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Identification of a Potential Factor Affecting Graduation Rates in STEM for Hispanic Students at the University of North Texas, via Analysis of Nonfiction Science Books in Spanish Language for ELLs in the Dallas ISD Schools
Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S.; however despite the continuous growth of the Hispanic population, Latinos are severely underrepresented in STEM fields. One of the reasons that might explain why Latinos do not major in STEM is the way they encounter science curriculum in primary school. Students' limited proficiency in English may constrain their science achievement when instruction is delivered exclusively in English. A quantitative analysis with graduation rates in STEM from 2009 to 2014 at the University of North Texas was conducted, finding that there is a significant difference (p<0.05) in the number of bachelor's degrees in STEM between Hispanic, White, African American and other student populations. Interviews with teachers, librarians and publishing companies were performed to describe the limited science literature in Spanish at the Dallas ISD schools. Improving science literacy by teaching according to ELLs' linguistic skills and culture may lead to a better understanding of science curriculum throughout their education, which may translate into higher college graduation rates by Hispanic recipients in STEM.
"Counting Out The Harvest"
"Counting Out The Harvest" is a collection of poems exploring intimate encounters. The poems reflect on encounters with memories, family, and the natural and cosmic worlds. In one of the poems, "Red-Throated Anole," the speaker works desperately to save a small dying lizard. In "Ice Storm, Post-Divorce," the speaker attempts to decipher a cluster of ladybugs taking refuge in her room. In the title poem, a couple wonders patiently if their crop will eventually grow. In each of these poems there is a present longing for the construction of a meaningful identity by means of the encounter, but the intersection between speaker and world falls short of satisfaction, whether the faultiness lies in the body's inability to find full sustenance, or in the ever-changing fluidity of memory to find stability. But the poems progress from pressing against this difficulty toward finding a contented resignation to the world's cyclical order. The final line of the manuscript, "disrobe a layer to begin again," indicates an arrival at satisfaction, which is found ultimately in continuation.
Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design
This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
Customers' Attitudes toward Mobile Banking Applications in Saudi Arabia
Mobile banking services have changed the design and delivery of financial services and the whole banking sector. Financial service companies employ mobile banking applications as new alternative channels to increase customers' convenience and to reduce costs and maintain profitability. The primary focus of this study was to explore the Saudi bank customers' perceptions about the adoption of mobile banking applications and to test the relationships between the factors that influence mobile banking adoption as independent variables and the action to adopt them as the dependent variable. Saudi customers' perceptions were tested based on the extended versions of IDT, TAM and other diffusion of innovation theories and frameworks to generate a model of constructs that can be used to study the use and the adoption of mobile technology by users. Koenig-Lewis, Palmer, & Moll's (2010) model was used to test its constructs of (1) perceived usefulness, (2) perceived ease of use, (3) perceived compatibility, (4) perceived credibility, (5) perceived trust, (6) perceived risk, and (7) perceived cost, and these were the independent variables in current study. This study revealed a high level of adoption that 82.7% of Saudis had adopted mobile banking applications. Also, the findings of this study identified a statistically significant relationship between all of demographic differences: gender, education level, monthly income, and profession and mobile banking services among adopters and non-adopters. Seven attributes relating to the adoption of mobile banking applications were evaluated in this study to assess which variables affected Saudi banks customers in their adoption of mobile banking services. The findings indicated that the attributes that significantly affected the adoption of mobile banking applications among Saudis were perceived trust, perceived cost, and perceived risk. These three predictors, as a result, explained more than 60% of variance in intention to adopt mobile banking technology in Saudi Arabia. ...
Respiratory Responses in the Freshwater Snail (Pomacea Bridgesii) are Differently Affected by Temperature , Body Mass,and Oxygen Avalability
Pomacea bridgesii is a snail species native to tropical and sub-tropical regions, where it usually faces variability in water, temperature and oxygen level. This study of the effect of temperature on mass-specific oxygen consumption (ṀO2) and its relation to body weight shows that the ṀO2 of juvenile snails in normoxia (18-21 kPa) acclimated at temperature of 25°C ranged from 5 to 58 µMol O2/g/h, with a mean of 41.4 ± 18.3 µMol O2/g/h (n=7). Adult snails in normoxia at 25°C show less variation, ranging from 13 to 23 µMol O2/g/h , with a mean of 24.4± 6.1 µMol O2/g/h (n=12). The Q10 value for juvenile snails was higher in the interval 25-30°C (Q 10=5.74) than in the interval 20-25°C (Q10= 0.286). In adult snails, Q10 was higher in the interval 20-25°C (Q10=3.19). ṀO2 of P. bridgesii in relation to body weight showed a negative linear correlation between metabolic rate and body weight with b values between 0.23 and 0.76. Also, both juvenile and adult snails exhibited weak O2 regulation. In general, the different respiratory characteristics between juvenile and adult snails might be related to the differences of individual life history, which caused them to perform differently in face of temperatures change. Additionally, Pomacean snails species originated in tropical habitats where there is a lack of thermal fluctuation. For this reason, Pomacean snails may be less likely to have evolved effective thermal acclimation capabilities.
The Role of Physical Activity and Physical Fitness on Biomarkers Associated with Depression and Cardiovascular Disease
Two important health issues that can develop during young adulthood are related to mental health (e.g., depression) and physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease). A common characteristic for both of these diseases is low-grade and chronic inflammation, but inflammation is negatively associated with physical activity (PA) and physical fitness. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how PA and physical fitness were associated with biomarkers for depression and cardiovascular disease. Participants included 41 undergraduates who were considered to be "physical fit" (n = 21, Males = 15) or "physically unfit" (n = 20, Males = 17). They completed a battery of physical fitness assessments (e.g., 20m shuttle run, body fat percentage, handgrip strength, push-ups, blood pressure, and waist circumference), a self-report measure for depression and stress, and wore an accelerometer for one week. Afterwards, blood was drawn to estimate CVD risk using biomarkers for metabolic syndrome (i.e., triglycerides, glucose, and HDL) and inflammation (i.e., C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6, interleukin-1b, and tumor necrosis factor alpha). The physically fit group had more moderate and vigorous PA, lower body fat percentage and handgrip strength scores, and performed better on the VO2max, curl-up, and plank tests compared to the physically unfit group. They also had a healthier profile for CVD (i.e., smaller waist circumference, lower triglycerides and glucose concentrations, higher HDL, and lower CRP) and lower self-reported depression and stress scores compared to the physically unfit group.
Quantum Drinfeld Hecke Algebras
Quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras extend both Lusztig's graded Hecke algebras and the symplectic reflection algebras of Etingof and Ginzburg to the quantum setting. A quantum (or skew) polynomial ring is generated by variables which commute only up to a set of quantum parameters. Certain finite groups may act by graded automorphisms on a quantum polynomial ring and quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras deform the natural semi-direct product. We classify these algebras for the infinite family of complex reflection groups acting in arbitrary dimension. We also classify quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras in arbitrary dimension for the infinite family of mystic reflection groups of Kirkman, Kuzmanovich, and Zhang, who showed they satisfy a Shephard-Todd-Chevalley theorem in the quantum setting. Using a classification of automorphisms of quantum polynomial rings in low dimension, we develop tools for studying quantum Drinfeld Hecke algebras in 3 dimensions. We describe the parameter space of such algebras using special properties of the quantum determinant in low dimension; although the quantum determinant is not a homomorphism in general, it is a homomorphism on the finite linear groups acting in dimension 3.
Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops: An Analysis of Racial Profiling Data in Texas
The primary goal of this study was to analyze existing racial profiling data collected and reported by law enforcement agencies in Texas. The internet-based data used was obtained through TCOLE, as it is the state mandated repository in which all law enforcement agencies must submit their annual racial profiling reports to. In analyzing a collection requirement of these reports, this study sought to determine how frequently law enforcement officers know the race or ethnicity of drivers prior to traffic stops. Furthermore, the study sought to determine if there are differences in the rates of race or ethnicity known prior to stops across Texas geographical regions, county population sizes, agency types, as well as between counties with and without interstate thoroughfares. This analysis consisted of 3,250,984 traffic stops conducted by 1,186 law enforcement agencies in 2014. Findings revealed that law enforcement officers rarely know the race or ethnicity of drivers prior to traffic stops, as was consistently found across all measures. Findings and implications are discussed.
The Re-Unification of Dr. Edwin Fissinger's Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle
Edwin Fissinger (1920-1990) was a conductor and prolific choral composer. His compositional techniques, settings of text, jazz-influenced harmonies, and melodic propulsion fulfill an important role in each of his compositions. In the eight choral cycles he composed, Fissinger unified each cycle through thematic and textual elements. Although this resulted in a logical progression of poetry and music, Fissinger's final choral cycle, Prairie Scenes, was not published as he intended. Rather, individual selections from the cycle were published by two different publishing houses, out of sequence, and sixteen years apart. Consequently, the eight pieces are not currently performed together. Today's choral conductors, singers, and audience do not fully appreciate the value of this choral cycle and cannot understand its intended context. It is necessary to provide an in-depth investigation of the original eight-piece work Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle to place the appropriate organizational set together. This study illustrates the importance of the unification of Fissinger's Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle through a study of the poetry, the thematic material as it relates to the natural elements of the prairies, the manuscripts, and interviews with Fissinger's publishers and colleagues. An examination of Fissinger's compositional technique to convey the meaning of the text reveals a clear link between Prairie Scenes and the North Dakota prairies and its seasons. A description of the development of the choral cycle throughout music history and a biography of Edwin Fissinger and his compositional style are also included.
A Survey of Selected, Original Chamber Music for Saxophone with Diverse Instruments by Marilyn Shrude
Marilyn Shrude is a champion for contemporary concert music. Throughout her career, she has written multiple works including the saxophone that utilize its unique timbre. Atonality is a chief characteristic of her compositional style. Her contributions to the saxophone repertoire include solos, duos with piano, chamber works, quartets and larger works with band. This study surveys five chamber pieces that include saxophone with diverse instruments written by Marilyn Shrude. The pieces includes are Splintered Visions (1985), Notturno: In Memorium Toru Takemitsu (1996), Transparent Eyes (2000), Face of the Moon (2000) and Within Silence (2012). The analysis of each work includes information pertaining to the creation of cohesion and atonality throughout the piece.
Sustainable Education: An Interfaith Climate Change Initiative
This thesis is a study of religion and the environment in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and how participants define and interpret their religious duty toward nature. The literature is focused on the field of Christianity and Ecology from its historical development, culminating with a discussion of contemporary religious environmental activism. Utilizing a participatory action research framework, a sustainable education program was developed, focusing on the environmental ethics of Christianity. With my participants we address the topics of sustainability and climate change, religion and the environment, consumption, and advocacy. While the final product of the study was a program on Christianity and Ecology, interfaith ideas can be found throughout the work.
Sven-David Sandström's Matthäuspassion: Examining J.S. Bach's Influence and Sandström's Compositional Language, Use of Symbolism, and Religious and Spiritual Motivations
Beginning with his High Mass written in 1994, popular Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström modeled multiple compositions after famous canonical works using the same texts and/or instrumentation. Sandström wants to be compared tot he greatest, specifically in how a twenty-first century composer responds to a text set , in the case of J.S. Bach's , over 250 years ago. His setting of Matthäuspassion (MP), which uses the same libretto as J.S. Bach, is his most extensive non-operatic work, one he considers his most significant, and likely his last work based on a preexisting model. This study 1) examines the influence of J.S. Bach's MP on Sandström's setting in the use of characters and chorales, 2) illustrates Sandström's compositional language in MP based on recent studies on his choral music, 3) describes his use of musical symbolism, and 4) discusses his religious and spiritual motivations behind the work, as well as his preferred uses in performance.
Synthesis and Photochemical Studies of Wide-Band Capturing Sensitizers Capable of Light Energy Harvesting
Artificial photosynthesis, for the purpose of converting solar energy into fuel, is one of the most viable and promising alternative approaches to solve the current global energy and environmental issues. Among the challenges faced in artificial photosynthesis is in building photosystems that can effectively and efficiently perform light absorption and charge separation in broad-band capturing donor-acceptor systems. While having a broad-band capturing antenna system that can harness incoming photons is crucial, another equally important task is to successfully couple the antenna system, while maintaining its optical properties, to an energy or electron acceptor which serves as the reaction center for the generation of charged species of useful potential energy. The stored potential energy will be utilized in different applications such as driving electrons in solar cells or in splitting water for the generation of fuel. Hence, the particular endeavor of this thesis is to study and synthesize molecular/supramolecular systems with wide-band capturing capabilities to generate long-lived charge separated states. The sensitizer used in building these systems in the present study is 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene, for short, BF2 chelated Azaboron dipyrromenthene or AzaBODIPY. A handful of novel donor-acceptor systems based on AzaBODIPY have been successfully designed, synthesized and their photochemistry have been investigated using various techniques. In these systems, Azabodipy has been covalently attached to several donors like porphyrin, bodipy, subphthalocyanine, phenothiazine, ferrocene, bithiophene and effectively coupled to an electron acceptor, C60. These systems have been fully characterized by NMR, Mass, optical absorption and emission, X-ray crystallographic, computational, electrochemical, and photochemical studies. It has been possible to demonstrate occurrence of efficient electron and energy transfer events and long-lived charge separated states upon photoexcitation in these model compounds. By changing the arrangements of the donor and acceptor entities, it has also been possible to show directional, through-space and through-bond electron transfer processes. The present ...
