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Opening Doors for Excellent Maternal Health Services: Perceptions Regarding Maternal Health in Rural Tanzania

Description: The worldwide maternal mortality rate is excessive. Developing countries such as Tanzania experience the highest maternal mortality rates. The continued exploration of issues to create ease of access for women to quality maternal health care is a significant concern. A central strategy for reducing maternal mortality is that every birth be attended by a skilled birth attendant, therefore special attention was placed on motivations and factors that might lead to an increased utilization of health facilities. This qualitative study assessed the perceptions of local population concerning maternal health services and their recommendations for improved quality of care. The study was conducted in the Karatu District of Tanzania and gathered data through 66 in-depth interviews with participants from 20 villages. The following components were identified as essential for perceived quality care: medical professionals that demonstrate a caring attitude and share information about procedures; a supportive and nurturing environment during labor and delivery; meaningful and informative maternal health education for the entire community; promotion of men’s involvement as an essential part of the system of maternal health; knowledgeable, skilled medical staff with supplies and equipment needed for a safe delivery. By providing these elements, the community will gain trust in health facilities and staff. The alignment the maternal health services offered to the perceived expectation of quality care will create an environment for increased attendance at health facilities by the local population.
Date: May 2014
Creator: McLendon, Pamela Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Product Management: the Decision Process

Description: This thesis builds upon several theoretical ideas. The first of which is the anthropologists’ transition into the corporate context and the particular type of skills and value that someone with anthropological training can bring to operations management. As anthropology is relatively new and unfamiliar to corporations, anthropologists are often hired without explicit knowledge of how they will address organizational problems. Frequently, this incremental relationship building between the anthropologist and the organization leads to shifting project goals which come only after the anthropologist is able to reveal initial findings to someone who has the power to grant the anthropologist further access to employees and company information. This refocusing comes from a building of trust that is crucially important for the anthropologist’s ability to identify social issues, which is the anthropologist’s expertise. In order to develop the context of this project the following paragraphs will explain in more detail and expand into particular cases in which anthropologists have helped organizations to identify and manage social, organizational problems. As a relationship needs to be built between the anthropologist and the organization, here I argue that there needs to be continual relationship building between anthropological, design, and management theories to optimally solve organizational problems.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pahl, Shane D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying Opportunities for the Revitalization of Downtown Bloomsburg

Description: American downtowns were once the place to see and be seen, but the introduction of the shopping mall in the late 1950s challenged this notion and gave the American consumer a different place to spend their time and money. The prevalence of shopping malls has slowly been declining across the country since the beginning of this century, leaving room in the American retail landscape for downtowns to reclaim their status as community and retail centers. Towns across the U.S. are turning to national and local organizations to assist them in revitalizing their downtown districts. Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. (DBI), a non-profit organization located in the small town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, has been working since 2006 to revitalize its town’s downtown and main street area. The unique findings presented here were derived from a four month long ethnographic study of downtown Bloomsburg merchants and shoppers and are meant to be used by DBI as a supplemental guide for further revitalization of the town.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Schlieder, Victoria Mae
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward Sustainable Community: Assessing Progress at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Description: Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, an intentional community of roughly 70 members in Northeastern Missouri, is working to create societal change through radical sustainable living practices and creation of a culture of eco-friendly and feminist norms. Members agree to abide by a set of ecological covenants and sustainability guidelines, committing to practices such as using only sustainably generated electricity, and no use or storage of personally owned vehicles on community property. Situated within the context of a sustainability study, this thesis explores how Dancing Rabbit is creating a more socially and ecologically just culture and how this lifestyle affects happiness and well-being.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Jones, Kayla Brooke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Vickery Meadow Community Needs Assessment

Description: This study represents a community needs assessment conducted for Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, a community-based organization in a North Dallas community, Vickery Meadow. Vickery Meadow is a community where refugee resettlement agencies place incoming clients, and therefore, there is a focus on immigrants and refugees in this study. Using theoretical conceptions of development, immigration policy, and the refugee resettlement process, this project measured residential perceptions of Vickery Meadow, the operations of Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, and overall community needs. Also included are perceptions of Trans.lation Vickery Meadow members concerning community needs and the operations of Trans.lation. Recommendations are made based upon research and conclusions from fieldwork.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Jay, Sarah, 1986-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Caring for Cancer: Understanding the Access and Perceptions of Psychosocial Cancer Services in North Texas

