the first block and numbers of boys and girls as the second block were generally not effective; (i) there were different sets of best predictors from the backward regression for different dimensions of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices; and (j) beliefs about DAP and DIP were usually more powerful than the demographic and classroom variables in predicting the DAP and DIP activities. Future studies are needed to refine the Teacher Belief Scale and Instructional Activity Scale instruments and include classroom observations to verify and expand the findings. ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Liu, Huei-Chun