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The Impact of Kolot's Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing! on Adolescent Girls

Description: The purpose of this mixed-method study was to examine the impact, if any, of Kolot's Rosh Hodesh: It's A Girl Thing! on adolescent girls in the areas of friendship, school issues, family issues, body image, and assertiveness after participating in the religious-based program for nine monthly modules. Participants completed pretests and posttests in the areas of self-concept and basic Jewish knowledge. Quantitative results demonstrated statistically significant results in the areas of basic knowledge of Jewish female role models, values, and traditions, and statistically significant results in the areas of general, parental/home, and global self-concept. Qualitative results revealed inconsistent results with application of lessons taught, with some effect being acknowledged in the areas of friendship, gossip, bullying, self-defense, and assertiveness.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Wolbe, Susan C.

Impaired virulence factor production in a dihydroorotate dehydrogenase mutant (pyrD) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Description: Previous research in our laboratory showed that when knockout mutations were created in the pyrB and pyrC genes of the pyrimidine pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, not only were the resultant mutants auxotrophic for pyrimidines but they were also impaired in virulence factor production. Such a correlation had not been previously reported for P. aeruginosa, a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen in humans. In an earlier study it was reported that mutants blocked in one of the first three enzymes of the pyrimidine pathway in the non-pathogenic strain P. putida M produced no pyoverdin pigment while mutants blocked in the later steps produced copious amounts of pigment, just like the wild type. This study probed for the same connection between pyrimidine auxotrophy and pigment production applied in P. aeruginosa. To that end a knockout mutation was created in pyrD, the fourth step in the pyrimidine pathway which encodes dihydroorotate dehydrogenase. The resulting mutant required pyrimidines for growth but produced wild type pigment levels. Since the pigment pyoverdin is a siderophore it may also be considered a virulence factor, other virulence factors were quantified in the mutant. These included casein protease, hemolysin, elastase, swimming, swarming and twitching motility, and iron binding capacity. In all cases these virulence factors were significantly decreased in the mutant. Even supplementing with uracil did not attain wild type levels. Starvation of the pyrimidine mutant for uracil caused increased specific activity of the pyrimidine enzymes, suggesting that regulation of the pyrimidine pathway occurred at the level of transcription. This effect has also been reported for P. oleovorans. The present research consolidates the idea that pyrimidine auxotrophs cause decreased pathogenicity in P. aeruginosa. Such a finding may open the search for chemotherapy targets in cystic fibrosis and burn victims where P. aeruginosa is an infecting agent.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Ralli, Pooja

Implications of the inclusion of document retrieval systems as actors in a social network.

Description: Traditionally, social network analysis (SNA) techniques enable the examination of relationships and the flow of information within networks of human members or groups of humans. This study extended traditional social network analysis to include a nonhuman group member, specifically a document retrieval system. The importance of document retrieval systems as information sources, the changes in business environments that necessitates the use of information and communication technologies, and the attempts to make computer systems more life-like, provide the reasons for considering the information system as a group member. The review of literature for this study does not encompass a single body of knowledge. Instead, several areas combined to inform this study, including social informatics for its consideration of the intersection of people and information technology, network theory and social network analysis, organizations and information, organizational culture, and finally, storytelling in organizations as a means of transferring information. The methodology included distribution of surveys to two small businesses that used the same document retrieval system, followed by semi-structured interviews of selected group members, which allowed elaboration on the survey findings. The group members rated each other and the system on four interaction criteria relating to four social networks of interest, including awareness, access, information flow, and problem solving. Traditional measures of social networks, specifically density, degree, reciprocity, transitivity, distance, degree centrality, and closeness centrality provided insight into the positioning of the nonhuman member within the social group. The human members of the group were able to respond to the survey that included the system but were not ready to consider the system as being equivalent to other human members. SNA measures positioned the system as an average member of the group, not a star, but not isolated either. Examination of the surveys or the interviews in isolation would not have given a ...
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Macpherson, Janet Robertson

Indentation induced deformation in metallic materials.