Sensing and Decoding Brain States for Predicting and Enhancing Human Behavior, Health, and Security
The human brain acts as an intelligent sensor by helping in effective signal communication and execution of logical functions and instructions, thus, coordinating all functions of the human body. More importantly, it shows the potential to combine prior knowledge with adaptive learning, thus ensuring constant improvement. These qualities help the brain to interact efficiently with both, the body (brain-body) as well as the environment (brain-environment). This dissertation attempts to apply the brain-body-environment interactions (BBEI) to elevate human existence and enhance our day-to-day experiences. For instance, when one stepped out of the house in the past, one had to carry keys (for unlocking), money (for purchasing), and a phone (for communication). With the advent of smartphones, this scenario changed completely and today, it is often enough to carry just one's smartphone because all the above activities can be performed with a single device. In the future, with advanced research and progress in BBEI interactions, one will be able to perform many activities by dictating it in one's mind without any physical involvement. This dissertation aims to shift the paradigm of existing brain-computer-interfaces from just ‘control' to ‘monitor, control, enhance, and restore' in three main areas - healthcare, transportation safety, and cryptography. In healthcare, measures were developed for understanding brain-body interactions by correlating cerebral autoregulation with brain signals. The variation in estimated blood flow of brain (obtained through EEG) was detected with evoked change in blood pressure, thus, enabling EEG metrics to be used as a first hand screening tool to check impaired cerebral autoregulation. To enhance road safety, distracted drivers' behavior in various multitasking scenarios while driving was identified by significant changes in the time-frequency spectrum of the EEG signals. A distraction metric was calculated to rank the severity of a distraction task that can be used as an intuitive measure ...
"Southern Tongues Leave Us Shining"
A collection of poems that are history- and place-infused lyrical songs that that sounds the landscapes and distances of the South, with a critical preface that explores erotic encounters with the divine.
The Spinning Place
"The Spinning Place" finds its impetus in the intersection of the spiritual and material, and while often dwelling in a domestic milieu, the poems move outward both figuratively and literally. For instance, one poem re-narrates the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, several poems are about divination by various means (frogs, animal behavior), and another performs an erasure of the last supper so that it instead tells a woman's experience in a delivery room. I borrow the title of the collection from a stanza of Dylan Thomas's poem "Fern Hill," and the excerpt (which will become an epigraph to the book) reads: "So it must have been after the birth of the simple light / In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm / Out of the whinnying green stable / On to the fields of praise." Thomas refers to the newly created earth as the "spinning place," imagining the fleeting idyll and harmony of that scene. In a similar way, my new poems specifically explore moments of creation, birth, and discovery, drawing from a variety of inspirations, including recognizable narratives and myths, as well as personal experience.
Stigma, Spirituality and Psychological Quality of Life in People Living with HIV: A Mixed Methods Approach
HIV is a potentially fatal virus that affects over 1,148,200 people in the United States. Due to the minority status that comes with living with HIV, PLH (people living with HIV) often encounter various aspects of stigma due to HIV, which contributes to suppressed overall psychological quality of life (PQOL).While the relationship between stigma and PQOL in PLH is well documented, little research examines mediators of this relationship. We hypothesized that spirituality (as measured by sense of peace, forgiveness of self and perceived fulfillment of life's goal) mediates the relationship between stigma and PQOL (as measured by depression, mental health and stress). We used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design which utilizes two distinct phases of the research process: quantitative (QUANT) analysis followed by qualitative (QUAL) analysis. Results of the QUANT phase suggest spirituality is a partial mediator in the relationship between stigma and PQOL in PLH. In the QUAL phase, we interviewed 15 PLH to elaborate on the relationships between the three constructs. We found PLH endorsed personalized stigma most frequently. Similarly, our results also indicate PLH experience stress, depression and anxiety as a result of their HIV status. Lastly, participant's interviewed most commonly described their spiritual beliefs as relating to religion or God, which is in contrast to how spirituality was conceptualized in the quantitative portion of our study. In all, QUAL results confirmed QUANT findings, with the one main difference between how spirituality was conceptualized between the QUANT and QUAL qualitative portions of our study. Results highlight the importance of clinicians inquiring about PLH's PQOL, experiences of stigma and spiritual beliefs.
Understanding the Information Seeking of Pre-Kindergarten Students: An Ethnographic Exploration of Their Seeking Behaviors in a Preschool Setting
Although there has been research conducted in the area of information seeking behavior in children, the research focusing on young children, more specifically on pre-kindergarten students, is almost nonexistent. Children at this age are in the preoperational developmental stage. They tend to display curiosity about the world around them, and use other people as a means to gain the information they are seeking. Due to the insistence from President Obama to implement pre-kindergarten programs for all low and middle class children, the need to understand the cognitive, emotional, and physical needs of these children is becoming increasingly imperative. To researchers, the actions displayed by these young children on a daily basis remain vital in determining the methods by which they are categorized, studies, and even taught. This study employed Deci and Ryan's self-determination theory (SDT), Dervin's sense-making theory, Kuhlthau''s information search process model (ISP), and Shenton and Dixon's microcosmic model of information seeking via people to lay the theoretical foundational framework. This ethnographic study aimed to fill the age gap found in information seeking literature. By observing young children in the school setting, I gained insight into how these children seek information. The resulting information collected via field observations and semi-structured interviews were coded based on Shenton and Dixon's model of information seeking via people. The findings, in Chapter 5, revealed emerging codes and trends in the information seeking behaviors of pre-kindergarten students.
Using a Conditional Discrimination Training Procedure to Teach College Students to Play Music by Ear
A conditional discrimination training procedure was used to establish stimulus-stimulus relations that might lead to the emergence of relations that define playing by ear. The participants were four college students. Overall, the results varied across participants. Of the 3 participants who received Training 1 (hear-note-name/select-key), all 3 participants acquired that relation. Out of those 3 participants, 2 participants showed emergence of the hear-see-key-pressed/say-note-name relation after Training 1. Of the 3 participants who received Training 2, (hear-note-name/select-tone), 2 participants acquired that relation for at least one set. Out of those 3 participants, 1 participant showed emergence of the hear-tone/say-note-name relation. One out of three participants was successful in correctly playing a sequence of four notes by ear at the end of the study. One participant did not complete the study due to availability conflicts. The overall results can suggest that the relations used in this study should be taken into account when training someone to play by ear. However, the current data do not allow us to conclude whether it is necessary to teach or test all of these relations in order to teach playing by ear.
Using Topic Models to Study Journalist-Audience Convergence and Divergence: The Case of Human Trafficking Coverage on British Online Newspapers
Despite the accessibility of online news and availability of sophisticated methods for analyzing news content, no previous study has focused on the simultaneous examination of news coverage on human trafficking and audiences' interpretations of this coverage. In my research, I have examined both journalists' and commenters' topic choices in coverage and discussion of human trafficking from the online platforms of three British newspapers covering the period 2009–2015. I used latent semantic analysis (LSA) to identify emergent topics in my corpus of newspaper articles and readers' comments, and I then quantitatively investigated topic preferences to identify convergence and divergence on the topics discussed by journalists and their readers. I addressed my research questions in two distinctive studies. The first case study implemented topic modelling techniques and further quantitative analyses on article and comment paragraphs from The Guardian. The second extensive study included article and comment paragraphs from the online platforms of three British newspapers: The Guardian, The Times and the Daily Mail. The findings indicate that the theories of "agenda setting" and of "active audience" are not mutually exclusive, and the scope of explanation of each depends partly on the specific topic or subtopic that is analyzed. Taking into account further theoretical concepts related to agenda setting, four more additional research questions were addressed. Topic convergence and divergence was further identified when taking into account the newspapers' political orientation and the articles' and comments' year of publication.