Description: It is estimated that nearly 14.5 million Americans are living with cancer today. A commonly overlooked component to quality cancer care, as defined by the Institute of Medicine, is the role of psychological and social support. Better known as psychosocial support, these needs reflect a broad spectrum of obstacles or assets in an individual’s personal life that may help or hinder their healing experience. Some psychosocial examples include coping skills, transportation to medical appointments, or appropriate knowledge to mitigate the physical impacts of the cancer process. Research has shown that by addressing these potential needs, a better health outcome may be achieved for cancer patients. Through participant observation at local psychosocial service establishments and through semi-structured interviews with service providers and adults diagnosed with cancer living in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, this thesis research seeks to explore how local cancer patients are learning of psychosocial services available to them, what barriers may exist in accessing these services, and what individuals may be doing to address their psychosocial needs, both formally or informally. Results yielded recommendations for local psychosocial providers to adjust their marketing of services and kinds of services offered as well as yielded recommendations for future academic research.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Quirk, Lisa Erin
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Assessment of a Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership Program

Description: This project attempts to describe how a hospice and palliative care partnership program works. Through the assessment of one such program, the researcher sought to find out the essential components of the partnership including how the two partner organizations interact and work together. Data was collected using various methods: document review of organization documents such as newsletters, annual or quarterly reports, brochures and other available literature e.g. materials on organizations’ website and on social media; in-depth interviews with stakeholders of both organizations that included staff and board members; observation of staff working; and participant observation during organization events. The findings of the research shows that in order for organizations to have an effective partnership program in place, both partners need to have strong leadership in place, possess a willingness to learn from each other, maintain regular communication, and visit each other regularly. With this in place, several outcomes of the program are likely such as: increasing advocacy for hospice and palliative care, increasing visibility of the organizations both nationally and internationally, and provides an opportunity for organizations to network with other organizations in their locality in order to achieve partnership objectives. The study further reveals that global collaborations in the field of hospice and palliative care began with the advent of the international hospice movement. The assessment of this hospice partnership demonstrates how organizations can establish working relationships and the results likely to come out of such an initiative.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Munene, Grace N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Youth-led Environmental Awareness: Initiatives Towards a Jain Faith Community Empowerment

Description: This project employs participatory action research methods in efforts to create a community specific environmental curriculum for the high school age youth at the only Jain faith community in the North Texas region. Aligned with the community’s goals, the youth led in deciding, creating, and carrying out initiatives that were aimed at increasing the level of awareness about environmental issues amongst community members. The research done by the youth aimed at looking at environmental issues through the lens of Jain doctrine. The final creation of a curriculum as a living document to be used by the youth in efforts to promote critical thinking skills and class discussion continues the participatory model. The curriculum encourages experiential and interpretative learning, which grants ownership of the topics to the youth themselves and ultimately empowering them to learn more and spread the importance of being environmentally friendly.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Otterbine, Joseph R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Is Needed to Enable a Cultural Shift in the Market Research Department at the Gangler Company?

Description: This thesis investigates how to create an environment for organizational change within the Market Research Department at the Gangler Company (a US-based consumer products company). I explore what is influencing the current cultural environment and which of those influencers can be shifted to encourage organizational change toward the “ideal” culture that the organization has identified. Using new institutionalism as the theoretical approach, I discuss the significance of institutional forces (such as the economy and the rise in technology) on the cultural elements (i.e. behaviors, ideas, material artifacts and social structures) in the Market Research Department. Lastly, I show that by understanding those institutional influences, I can better assess what cultural elements can be shifted and which cannot. Of the cultural elements that are able to be shifted, I recommend three interventions that the organization should employ: 1) from a contrive culture to a culture of candor, 2) from a culture of division to a culture of cohesion, and 3) from a culture of knowing to a culture of learning.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Davis, Brooke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ideal Learning Spaces: the Student Perspective