Description: Nanoindentation has brought in many features of research over the past decade. This novel technique is capable of producing insights into the small ranges of deformation. This special point has brought a lot of focus in understanding the deformation behavior under the indenter. Nickel, iron, tungsten and copper-niobium alloy system were considered for a surface deformation study. All the samples exhibited a spectrum of residual deformation. The change in behavior with indentation and the materials responses to deformation at low and high loads is addressed in this study. A study on indenter geometry, which has a huge influence on the contact area and subsequently the hardness and modulus value, has been attempted. Deformation mechanisms that govern the plastic flow in materials at low loads of indentation and their sensitivity to the rate of strain imparted has been studied. A transition to elastic, plastic kind of a tendency to an elasto-plastic tendency was seen with an increase in the strain rate. All samples exhibited the same kind of behavior and a special focus is drawn in comparing the FCC nickel with BCC tungsten and iron where the persistence of the elastic, plastic response was addressed. However there is no absolute reason for the inconsistencies in the mechanical properties observed in preliminary testing, more insights can be provided with advanced microscopy techniques where the study can be focused more to understand the deformation behavior under the indenter. These experiments demonstrate that there is a wealth of information in the initial stages of indentation and has led to much more insights into the incipient stages of plasticity.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Vadlakonda, Suman

Indoor Propagation Modeling at 2.4 GHz for IEEE 802.11 Networks

Description: Indoor use of wireless systems poses one of the biggest design challenges. It is difficult to predict the propagation of a radio frequency wave in an indoor environment. To assist in deploying the above systems, characterization of the indoor radio propagation channel is essential. The contributions of this work are two-folds. First, in order to build a model, extensive field strength measurements are carried out inside two different buildings. Then, path loss exponents from log-distance path loss model and standard deviations from log-normal shadowing, which statistically describe the path loss models for a different transmitter receiver separations and scenarios, are determined. The purpose of this study is to characterize the indoor channel for 802.11 wireless local area networks at 2.4 GHz frequency. This thesis presents a channel model based on measurements conducted in commonly found scenarios in buildings. These scenarios include closed corridor, open corridor, classroom, and computer lab. Path loss equations are determined using log-distance path loss model and log-normal shadowing. The chi-square test statistic values for each access point are calculated to prove that the observed fading is a normal distribution at 5% significance level. Finally, the propagation models from the two buildings are compared to validate the generated equations.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Tummala, Dinesh

Isolation and Characterization of Polymorphic Loci from the Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber): New Tools for Wildlife Management

Description: Methods to determine genetic diversity and relatedness within populations are essential tools for proper wildlife management. Today the approach of choice is polymerase chain reaction-based microsatellite analysis. Seven new polymorphic loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo genomic library and used to characterize survey populations of Caribbean and African greater flamingos. In addition, four of these loci were used to verify parentage relationships within a captive-breeding population of African greater flamingos. Parentage predictions based upon gamekeeper observations of breeding and nesting did not always agree with genetic-based parentage analyses of the nine suggested family groups. Four family groups were supported (groups I, II, III and VI) by there results. However, an analysis of the remaining five suggested groups, with a total of eight offspring/dam and eight offspring/sire suggested relationships, yielded seven exclusions of the suggested dam and six exclusions of the suggested sire. This put the overall suggested dam exclusion rate at 35% and exclusion rate for suggested sires at 29%. Although the keeper observation data for our family groups must be considered a variable of concern at this time, these findings are certainly suggestive that more carefully controlled studies may reveal that flamingos are not monogamous as long accepted, but rather socially monogamous or even promiscuous. Thus we have now been able to both characterize and demonstrate the utility of our polymorphic microsatellite loci. We hope these results will interest additional wildlife facilities in further parentage and behavioral studies that will collectively aid to improve monitoring and maintenance of genetic diversity, and as provide better insight into breeding habits of both wild and captive populations.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Preston, E. Lynn

Job embeddedness versus traditional models of voluntary turnover: A test of voluntary turnover prediction.