Synthesis, Characterization and Catalytic Studies of Chiral Gold Acyclic Diaminocarbene Complexes
Chiral gold complexes have been applied in homogeneous catalytic reactions since 1986, in some cases with high enantioselectivity. Acyclic diaminocarbene (ADC) ligands are acyclic analogues of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) that have larger N-CCarbene-N angles and stronger donating ability. ADCs have been developed as alternatives to phosphine and NHC ligands in homogeneous gold catalysis. In 2012, a new series of chiral gold(I) ADCs were first developed by Slaughter's group and were shown to give remarkable enantioselectivities in some reactions. Because of the hindered rotation of the N-CCarbene bonds of ADC, chiral ADC substituents can easily get close to the metal center in some conformations, although two rotameric structures are formed if the chiral amine is nonsymmetric. The selective of specific ADC conformations was the initial focus of this study. Formational selectivity of one diastereomer of an ADC ligand during synthesis was examines by measuring the relative rates of diastereomer formation in a 1H NMR kinetic study. The potential for converting multiple conformational isomers of ADCs into a single conformation, or at least a simpler mixture, was examined. This study used the analogy that anti- isomer has electronic and structural similarity with urea/thiourea, raising the possibility that 1,8-naphthyridine can be used to favor certain conformations through a self-assembled hydrogen-bonding complex. Gold(I) is a soft carbophilic Lewis acid able to active C-C π bonds to nucleophilic attack, and ADC-gold complexes are potentially useful in this regard. Therefore, biaryl gold(I) ADC complexes were examine with silver salt additives in catalytic 1,6-enyne cyclization reaction. A detailed study found that the counteranion affects the regioselectivities of these reactions more than substituents on the ancillary ADC ligands.
Teacher Leadership Implementation: Change Agents in a Large Urban School District
Education reform initiatives continue to push schools to improve methods of measuring accountability intended to improve student achievement in the United States. Federal programs like the Teacher Incentive Find (TIF) provide school districts with funds to develop and implement school accountability and leadership programs. Teacher leadership is one of the concepts being formally developed amongst these initiatives. My applied thesis project focused on work I conducted with a team of researchers at American Institutes for Research, where we evaluated a teacher leadership program in its third year of implementation. Teacher leadership is facilitated through distributive leadership. School leaders distribute responsibilities that provide teachers with opportunities to extend their expertise outside of their own classrooms. My thesis explores teacher leadership roles and investigates implementation across the client school district. It also discusses how particular anthropological theories about communities of practice, learning, and identity can provide a foundation for conceptualizing teacher leadership implementation and the social interactions between program actors.
Understanding Principal Perceptions of Stress and Burnout: A Qualitative Case Study in North Texas School Districts
This qualitative case study examined principals' perceptions regarding stress and burnout, investigated perspectives regarding ways to alleviate chronic stress, and analyzed the extent to which future role expectations are related to chronic stress and feelings of burnout. Perceptions of eight elementary principals in large, suburban school districts who experienced similar professional preparation prior to receiving their first principalship were analyzed. Participants, identified through criterion sampling, completed a demographic survey and then participated in a one-on-one interview with the researcher. Once data were collected, interviews were transcribed and analyzed to determine categories and themes. Findings revealed that participants struggle with significant stress in six specified domains: school type, students, parents and community, staff, district personnel, and other. Half of participants perceive that their stress will rise during the next five to ten years. Thirty-eight percent predicted that job stress will decline in the coming years, though they do not believe that identified stress factors will decrease. Instead, they believe that factors such as experience will help them to deal more effectively with the same challenges. Furthermore, 63% of participants do not plan to remain in their current principalship until retirement. All participants reported current personal stress-management strategies that fall into the categories of work-home balance or healthy habits. In campus-specific strategies, 63% focused on staff morale-building opportunities. Finally, 38% of participants did not feel that their district provides strategies that assist in the management of principalship stress.
Reading the Ruptured Word: Detecting Trauma in Gothic Fiction from 1764-1853
Using trauma theory, I analyze the disjointed narrative structure of gothic works from 1764-1853 as symptomatic of the traumatic experience. Gothic novels contain multiple structural anomalies, including gaps in experience that indicate psychological wounding, use of the supernatural to violate rational thought, and the inability of witnesses to testify to the traumatic event. These structural abnormalities are the result of trauma that characters within these texts then seek to prevent or repair via detection.
The Relationship Between Shame and Attachment Styles
Despite research documenting the association between shame and aspects of poor psychological functioning, shame's adverse effects have remained largely invisible in modern societies. Shame has been described as the "attachment emotion" (Lewis, 1980), yet, there is little research that examines the relationship between attachment style and shame, and conclusions from this research are tempered by methodological limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations with a quasi-experimental design and employed measures of state and trait shame, shame coping styles, an Emotional Stroop task for assessing implicit shame, and a shame mood induction procedure (MIP). This methodology provided a basis to examine differences by attachment style for 271 university students in state, trait, and implicit shame, as well as the use of maladaptive shame coping styles at baseline and following a shame MIP. Additionally, a qualitative analysis of the shame MIP written responses was conducted to provide a more nuanced understanding of the task used to elicit feelings of shame and individual differences in events identified as shame-triggering. Results revealed that students evidencing an insecure attachment style (i.e., preoccupied, fearful, or dismissive). reported significantly more state and trait shame compared to students evidencing a secure attachment style after the shame MIP. Individuals with an insecure attachment also demonstrated significant increases in state shame from baseline to post-MIP. Additionally, students with a preoccupied or fearful attachment style were also significantly more likely to endorse utilizing maladaptive shame coping strategies compared to students with a secure attachment style. Clinical implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
Wireless Signal Conditioning
This thesis presents a new approach to extend and reduce the transmission range in wireless systems. Conditioning is defined as purposeful electromagnetic interference that affects a wireless signal as it propagates through the air. This interference can be used constructively to enhance a signal and increase its energy, or destructively to reduce energy. The constraints and limitations of the technology are described as a system model, and a flow chart is used to describe the circuit process. Remaining theoretical in nature, practical circuit implementations are foregone in the interest of elementary simulations depicting the interactions of modulated signals as they experience phase mismatch. Amplitude modulation and frequency modulation are explored with using both positive and negative conditioning, and conclusions to whether one is more suitable than the other are made.
Workfunction tuning of AZO Films Through Surface Modification for Anode Application in OLEDs.
Widespread use of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) in solid state lighting and display technologies require efficiency and lifetime improvements, as well as cost reductions, inclusive of the transparent conducting oxide (TCO). Indium tin oxide (ITO) is the standard TCO anode in OLEDs, but indium is expensive and the Earth's reserve of this element is limited. Zinc oxide (ZnO) and its variants such as aluminum-doped ZnO (AZO) exhibit comparable electrical conductivity and transmissivity to ITO, and are of interest for TCO applications. However, the workfunction of ZnO and AZO is smaller compared to ITO. The smaller workfunction of AZO results in a higher hole injection barrier at the anode/organic interface, and methods of tuning its workfunction are required. This dissertation tested the hypothesis that workfunction tuning of AZO films could be achieved by surface modification with electronegative oxygen and fluorine plasmas, or, via use of nanoscale transition metal oxide layers (MoOx, VOx and WOx). Extensive UPS, XPS and optical spectroscopy studies indicate that O2 and CFx plasma treatment results in an electronegative surface, surface charge redistribution, and a surface dipole moment which reinforces the original surface dipole leading to workfunction increases. Donor-like gap states associated with partially occupied d-bands due to non-stoichiometry determine the effective increased workfunction of the AZO/transition-metal oxide stacks. Reduced hole injection barriers were engineered by ensuring that the surface ad-layers were sufficiently thin to facilitate Fowler-Nordheim tunneling. Improved band alignments resulted in improved hole injection from the surface modified AZO anodes, as demonstrated by I-V characterization of hole only structures. Energy band alignments are proposed based on the aforementioned spectroscopies. Simple bilayer OLEDs employing the surface modified AZO anodes were fabricated and characterized to compare their performance with standard ITO. Anodes consisting of AZO with MoOx or VOx interfacial layers exhibited 50% and 71% improvement in ...