Description: Classrooms, libraries, student unions, and university campuses shape students’ learning experiences. These physical learning spaces set the stage for college student engagement and academic performance. Most of the research about the role of physical spaces in learning lacks the student perspective. The goal of this study was to offer a student-centered vision of ideal learning spaces. Students are the learners for whom learning spaces are designed, and this thesis examines the way students of one summer class at Oklahoma Baptist University conceptualized and interacted with their learning spaces. Data collection included surveys of the students, a focus group with members of the class, participant observation in the classroom, and interviews with students and the professor. Students viewed physical spaces as the backdrop for human action and chose spaces that supported their learning styles and goals. Students described supportive spaces as warm, purposefully crafted spaces, and full of other people who were seriously pursuing the same goals. This thesis explores the ways students conceptualized and interacted with learning spaces as a network of support for their learning and provides recommendations for the design of learning spaces that facilitate this support.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Sidler, Elizabeth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Intervention of Human Modifications on Plant and Tree Species in the Landscape of the LBJ National Grasslands

Description: An analysis utilizing both ArcGIS and ethnographic interviews from private land owners and environmental professionals examined how man-made landscape changes affected plant and tree species in the LBJ National Grasslands in Wise County, Texas north of Decatur. From the late 1800s to the Dust Bowl Era the land was used for crop production and cattle grazing resulting in erosion and loss of soil nutrients. The research indicated by 2001 that cattle grazing and population increase resulted in land disturbance within the administrative boundary of the national grasslands. Participants expressed concern over the population increase and expansion of 5 to 10 acre ranchettes for cattle grazing common in modern times. Recommendations for the future included utilizing and expanding the resources already existing with environmental professionals to continue controlling erosion.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Lang, Brett M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Burner Project: Privacy and Social Control in a Networked World

Description: As mobile phones become increasingly ubiquitous in today’s world, academic and public audiences alike are curious about the interaction between mobile technologies and social norms. To investigate this phenomenon, I examined how individuals use technology to actively manage their communication behaviors. Through a three-month research project on usage patterns of Burner, a mobile application, this thesis explores the relationships among technology, culture, and privacy. Burner is a service that equips individuals with the means to create, maintain, and/or dissolve social ties by providing temporary, disposable numbers to customers. The application offers a way to communicate without relying on a user’s personal phone number. In other words, Burner acts as a “privacy layer” for mobile phones. It also provides a valuable platform to examine how customers use the application as a strategy for communication management. This thesis represents a marriage of practice and theory: (1) As an applied enterprise, the project was constructed as a customer needs assessment intending to examine how the service was situated in the lives of its users. The findings have successfully been applied to my client’s company strategy and have led to a more informed customer approach. (2) As an academic endeavor, this research contributes to existing scholarship in anthropology, computer-mediated communication, privacy, and design. The results provide rich fodder for discussions about the impact of mobile communication and services.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Shade, Molly
Partner: UNT Libraries

Needs Assessment for Parent Literacy Program

Description: Latina/o students do not perform at the same level of achievement as their peers, and often lack of parent presence is mistaken for apathy towards their children’s educational success. This research examines the strategies Latina/o parents take in navigating the school system and advocating for their students. A local nonprofit organization with the goal of achieving educational equity for Latina/o parents will utilize these findings and recommendations to develop curricula for a parent literacy program.
Date: May 2014
Creator: González, Miranda Andrade
Partner: UNT Libraries

Space in Space: Privacy Needs for Long-Duration Spaceflight

Description: Space exploration is a uniquely human activity. As humans continue to push the limits of exploring the unknown, they have sought knowledge supporting the sustenance of life in outer space. New technologies, advancements in medicine, and rethinking what it means to be a “community” will need to emerge to support life among the stars. Crews traveling beyond the Moon will rely on the development of new technologies to support the technological aspects of their missions as well as their quality of life while away from Earth. Likewise, through advancements in medicine, scientists will need to address remaining questions regarding the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body and crew performance. Space explorers must learn to utilize these new technologies and medical advancements while learning to adapt to their new environment in space and as a space community. It is important that researchers address these issues so that human survival beyond Earth is not only achievable but so that life among the stars is worth living and sustaining. This thesis addressed these issues in an attempt to extend the trajectory of space exploration to new horizons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Aiken, Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Participant Perspectives: Investigating the Experience of Low-Income Schizophrenics in Clinical Research Trials