Description: Voluntary turnover has historically been a problem for today's organizations. Traditional models of turnover continue to be utilized in a number of ways in both academia and industry. A newer model of turnover, job embeddedness, has recently been developed in an attempt to better predict voluntary turnover than existing models. Job embeddedness consists of organizational fit, organizational sacrifice, and organizational links. The purpose of this study is to two fold. First, psychometric analyses were conducted on the job embeddedness model. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted on the dimensions of job embeddedness, which revealed a combined model consisting of five factors. This structure was then analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis, assessing a 1, 3, and 5 factor model structure. The confirmatory factor analysis established the use of the 5 factor model structure in subsequent analysis in this study. The second purpose of this study is to compare the predictive power of the job embeddedness model versus that of the traditional models of turnover. The traditional model of turnover is comprised of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and perceived job alternatives. In order to compare the predictive power of the job embeddedness and traditional model of voluntary turnover, a series of structural equation model analyses were conducting using LISREL. The job embeddedness model, alone, was found to be the best fit with the sample data. This fit was improved over the other two models tested (traditional model and the combination of the traditional and job embeddedness model). In addition to assessing which model better predicts voluntary turnover, it was tested which age group and gender is a better fit with the job embeddedness model. It was found that the job embeddedness model better predicts turnover intention for older respondents and males.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Besich, John

Knowledge management in times of change: Tacit and explicit knowledge transfers.

Description: This study proposed a look at the importance and challenges of knowledge management in times of great change. In order to understand the information phenomena of interest, impacts on knowledge workers and knowledge documents in times of great organizational change, the study is positioned in a major consolidation of state agencies in Texas. It pays special attention to how the changes were perceived by the knowledge workers by interviewing those that were impacted by the changes resulting from the reorganization. The overall goal is to assess knowledge management in times of great organizational change by analyzing the impact of consolidation on knowledge management in Texas's Health and Human Services agencies. The overarching research question is what happened to the knowledge management structure during this time of great change? The first research question was what was the knowledge worker environment during the time of change? The second research question was what was the knowledge management environment of the agencies during the time of change? The last research question was did consolidation of the HHS agencies diminish the ability to transition from tacit to explicit knowledge? Additionally, the study investigates how the bill that mandated the consolidation was covered in the local media as well as the actual budget and employee loss impact of the consolidation in order to better understand the impacts on knowledge workers and knowledge documents as a result of major organizational restructuring. The findings have both theoretical and practical implications for information science, knowledge management and project management.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Hall, Heather Leigh

Leadership Effectiveness: Investigating the Influences of Leader Sex, Gender, and Behaviors on Self and Other Perceptions

Description: Though increasing numbers of women are entering the workforce, a disproportionate number of women are placed into upper level management positions. Social role and role congruity theory both posit that women in leadership positions are likely to face more negative criticism than men in leadership positions. The purpose of the current study was to examine the influence of gender roles on leader behaviors as well as leaders' self perceived effectiveness. The study also examined third party raters' views of female and male leaders. Videotapes of forty-seven mixed sex groups with randomly appointed male and female leaders were used to examine leader behaviors as well as raters' effectiveness ratings. Leaders' self perceived effectiveness ratings were also used. Gender roles of the leaders were assessed using the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). Results of a MANOVA indicated that leader gender roles did not lead to differences in leader behaviors exhibited among those in feminine, masculine, and androgynous groups. For female leaders, femininity was not related to feminine behaviors. Unexpectedly, for male leaders, masculinity was inversely related to masculine behaviors. With regard to raters' effectiveness ratings of the leaders, no differences were found in ratings based on leader gender. Further, for female leaders, degree of femininity and masculinity was not related to raters' effectiveness ratings. However, exploratory analyses indicated a significant positive relationship to exist between raters' effectiveness ratings of female leaders and total time female leaders spoke. A significant inverse relationship was found between raters' effectiveness ratings and frequency of speech initiations used among female leaders. Significant correlations between male and female leaders' self perceived effectiveness ratings and self perceived gender roles were found. Specifically, masculinity was positively related to female leaders self perceived effectiveness while femininity was negatively related to male leader self perceived effectiveness. Overall, the results of the current ...
Date: December 2005
Creator: York, Christina D.