Presence of Wolbachia, A Potential Biocontrol Agent: Screening for Vertebrate Blood Meal Source and West Nile Virus in Mosquitoes in the North Texas Region
West Nile virus (WNV) is a geographically endemic mosquito-borne flavivirus that has spread across the United States infecting birds, mosquitos, humans, horses and other mammals. The wide spread nature of this virus is due to the ability of the mosquito vector to persist in broad, ecological diverse environments across the United States. In this study, mosquito populations in North Texas region were sampled for detection of Wolbachia, blood meal source, and WNV. The ultimate goal of this study was to examine the potential of a biocontrol agent, Wolbachia sp. that colonizes the hindgut of various insects, including mosquitos, as a natural means to interrupt virus transmission from mosquitos to other hosts, including humans. In Australia, Wolbachia sp. from fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) have been successfully used to block transmission of a similar pathogenic virus from mosquitos responsible for transmission of Dengue fever. Here, mosquitoes were collected using CDC style Gravid Traps in Denton, Texas, from October 2012 through September 2014. Collected mosquitoes were identified, sexed, and categorized as to the amount of host blood in their alimentary system using a Zeiss Axio Zoom microscope (Carl Zeiss Microscopy, LLC, Thornwood, NY). Culex quinquefaciatus was the dominant blood engorged species collected. Smaller populations of Culex tarsalis and Aedes albopictus, another known vector for WNV were also collected. Mosquito larva were also collected from the UNT water research field station and reared to adults. Cx. tarsalis was the dominant mosquito taken from this habitat. Samples of Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. tarsalis and A. albopictus were analyzed for Wolbachia sp. and to identify host blood in the mosquito alimentary system. Total DNA extraction from the pool of mosquito samples was by both commercially available DNA extraction kits (Qiagen, Valencia, CA) and salt extraction technique. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify and identify Wolbachia ...
"Project Reformation"
"Project Reformation" presents the process of change Amanda and Robert Bowen went through as they came to recognize Holy Spirit, the part of Trinity that was sent after the death of Jesus (John 15:26). The documentary combines various filming techniques such as observational footage, reenactments, interviews, and CGI to convey the story. This film captures the walk Robert and Amanda took as they re-examine their past, progressing through a series of supernatural encounters into a recognition of purpose and plan behind the events and experiences. While looking back on this journey, the director seeks to reveal the truth that Holy Spirit is in fact "alive and well," and walks with individuals in their daily lives by sharing how the "gifts" of miracles, healing, visions and prophecy are active even in today's age. In addition, the director desires to reveal the specific message this couple has received through this process: Not to only recognize Holy Spirit, but to reveal the "why" He is now making Himself known in these ways when many would say He has been silent for at least a generation: For reconciliation and restoration, leading to Reformation through Spiritual Healing in Family Ties (Reformation.SHIFT).
The Pursuit of Optimal Performance: The Effect of Mastery- and Ego-Oriented Feedback on Sport Performance, Task Difficulty Selection, Confidence, and Anxiety
Within an achievement motivation theoretical framework, there are factors thought to most heavily influence performance and task difficulty selection. More specifically, motivational climates, feedback, confidence, and anxiety have all been identified as important factors influencing outcomes within performance settings. Much of the literature in the area of achievement motivation has focused on on the effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance within academic settings and has received limited attention in the sport psychology literature within an athletic setting. Given the demonstrated effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance, the importance of performance within the athletic context, and the scant literature examining the effects of feedback on athletic performance, the influence of feedback on sport performance needed to be empirically examined. The primary aim of this study was to provide a clearer understanding of the relationship of factors influencing athletic performance, with the ultimate goal of moving research toward a greater understanding of how optimal performance is achieved. As a result, this research may prove applicable to researchers, coaches, and athletes working toward optimal performance. In this study, I examined how mastery- and ego-oriented feedback influenced youth athletes' soccer performance, task difficulty selection, confidence, and anxiety. Youth soccer athletes (n = 71) participated in a soccer kicking task consisting of two trials. Between subjects ANCOVA analyses revealed athletes receiving mastery-oriented feedback performed significantly better on the soccer kicking task than athletes receiving ego-oriented feedback. No differences were discovered on task difficulty selection, confidence, or anxiety. Providing athletes mastery-oriented feedback before or after skill execution could be helpful in the development of athletic skill development and performance. Limitations of the present study and questions to examine in future research are also discussed.
Quantification of Human Thermal Comfort for Residential Building's Energy Saving
Providing conditioned and fully controlled room is the final goal for having a comfortable building. But on the other hand making smart controllers to provide the required cooling or heating load depending on occupants' real time feeling is necessary. This study has emphasized on finding a meaningful and steady state parameter in human body that can be interpreted as comfort criterion which can be expressed as the general occupants' sensation through their ambient temperature. There are lots of researches on human physiological behavior in different situations and also different body parts reaction to the same ambient situation. Body parts which have the biggest reliable linear fluctuation to the changes are the best subject for this research. For these tests, wrist and palm have been selected and their temperatures on different people have been measured accurately with thermal camera to follow the temperature trend on various comfort levels. It is found that each person reaches to his own unique temperature on these two spots, when he/ she feels comfortable, or in other word each person's body temperature is a precise nominate for comfort feeling of that individual. So in future by having this unique comfort parameter and applying them to the HVAC system temperature control, controlling the dynamic temperature and correlating the indoor condition depending on the occupants instant thermal comfort level, would be a rational choice to bring convenience while energy has been saved more.
Attitudes about Caregiving: An Ethnicity by Generation Approach
The goal of this project was to understand ethnic and generational differences in attitudes towards caregiving and expected burden while taking into consideration factors such as gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. One hundred and sixteen young adults (ages 18-25) and 93 middle-age adults (ages 38-62) were enrolled in the study. Participants included European Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Using moderation analysis, two hypotheses were investigated: 1) Ethnicity relates to attitudes towards caregiving, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. 2) Ethnicity and expected burden relate to each other, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. Familism emerged as a moderator in the relationship between ethnicity and expected burden. Results suggested that the strength of the relationship between being African American and expecting burden was less for those with moderate familism (R =.078), slightly higher for low familism (R = .176), and the highest for high familism (R= .261). Additional results indicated that the strength of the relationship between being Hispanic, as opposed to being European American, and expected burden, was higher for middle-aged adults (R =.23) when compared to young adults (R =.19). The current findings lend support to the recently established idea that familism is not protective against burden as it increases one's sense of obligation towards family (Knight & Sayegh, 2010).