Description: The continued investigation into the experiences of individuals with schizophrenia who participate in biomedical research trials is necessary in order to understand participants’ perspectives, motivations, attitudes, values, and beliefs. As important stakeholders in the clinical research process, participant feedback is significant and can help shed light on, not only their experiences, but also deepen understandings when it comes to clinical trial participants’ perceptions of informed consent and personal autonomy. Conducting ethical research demands the exploration of these issues and specifically targeting this vulnerable group helped to address a gap in the literature. This study was conducted for InSite Clinical Research and gathered data in the form of in-depth semi-structured interviews and a short survey instrument with 20 low-income adults diagnosed with schizophrenia that participate in clinical research trials. Findings indicate overall positive research experiences, with motivations aligning with previous research when it comes to trial participation including: altruism, personal benefit, access to medications, financial incentives, and psychosocial treatment. Learning about their illness and themselves, autonomy, and debriefing were also particularly important within this group. Unique to this sample were findings of friendship. Trust in the research staff was identified as a major underlying value and shaping factor impacting informed consent decisions. These conclusions have implications for recruitment and informed consent practices at InSite Clinical Research.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Green, Asha M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community Development at Heronswood Botanical Garden

Description: The overall main goal of this research is to assist with the planning and creation of an ethnobotanical addition at the Heronswood Garden, a botanical garden located in northwest Washington state recently purchased by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. Methods included a three month long ethnographic study of Heronswood Garden as an official intern, and conducting a needs assessment that primarily employed participant observation and semi-structured open-ended interviews with all garden employees. Information revealed through the research includes causal issues behind a lack of community participation at the garden, elaboration on the solutions to various issues facilitated by negotiating and combining the views and opinions of the garden’s employees, and author reflections on the needs assessment report and the project as a whole. This research connects itself with and utilizes the methodologies and theories from applied anthropology, environmental anthropology, and environmental science to provide contemporary perspective into the subject of preserving or preventing the loss of biodiversity, language diversity, and sociocultural diversity.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Cherry, Levi Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Grand Canyons: Authoritative Knowledge and Patient-Provider Connection

Description: In 2011, African Americans in Tarrant County, Texas experienced an infant mortality rate of 14.3 per 1,000 live births. The leading cause of infant mortality in Tarrant County is prematurity and maternal nutritional status. Both maternal under-nutrition and over-nutrition are known risk factors for premature birth. Improving maternal nutrition, by reducing rates of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and by increasing consumption of essential prenatal vitamins and nutrients, is a road to decreasing preterm birth in African Americans. This qualitative study, based on both anthropology and public health theory, of the nutrition behavior of a group of African American expectant mothers and the experience of their health care providers and co-facilitators had a goal to provide a foundation for future development of nutrition behavior research and education for this specific population. The main finding of this study was the substantial gap of lived experience and education between the patients and their providers and co-facilitators, which hinders delivery of care and the patients’ acquiescence to nutrition recommendations. The discrepancies between the authoritative knowledge of the providers and the bodily knowledge of expectant mothers were responsible for the ineffectiveness of nutrition recommendations.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Fowler, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Ethnography of Direct-to-Consumer Genomics [DTCG]: Design Anthropology Insights for the Product Management of a Disruptive Innovation

Description: Direct-to-consumer genomics (DTCG) health testing offers great promise to humanity, however to date adoption has lagged as a result of consumer awareness, understanding, and previous government regulations restricting DTCG companies from providing information on an individual's genetic predispositions. But in 2017 the broader DTCG market which also includes genealogical testing demonstrated exponential growth, implying that DTCG is starting to diffuse as an innovation. To better understand the sociocultural forces affecting diffusion, adoption, and satisfaction, qualitative ethnographic research was conducted with DTCG genealogy and health consumers. The data was qualitatively analyzed using thematic analysis to understand the similarities and differences in beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and mediating factors that have influenced consumers. Design anthropology theory and methods were used to produce ethnographically informed insights. The insights were then translated into actionable product management and business strategy recommendations.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Artz, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Giving Texas Veterans a Voice: Traumatic Experience and Marijuana Use