Lease Purchase Financing: The Processes and Impact on New School Construction in Texas

Description: The purpose of this study was to review and explore the concept of lease purchase financing for the construction of new facilities in Texas. It sought to determine the impact of lease purchase financing and the characteristics of those districts that have utilized lease purchase financing for the purpose of new school construction. A two pronged approach was used for the study, both quantitative and qualitative. The study examined all school districts that utilized lease purchasing and examined various traits of the districts. Data was acquired from the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Bond Review Board. The qualitative portion of the study included interviews with superintendents of nine different Texas school districts that have utilized lease purchase financing. The study concluded that lease purchase districts were generally small school districts that were property poor and have high property tax rates. The study also concluded that the major reason for districts to use lease purchase financing was to avoid having to hold an election in order to gain approval for the sale of traditional general obligation bonds. Another factor identified was the availability of state funds through the state Instructional Facility Allotment. The study also concluded that while districts sought to provide better programs for their students through better facilities, that students actually suffer due to instructional funds being used for the payment of long term debt.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Mohundro, William Randolph

The Life History and Contributions to the Ecology of Camelobaetidius variabilis Wiersema 1998 (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae) in Honey Creek, Oklahoma

Description: A study of the life history and ecology of Camelobaetidius variabilis was conducted in Honey Creek, OK from February 2003-April 2004. Nymph development was assessed using changes in external morphology. Laboratory reared nymphs were used to calculate number of degree days to complete development (772 degree days at 20.8° C ±.38° C), which was used to determine voltinism. Field collected nymph microhabitat distribution was used in assessing microhabitat distribution. Nymphal thermoregulation was assessed during the winter and spring by comparing nymphal numbers present in shaded and un-shaded habitats. Camelobaetidius variabilis nymphs showed preference for algal microhabitats during the spring and leaf packs in the winter. Nymphs inhabited leaf packs to increase metabolic rate during the winter. Increased temperatures aid in development of nymphs. Camelobaetidius variabilis exhibited a multivoltine life cycle with six overlapping generations.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Perry, Heather A.

Mechanism and the Effect of Microwave-Carbon Nanotube Interaction

Description: A series of experimental results about unusual heating of carbon nanotubes by microwaves is analyzed in this dissertation. Two of vibration types, cantilever type (one end is fixed and the other one end is free), the second type is both ends are fixed, have been studied by other people. A third type of forced vibration of carbon nanotubes under an alternating electromagnetic field is examined in this paper. Heating of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by microwaves is described in terms of nonlinear dynamics of a vibrating nanotube. Results from the model provide a way to understand several observations that have been made. It is shown that transverse vibrations of CNTs during microwave irradiation can be attributed to transverse parametric resonance, as occurs in the analysis of Melde's experiment on forced longitudinal vibrations of a stretched elastic string. For many kinds of carbon nanotubes (SWNT, DWNT, MWNT, ropes and strands) the resonant parameters are found to be located in an unstable region of the parameter space of Mathieu's equation. Third order wave equations are used to qualitatively describe the effects of phonon-phonon interactions and energy transfer from microwaves to CNTs. This result provides another way to input energy from microwaves to carbon nanotubes besides the usual Joule heating via electron-phonon interaction. This model appears to be the first to point out the role of nonlinear dynamics in the heating of CNTs by microwaves.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Ye, Zhou

Medication adherence among the elderly: A test of the effects of the Liberty 6000 technology.

Description: Medication adherence is a formidable challenge for the elderly who may have several prescribed medications while dealing with limited incomes and declining health. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the Liberty 6000, an automated capsule and tablet dispenser that provides proper medication dosages and is intended to encourage and track medication adherence. Seven focus groups were assembled; these comprised 49 men and women ages 65 to 98 years of Black, Anglo, and Hispanic descent who met the following criteria: living independently or semi-independently, had suffered one or more impairments, and were taking at least three prescription medications. Each focus group session lasted 90 minutes and was tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim, resulting in about 2,600 lines of text. Each question was designed to be open-ended to avoid introducing any bias that might influence the response. The Health Belief Model conceptually guided the study that addressed perceptions of illness susceptibility and severity, barriers, benefits, and cues to action associated with medication adherence. Main benefits of taking medications included avoiding inherited illnesses (or tendencies for illnesses), and reducing illness symptoms. Barriers to taking medications included forgetting, dexterity problems, and high cost. Benefits of the proposed intervention included reminding, caregiver notification, and providing a printed log of medications taken and missed. Barriers associated with the Liberty 6000 included its relatively large size, the difficulties that confronted older adults when loading the device, and its perceived cost. Using an adoption prediction model proposed a way to overcome barriers and encourage acceptance as well as a strategy to maintain acceptance over time. The model also can be used to evaluate a wide variety of medical devices for elderly people. This study identified the advantages and disadvantages of the Liberty 6000. Findings also suggest areas for further investigation by the nursing community and healthcare ...
Date: December 2005
Creator: August, Suzanne M.