"Black Reparations Film Project: Descendants of Slavery and Institutional Racism"
Black Reparations Film Project: Descendants of Slavery and Institutional Racism is a character driven film that sheds light on the consequences of slavery in the U.S. Through a personal narrative, the viewer comes to understand how these consequences support the argument for slavery reparations. The purpose of the film is to bridge the generational gap in awareness of reparation history. The film can be used to enlighten young Americans of all ethnicities to encourage them to find their purpose in this country, help build better race relations, and work towards building a true democracy.
Brand Management Capability and Brand Performance
Brands are intangible assets that provide companies with the potential to extract higher rents or prices from customers. However, only few organizations are able to build and sustain brands over a long period of time. Brand management capability - the organization's ability to build and sustain brands becomes important for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Despite the importance of brand management capability to organizations, majority of the brand management literature has primarily focused on the consumer perspective of brands. This gap in knowledge about the components of brand management capability impedes firms from replicating brand successes, and makes them reliant on brand managers. More recently, there have been multiple calls in literature to identify marketing-related organizational capabilities, which can provide organizations with a sustainable competitive advantage. The focus on developing marketing-based capabilities comes at a time when marketing is losing its influence in organizations. To this end, the current dissertation uses organizational capability theory and literature on brand management to identify the primary resource (intellectual capital comprising of structural, human, and relational capital), organizational culture type (clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market), and processes (strategic brand management, internal branding, and market information processes comprising of information acquisition, information transmission, conceptual utilization, and instrument utilization), that constitute the brand management capability. This dissertation also examines the association among various components of brand management capability and brand performance. A survey-based technique was used to gather data from individuals responsible for managing brands. The data was analyzed using PLS-SEM. The results indicate that human capital, relational capital, market and hierarchy culture types, internal branding, strategic brand management, and instrument utilization are positively associated with brand performance. Structural capital, clan and adhocracy culture types, information acquisition, information transmission, and conceptual utilization are not associated with brand performance. From a research standpoint, this dissertation contributes to the ...
The Most Expressionist of All the Arts: Programs, Politics, and Performance in Critical Discourse about Music and Expressionism, c. 1918-1923
This dissertation investigates how German-language critics articulated and publicly negotiated ideas about music and expressionism in the first five years after World War I. A close reading of largely unexplored primary sources reveals that "musical expressionism" was originally conceived as an intrinsically musical matter rather than as a stylistic analog to expressionism in other art forms, and thus as especially relevant to purely instrumental rather than vocal and stage genres. By focusing on critical reception of an unlikely group of instrumental chamber works, I elucidate how the acts of performing, listening to, and evaluating "expressionist" music were enmeshed in the complexities of a politicized public concert life in the immediate postwar period. The opening chapters establish broad music-aesthetic and sociopolitical contexts for critics' postwar discussions of "musical expressionism." After the first, introductory chapter, Chapter 2 traces how art and literary critics came to position music as the most expressionist of the arts based on nineteenth-century ideas about the apparently unique ontology of music. Chapter 3 considers how this conception of expressionism led progressive-minded music critics to interpret expressionist music as the next step in the historical development of absolute music. These critics strategically—and controversially—portrayed Schoenberg's "atonal" polyphony as a legitimate revival of "linear" polyphony in fugues by Bach and late Beethoven. Chapter 4 then situates critical debates about the musical and cultural value of expressionism within broader struggles to construct narratives that would explain Germany's traumatic defeat in the Great War and abrupt restructuring as a fragile democratic republic. Against this backdrop, the later chapters explore critics' responses to public performances of specific "expressionist" chamber works. Chapter 5 traces reactions to a provocative performance of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony, op. 9 (1906) at the Berlin Volksbühne in February 1920. Chapter 6 examines the interplay of musical-aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in critical ...
A Multilevel Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis of the Child Behavior Checklist
Behavioral and emotional problems (BEPs) are known to affect children's ability to shape and maintain effective social relationships. BEPs are typically categorized into two main factors: internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors represent introverted problems, directed inwardly to the individual. While externalizing behavior patterns represent behaviors that are directed outwardly. Behaviors, emotions and thoughts are experienced by all people but on a continuum rather than in terms of absence versus presence of the behavior. The child behavior checklist (CBCL) is used to measure BEPs. The system of CBCL (parent form) measures also includes a teacher rating form and a youth self-report. Using 62 teachers and 311 students, the present study assessed convergent and discriminant validity using a correlated trait, correlated method minus one [CT-C(M-1)] model. The results showed low to moderate teacher-student agreement on the traits. To extend the theoretical structure of the teacher and self-report forms, the present study assessed the nested structure of the data using a multilevel model. Results revealed the nested structure of the data should not be ignored.
A Narrative Study about the Transformative Visual Cultural Dialogue beyond Women's Veils
In this narrative study, I explore the transformative visual cultural dialogue behind the sight of the veil or veiled women in Denton, Texas as a Western culture. The narrative is constructed from the experiences of three Western non-Muslim women participants who wore the veil publicly in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, especially Denton, Texas, for about two weeks, in the spring of 2014. The main question for this study is: How do veiled Western women incite transformative visual cultural dialogue and ideas concerning veiled women? To gather rich data to answer the study's question, I utilized qualitative narrative inquiry to explore the transformative dialogue that the veil, as a visual culture object, can incite in non-Muslim Western women's narratives. The study involves three participants who are non-Muslim American women who voluntarily wore the veil in public and recorded their own and other's reactions. The participants' interviews and diaries demonstrated that the veil incited a particular perceptive dialogue and often transferred negative meanings. For example, the sight of the veil suggested the notion of being Muslim, and consequently, the ideas of not belonging. The reactions the participants received were either negative verbal interactions or physical ones, both of which are limited in this study to face gestures or some form of negative body language that is meant to be a message of disliking. In summation, this study shows that the women's veil is a visual culture symbol that transfers negative meaning in the DFW area in Texas.
Network Security Tool for a Novice
Network security is a complex field that is handled by security professionals who need certain expertise and experience to configure security systems. With the ever increasing size of the networks, managing them is going to be a daunting task. What kind of solution can be used to generate effective security configurations by both security professionals and nonprofessionals alike? In this thesis, a web tool is developed to simplify the process of configuring security systems by translating direct human language input into meaningful, working security rules. These human language inputs yield the security rules that the individual wants to implement in their network. The human language input can be as simple as, "Block Facebook to my son's PC". This tool will translate these inputs into specific security rules and install the translated rules into security equipment such as virtualized Cisco FWSM network firewall, Netfilter host-based firewall, and Snort Network Intrusion Detection. This tool is implemented and tested in both a traditional network and a cloud environment. One thousand input policies were collected from various users such as staff from UNT departments' and health science, including individuals with network security background as well as students with a non-computer science background to analyze the tool's performance. The tool is tested for its accuracy (91%) in generating a security rule. It is also tested for accuracy of the translated rule (86%) compared to a standard rule written by security professionals. Nevertheless, the network security tool built has shown promise to both experienced and inexperienced people in network security field by simplifying the provisioning process to result in accurate and effective network security rules.
New Frameworks for Secure Image Communication in the Internet of Things (IoT)
The continuous expansion of technology, broadband connectivity and the wide range of new devices in the IoT cause serious concerns regarding privacy and security. In addition, in the IoT a key challenge is the storage and management of massive data streams. For example, there is always the demand for acceptable size with the highest quality possible for images to meet the rapidly increasing number of multimedia applications. The effort in this dissertation contributes to the resolution of concerns related to the security and compression functions in image communications in the Internet of Thing (IoT), due to the fast of evolution of IoT. This dissertation proposes frameworks for a secure digital camera in the IoT. The objectives of this dissertation are twofold. On the one hand, the proposed framework architecture offers a double-layer of protection: encryption and watermarking that will address all issues related to security, privacy, and digital rights management (DRM) by applying a hardware architecture of the state-of-the-art image compression technique Better Portable Graphics (BPG), which achieves high compression ratio with small size. On the other hand, the proposed framework of SBPG is integrated with the Digital Camera. Thus, the proposed framework of SBPG integrated with SDC is suitable for high performance imaging in the IoT, such as Intelligent Traffic Surveillance (ITS) and Telemedicine. Due to power consumption, which has become a major concern in any portable application, a low-power design of SBPG is proposed to achieve an energy- efficient SBPG design. As the visual quality of the watermarked and compressed images improves with larger values of PSNR, the results show that the proposed SBPG substantially increases the quality of the watermarked compressed images. Higher value of PSNR also shows how robust the algorithm is to different types of attack. From the results obtained for the energy- efficient SBPG ...
New Rules to an Old Game: Electoral Reforms and Post-Civil War Stability
One of the most common features found within peace agreements are provisions that call for post-civil war elections. Unfortunately, recent research on post-civil war stability has consistently demonstrated that the initial elections held after civil wars significantly increases the risk for renewed fighting. While this research does highlight a danger posed by post-war elections, it focuses only on one element associated with post-civil war democracy. I argue that by implementing electoral reforms that are called for in peace agreements, post-war countries reduce the risk of renewed civil war. Implementing these peace agreement provisions increases the durability of post-war peace in two ways. First, by implementing costly electoral reforms called for in the peace agreement, the government signals a credible commitment to the peace process which reduces security dilemmas faced by opposition groups. Second, electoral reforms generate new avenues for political participation for disaffected citizens, which reduces the ability of hardliners to mobilize future armed opposition. I examine how implementing post-war electoral reforms impact the risk of renewed conflict from 1989 through 2010. Using duration models, I demonstrate that implementing these electoral reforms substantially reduces the risk of renewed conflict.
Friction Stir Welding of Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum 7449 Alloys
The Al-Zn-Mg-Cu (7XXX series) alloys are amongst the strongest aluminum available. However, they are considered unweldable with conventional fusion techniques due to the negative effects that arise with conventional welding, including hydrogen porosity, hot cracking, and stress corrosion cracking. For this reason, friction stir welding has emerged as the preferred technique to weld 7XXX series alloys. Aluminum 7449 is one of the highest strength 7XXX series aluminum alloy. This is due to its higher zinc content, which leads to a higher volume fraction of eta' precipitates. It is typically used in a slight overaged condition since it exhibits better corrosion resistance. In this work, the welds of friction stir welded aluminum 7449 were studied extensively. Specific focus was placed in the heat affected zone (HAZ) and nugget. Thermocouples were used in the heat affected zone for three different depths to obtain thermal profiles as well as cooling/heating profiles. Vicker microhardness testing, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) were used to characterize the welds. Two different tempers of the alloy were used, a low overaged temper and a high overaged temper. A thorough comparison of the two different tempers was done. It was found that highly overaged aluminum 7449 tempers show better properties for friction stir welding. A heat gradient along with a high conducting plate (Cu) used at the bottom of the run, resulted in welds with two separate microstructures in the nugget. Due to the microstructure at the bottom of the nugget, higher strength than the base metal is observed. Furthermore, the effects of natural aging and artificial aging were studied to understand re-precipitation. Large improvements in strength are observed after natural aging throughout the welds, including improvements in the HAZ.
From the Outside In: A Multivariate Correlational Analysis of Effectiveness in Communities of Practice
Online communities of practice (CoPs) provide social spaces for people to connect, learn, and engage with one another around shared interests and passions. CoPs are innovatively employed within industry and education for their inherent knowledge management characteristics and as a means of improving professional practice. Measuring the success of a CoP is a challenge researchers are examining through various strategies. Recent literature supports measuring community effectiveness through the perceptions of its members; however, evaluating a community by means of member perception introduces complicating factors from outside the community. In order to gain insight into the importance of external factors, this quantitative study examined the influence of factors in the professional lives of educators on their perceptions of their CoP experience. Through an empirical examination of CoPs employed to connect educators and advance their professional learning, canonical correlation analysis was used to examine correlations between factors believed to be influential on the experiences of community members.
Glucose and Altered Ceramide Biosynthesis Impact the Transcriptome and the Lipidome of Caenorhabditis elegans
The worldwide rise of diabetes and obesity has spurred research investigating the molecular mechanisms that mediate the deleterious effects associated with these diseases. Individuals with diabetes and/or obesity are at increased risk from a variety of health consequences, including heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease; all of these complications have oxygen deprivation as the central component of their pathology. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a model system for understanding the genetic and molecular regulation of oxygen deprivation response, and in recent years methods have been developed to study the effects of excess glucose and altered lipid homeostasis. Using C. elegans, I investigated transcriptomic profiles of wild-type and hyl-2(tm2031) ( a ceramide biosynthesis mutant) animals fed a standard or a glucose supplemented diet. I then completed a pilot RNAi screen of differentially regulated genes and found that genes involved in the endobiotic detoxification pathway (ugt-63 and cyp-25A1) modulate anoxia response. I then used a lipidomic approach to determine whether glucose feeding or mutations in the ceramide biosynthesis pathway or the insulin-like signaling pathway impact lipid profiles. I found that gluocose alters the lipid profile of daf-2(e1370) (an insulin-like receptor mutant) animals. These studies indicate that a transcriptomic approach can be used to discover novel pathways involved in oxygen deprivation response and further validate C. elegans as a model for understanding diabetes and obesity.
Irreducible Modules for Yokonuma-Type Hecke Algebras
Yokonuma-type Hecke algebras are a class of Hecke algebras built from a Type A construction. In this thesis, I construct the irreducible representations for a class of generic Yokonuma-type Hecke algebras which specialize to group algebras of the complex reflection groups and to endomorphism rings of certain permutation characters of finite general linear groups.