Microsatellite-based genetic profiling for the management of wild and captive flamingo populations.

Description: Flamingo species generate tremendous interest whether they are small captive groups or wild populations numbering in the thousands. Genetic pedigrees are invaluable for maintaining maximum genetic diversity in captive, as well as wild, populations. However, presently there is a general lack of genetic data for flamingo populations. Microsatellites are loci composed of 2-6 base pair tandem repeats, scattered throughout higher eukaryotic genomes, often exhibiting high levels of polymorphism and heterozygosity. These loci are thus important genetic markers for identity, parentage and population studies. Here, six microsatellite loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo partial genomic library. Two are compound complex repeats and four are perfect trinucleotide repeats. Each locus was amplified from Caribbean, African greater, Chilean and lesser flamingo genomic DNAs. Heterozygosity frequencies were calculated for Caribbean (range 0.12-0.90) and African greater flamingos (range 0.23-0.94) loci. All six microsatellite loci were found to be in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and linkage disequilibrium analyses did not suggest linkage for any pair of two greater flamingo subspecies (African and Caribbean) loci. At least five of the loci also exhibit polymorphism in Chilean and lesser flamingos, but due to small sample numbers, relevant allele/heterozygosity frequency calculations could not be estimated. Nucleotide sequence comparisons of the amplicons derived from the four flamingo groups reveal a high level of sequence conservation at all loci. Although small sample numbers again limit the data for lesser flamingos and to some degree for the Chilean birds, the sequences of the two greater flamingo subspecies were identical and the number of nonconserved nucleotides appears to be higher for lesser/greater comparisons than for Chilean/greater comparisons. This is consistent with Chilean flamingos being a different species within the same genus as the greater flamingos, while lesser flamingos belong to a separate genus. Parentage analyses on suggested African greater flamingo family groups from ...
Date: December 2005
Creator: Kapil, Richa

A Minimally Supervised Word Sense Disambiguation Algorithm Using Syntactic Dependencies and Semantic Generalizations

Description: Natural language is inherently ambiguous. For example, the word "bank" can mean a financial institution or a river shore. Finding the correct meaning of a word in a particular context is a task known as word sense disambiguation (WSD), which is essential for many natural language processing applications such as machine translation, information retrieval, and others. While most current WSD methods try to disambiguate a small number of words for which enough annotated examples are available, the method proposed in this thesis attempts to address all words in unrestricted text. The method is based on constraints imposed by syntactic dependencies and concept generalizations drawn from an external dictionary. The method was tested on standard benchmarks as used during the SENSEVAL-2 and SENSEVAL-3 WSD international evaluation exercises, and was found to be competitive.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Faruque, Md. Ehsanul

A multi-dimensional entropy model of jazz improvisation for music information retrieval.

Description: Jazz improvisation provides a case context for examining information in music; entropy provides a means for representing music for retrieval. Entropy measures are shown to distinguish between different improvisations on the same theme, thus demonstrating their potential for representing jazz information for analysis and retrieval. The calculated entropy measures are calibrated against human representation by means of a case study of an advanced jazz improvisation course, in which synonyms for "entropy" are frequently used by the instructor. The data sets are examined for insights in music information retrieval, music information behavior, and music representation.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Simon, Scott J.