Is 100 Percent Debt Optimal? Three Essays on Aggressive Capital Structure and Myth of Negative Book Equity Firms
This dissertation comprises of three related essays in regard of puzzling negative book equity phenomenon among U.S. public firms. In essay 1, I present the evidence that there is an increasing trend of negative book equity firms over the past 50 years, from 0.3% up to over 5% among publicly traded firms in US. In contrast to previous research which generally classify these firms as distressed firms with highly likelihood of bankruptcy, I propose a new method to separate Healthy Negative Book Equity Firms (HNBEF) from relatively more distressed negative book equity firms. The results show that HNBEF have much higher net income and interest coverage ratio, they survive longer, and pay more dividends. More interestingly, these firms are often actively increase share repurchases and debt issuance. These facts, combined with their strong profitability, indicate that managers of these firms are actively increasing their leverage and choose to be negative book equity firms. To explain the existence of HNBEF, in essay 2, I investigate several possible reasons that may contribute to the extreme leverage of these firms. I find that HNBEF are substantially undervalued by their book assets as stated on the balance sheet. In addition, the value of intangible assets, especially those off-balance sheet intangible assets, is positively related to the probability of becoming HNBEF. Moreover, I find that characteristics of intangible assets and firms also play important role on existence of HNBEF. Specifically, I find that both liquidity and redeployability of intangible assets are positively related with the probability of becoming HNBEF. Also, firms associated with closer borrower-lender relationship are more likely to become HNBEF. To investigate if the aggressive capital structure adopted by HNBEF is optimal, in essay 3, I performed several tests to analyze how these firms differ from other firms in terms of operating performance, ...
Journalist as Information Provider: Examining the One-Voice Model of a Corporate Sports Account
While journalists were once viewed as gatekeepers, dispensing news and information via one-way communication channels, their role as information provider has evolved. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the social networking site Twitter, where information seekers have unprecedented access to information providers. The two-way communication that these information seekers have come to expect can be challenging for organizations such as ESPN who have multiple Twitter accounts and millions of followers. By designating one team of people as responsible for the organization's largest Twitter account, SportsCenter, ESPN has sought to establish manageable methods of interacting with this account's followers, while furthering the goals of the organization and providing sports news around the clock. This study provides a better understanding of the group responsible for ESPN's SportsCenter Twitter account: the motivation and strategies behind the group's Twitter use as well as the dynamics of this network, such as information flow and collaboration. Relying on the Information Seeking and Communication Model, this study also provides a better understanding of information exchanges with those outside the network, specifically a selection of the account's Twitter followers. Additionally, the role of journalist as information provider and certain themes that emerged from the content of the tweets are discussed. The research employed social network analysis and exploratory, descriptive case study methods. The results of this study contribute to social network and information theory as well as to journalistic and information science practice.
Knowledge Based System and Decision Making Methodologies in Materials Selection for Aircraft Cabin Metallic Structures
Materials selection processes have been the most important aspects in product design and development. Knowledge-based system (KBS) and some of the methodologies used in the materials selection for the design of aircraft cabin metallic structures are discussed. Overall aircraft weight reduction means substantially less fuel consumption. Part of the solution to this problem is to find a way to reduce overall weight of metallic structures inside the cabin. Among various methodologies of materials selection using Multi Criterion Decision Making (MCDM) techniques, a few of them are demonstrated with examples and the results are compared with those obtained using Ashby's approach in materials selection. Pre-defined constraint values, mainly mechanical properties, are employed as relevant attributes in the process. Aluminum alloys with high strength-to-weight ratio have been second-to-none in most of the aircraft parts manufacturing. Magnesium alloys that are much lighter in weight as alternatives to the Al-alloys currently in use in the structures are tested using the methodologies and ranked results are compared. Each material attribute considered in the design are categorized as benefit and non-benefit attribute. Using Ashby's approach, material indices that are required to be maximized for an optimum performance are determined, and materials are ranked based on the average of consolidated indices ranking. Ranking results are compared for any disparity among the methodologies.
Korean Cultural and Musical Influences in Younghi Pagh-Paan's Man-Nam I
Younghi Pagh-Paan is an internationally renowned contemporary Korean-German composer. While her music has been strongly influenced by German contemporary musical aesthetics, her compositions also possess Korean musical and cultural influences. In her works, Pagh-Paan employs Western instruments and musical languages that incorporate contemporary techniques such as vibratos, flatter tonguing, pitch bends, and legato glissandi. These effects are thought to imitate the sounds created by traditional Korean instruments. Man-Nam I, for clarinet and string trio, was the second work that Pagh-Paan composed following her move from Korea to Germany. The piece includes many sounds representative of traditional Korean instruments, along with significant symbolism of the sociological background, culture and history of Korean people. The study of Man-Nam I focuses on unraveling hidden elements of Korean traditional music and culture, and addresses the need for the performers to understand its rich Korean influences in order to reach a deeper interpretation of Pagh-Paan's work.
Leadership and the Influences of Teacher Absenteeism
This study explored campus principals' leadership behaviors and leadership styles to determine possible influences of leadership on teacher absences. The study was viewed through the framework of Bass and Avolio's (1985) transformational and transactional leadership styles. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Self-Report (MLQ-SR) was used to identify principals' perceptions of their leadership styles. Absence data were also collected and analyzed for the school years (2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015). Data were triangulated using one-on-one interviews with selected principals and teacher focus group discussions. The findings from this study verified that leadership style (described in terms of leadership behaviors) influenced teacher absenteeism indirectly through the culture and climate of the campus. Future research is recommended to discover whether incentive programs decrease teacher absenteeism and how leaders can influence their organizations through their behaviors.
Learner Modal Preference and Content Delivery Method Predicting Learner Performance and Satisfaction
The purpose of the study was to investigate how the online, computer-based learner's personal learning profile (Preference), the content delivery method supplemented with visual content based on Neil Fleming's VARK (visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic) model (Content), and the interaction of Preference and Content, influenced learner performance (Performance) and/or learner self-reported satisfaction (Satisfaction). Participants were drawn from a population of undergraduates enrolled in a large public southwestern research university during the fall 2015 semester. The 165 student participants (13.79% completion rate) were comprised of 52 (31.5%) females and 113 (68.5%) males age 18-58+ years with 126 (76.4%) age 18-24 years. For race/ethnicity, participants self-identified as 1 (0.66%) American Indian/Alaska Native, 21 (12.7%) Asian/Pacific Islander, 27 (16.4%) Black, non-Hispanic, 28 (17%) Hispanic, 78 (47.3%) White, non-Hispanic, 10 (6.1%) other. Reported socioeconomic status was 22 (13.3%) withheld, 53 (32.1%) did not know, 45 (27.3%) low, 13 (7.9%) moderately low, 16 (9.7%) middle, 8 (4.8%) upper middle, and 8 (4.8%) upper. This causal-comparative and quasi-experimental, mixed-method, longitudinal study used researcher-developed web-based modules to measure Performance and Satisfaction, and used the criterion p < .05 for statistical significance. A two-way, 4 x 3 repeated measures (Time) analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) using Preference and Content was statistically significant on each Performance measure over Time, and at two measures on Satisfaction over Time. The RM-ANOVA was statistically significant on between-subjects main effect Performance for read/write modality Content compared to aural and kinesthetic Content. There were no statistically significant main effects observed for Satisfaction. A Pearson r correlation analysis showed that participants that were older, married, and of higher socioeconomic status performed better. The correlation analysis also showed that participants who performed better reported greater likelihood to take online courses in the future, higher motivation, sufficient time and support for studies, and sufficient funding for and access to ...