A New Approach to Texas Groundwater Management: An Environmental Justice Argument to Challenge the Rule of Capture

Description: Texas is the last remaining state to utilize the rule of capture, a doctrine based on English Common Law, as a means of regulating groundwater resources. Many of the western states originally used the rule of capture to regulate their groundwater resources, but over time, each of these states replaced the rule of capture with other groundwater laws and regulations. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) State Water Plan, Water for Texas-2002, warned Texans if current water usage and laws do not change, there will be an unmet need of 7.5 million acre-feet of water annually by 2050. This caused individuals in state and local government to begin asking the question, "How are we going to meet our future water needs?" In the search for a solution to the water shortage problem people have divided themselves into two groups: one wants to consider the implementation of water conservation measures to reduce per capita water use in order to meet future demands; while the other group wants to spend millions of dollars to build reservoirs and dams along with laying thousands of miles of pipeline to move water around the state. The fact that Texas has yet to come up with a definitive answer to their water shortage peaked my curiosity to research what caused the State of Texas to get to a point of having a shortage of fresh water and then look at possible solutions that incorporate water conservation measures. In my thesis I present a historical overview of the rule of capture as Texas's means of groundwater management in order to illustrate the role it played in contributing to the water shortage Texans now face. I also take a historical look at the environmental justice movement, a grass-roots movement by environmentalists and Civil Rights activists working together to ...
Date: December 2005
Creator: Purvis, Jody

An NMR Study of 2-Ethylbutyllithium/Lithium 2-Ethyl-1-butoxide Mixed Aggregates, Lithium Hydride/Lithium 2-Ethyl-1-butoxide Mixed Aggregates, n-Pentyllithium Aggregates, and n-Pentyllithium/Lithium n-Pentoxide Mixed Aggregates

Description: A 13C and 6Li variable temperature NMR study of 2-ethylbutyllithium/lithium 2-ethyl-1-butoxide mixed aggregates formed from reacting 2-ethyl-1-butanol with 2-ethylbutyllithium in two O/Li ratios of 0.2/1 and 0.8/1. The 0.2/1 sample resulted in two 2-ethylbutyllithium/lithium 2-ethyl-1-butoxide mixed aggregates and seven lithium hydride/lithium 2-ethyl-1-butoxide mixed aggregates. The lithium hydride mixed aggregates were also studied using selective 1H decoupling experiments. The 0.8/1 sample resulted in six 2-ethylbutyllithium/lithium 2-ethyl-1-butoxide mixed aggregates and five lithium hydride/lithium 2-ethyl-1-butoxide mixed aggregates. A low temperature 13C NMR spectroscopy study of n-pentyllithium indicated three aggregates, most likely a hexamer, an octamer, and a nonamer. A low temperature 13C NMR study of an 0.2/1 O/Li ratio sample of n-pentyllithium mixed with 1-pentanol resulted in three n-pentyllithium/lithium n-pentoxide aggregates mixed aggregates along with the three n-pentyllithium aggregates. 13C NMR data for this mixture gave inconclusive results whether or not lithium hydride/lithium alkoxide mixed aggregates were present in the sample.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Sellers, Nicole

Nontraditional Students in Community Colleges and the Model of College Outcomes for Adults

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine three components of Donaldson and Graham's (1999) model of college outcomes for adults: (a) Prior Experience & Personal Biographies, (b) the Connecting Classroom, and (c) Life-World Environment, and to assess their application to traditional and nontraditional students in community colleges in both technical and nontechnical courses. The study sample was comprised of 311 community college students enrolled in technical and nontechnical courses during fall 2005. A survey instrument was developed based on the three model components through a review of the literature. Demographic data collected were utilized to classify students into a technical or nontechnical grouping as well as four classifications of traditionalism: (a) traditional, (b) minimally nontraditional, (c) moderately nontraditional, and (d) highly traditional. This study found that nontraditional students vary from traditional students in regards to the three model constructs. A post hoc descriptive discriminate analysis determined that the Life-World Environment component contributed the most to group differences with the minimally nontraditional group scoring the highest on this construct.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Philibert, Nanette

Parental Understanding and Satisfaction with Special Education Services in the State of Texas

Description: Parental participation in educational issues is relevant in assisting parents in understanding and becoming satisfied with their child's educational experience. Parental involvement is not only an ethical issue for teachers, but mandates have been established for special educators through various public laws. When involving parents in their children's education, it is relevant to consider various factors associated with students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Parental satisfaction plays an important role in many cultures in obtaining parental involvement in decision-making meetings. If parents experience negative interactions, parental participation can be diminished. In other cultures, the satisfaction level raises parental trust in allowing school staff to make the appropriate choices for their children. Family values and beliefs among the various cultures should be a consideration when encouraging parents to participate in their child's educational process. Several barriers exist when involving different cultural groups; therefore, it is essential for educators to become aware of these barriers and learn strategies to overcome them. This study addresses parental understanding and satisfaction among ethnic group and throughout various disability groups by evaluating parental responses from a statewide survey and three focus groups.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Patton, Angela Havard

Perceptions of Postpartum Depression among Adolescent Mothers and the Social Construction of Related Stigma

Description: Six serial focus groups were used to explore the perceptions of postpartum depression among nine adolescent mothers. The discussions were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed using symbolic interaction theory, specifically Goffman's concept of stigma. Participants identified major stigma themes in relation to postpartum depression, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, all of which were portrayed negatively in the media. Several key causes of adolescent postpartum depression were also found including self esteem relating to poor body image and social support. The findings indicate a much needed change in the way adolescent mothers are identified and treated for postpartum depression. Additionally, the importance of social support in preventing and treating adolescent postpartum depression is highlighted and programs addressing such concerns must be implemented.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Gosdin, Melissa M.

A Performer's Guide to John Musto's Penelope: A Cycle of Seven Songs for Soprano and Piano

Description: Award-winning composer John Musto stands at the forefront of modern American art-song composition. Many of his songs, such as "Litany" from Shadow of the Blues, have already achieved a place in the standard contemporary repertory for singers. His compositional technique weaves influences of jazz, blues, ragtime, and popular music with classical technique to make music that is decidedly modern but accessible and well liked both by critics and audiences. Unfortunately, though he is still actively composing, very little has been written about Musto and there is a lack of information available about his more recent compositions. This performance guide addresses one of Musto's acclaimed song cycles, Penelope, (a cycle of seven songs for soprano and piano) commissioned and premiered in 2000. The story of the cycle is an updated version of the character Penelope from Homer's The Odyssey and was a collaboration between Musto and poet Denise Lanctot. Including interviews with Musto, and his wife, soprano Amy Burton, who premiered the cycle and for whom it was written, the document provides background information on how the cycle was conceived and gives in-depth performance information on each of the seven songs of Penelope. In addition to musical examples and poetry from the songs, this study also contains a catalogue of Musto's compositions listing premiere dates, performers, and information about the commission of each work.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Kanakis, Karen

Performing Culture, Performing Me: Exploring Textual Power through Rehearsal and Performance

Description: This thesis project explores Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa's notion of a new mestiza consciousness, in which the marginalized ethnic American woman transcends her Otherness, breaks down the borders between her different identities, and creates a Thirdspace. Through the rehearsal and performance process, three ethnic American women employed Robert Scholes' model of textuality-the consumption and production of texts-as a framework to construct a new mestiza consciousness, and create a Thirdspace. The project set to determine what strategies were significant rehearsal techniques for encouraging the cast members to exercise textual power and claim a new mestiza identity, a Thirdspace. The results reveal four overarching factors involved in assuming textual power through rehearsal and performance in the production-building trust, having appropriate skills, assuming ownership and responsibility, and overcoming performance anxiety. The discussion addresses the direct link between Thirdspace and Scholes' notion of production of original texts.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Gonzales, Melinda Arteaga

Planning techniques for agent based 3D animations.

Description: The design of autonomous agents capable of performing a given goal in a 3D domain continues to be a challenge for computer animated story generation systems. We present a novel prototype which consists of a 3D engine and a planner for a simple virtual world. We incorporate the 2D planner into the 3D engine to provide 3D animations. Based on the plan, the 3D world is created and the objects are positioned. Then the plan is linearized into simpler actions for object animation and rendered via the 3D engine. We use JINNI3D as the engine and WARPLAN-C as the planner for the above-mentioned prototype. The user can interact with the system using a simple natural language interface. The interface consists of a shallow parser, which is capable of identifying a set of predefined basic commands. The command given by the user is considered as the goal for the planner. The resulting plan is created and rendered in 3D. The overall system is comparable to a character based interactive story generation system except that it is limited to the predefined 3D environment.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Kandaswamy, Balasubramanian