Description: Disabled veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exist in a category separate from many civilians and soldiers. Their experiences land them in a category distinctly marked as atypical. The standard protocol to manage this atypical subject position is prescription drugs- a mark of the ill. In a distorted, post-war American society, what happens when veterans with PTSD refuse to be labeled as ‘sick,' ‘different,' or even ‘disabled'? This thesis explores the actions and intricacies of a community of veterans who advocate for medical cannabis to manage associated symptoms of PTSD. This group of veterans campaigns for individuality, both in medical treatment and in personal experience. Collaboratively, their experiential evidence indicates that none can be treated in the same fashion. After a year of participant observation and field work, it becomes apparent that their work both individualizes and unifies the veterans. This thesis details their experiences and the results of their activist campaign to demarcate themselves.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Berard, Amanda Kay
Partner: UNT Libraries

Getting the College Experience: Exploring the Effect of the Residential Component of the Upward Bound Summer Program

Description: Upward Bound is a federally funded program designed to help low-income and first-generation high school students become college graduates by providing them with academic enrichment, financial aid information, and relevant educational experiences. Many Upward Bound programs throughout the country include a 6-week summer program when participants stay in residence halls on a university campus. The Upward Bound program at the University of North Texas is one such program. The goals of this research project are to understand how the residential component of the summer program affects the experience of participants in Upward Bound and the possible benefits it may have towards meeting the overall goals of the program. Participant observation during the 2016 UNT Upward Bound summer program and interviews with participants, RAs, program alumni, and organizational leaders uncovered the ways in which the residential component benefits and enriches the experience of participation in Upward Bound.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Krehbiel, Riley M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Advancing a Community's Conversations About and Engagement with Climate Change

Description: The goal of this project completed for the Greater Northfield Sustainability Collaborative (GNSC) was to understand how Northfield, Minnesota citizens are experiencing climate change. Thirty individuals were interviewed to find out what they know about climate change, what actions they are taking, what they think the solutions are to the problems, and what barriers they have to more fully engaging with climate change issues. The interview results are intended to promote and advance the community's discussion on climate change via social learning and community engagement activities such as town hall forums and community surveys. These activities encourage citizens in the community to have direct input into the development of the community's climate action plan (CAP). Analysis of the interviews showed that the interviewees are witnessing climate change, that most are taking at least some action such as recycling or lowering thermostats, that they can name barriers to their own inaction, that they say communication about climate change remains confusing and is not widespread in Northfield, and that they are able to provide numerous suggestions for what the local and broader leadership should be doing. The analysis also showed wide individual variation within the group. Interviewees who were less knowledgeable about climate were less likely to be taking action and do not participate in social groups where climate change is discussed. Conclusions are that the whole group would like more and better communication and education from our leaders, that they also expect our leaders to be part of creating solutions to climate change, and that the solutions the interviewees suggested provide a very thorough initial list of mitigation and adaptation strategies for the city's future CAP.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Hansen, Carla Grace
Partner: UNT Libraries

Subjective Efficiencies: Water Use, Management and Governance in the North Platte Natural Resources District

Description: The North Platte Natural Resources District (NPNRD) is one of 23 quasi-governmental organizations in the state of Nebraska that are organized by river basin and are responsible for the management of groundwater. Conversely, the state's surface water is governed by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources under the system of prior appropriation. This study uses Foucauldian neoliberal governmentality and a contrasting theory of 'meandering' to explore the conflicting beliefs, perceptions and values that form the foundations of different notions of 'efficiency' as it pertains to water use and management in NPNRD while a political ecology lens is used to situate local perceptions within the regional context of the Platte River Basin. Study findings ultimately point to the remaining 'disintegration' of water governance despite the state's efforts to create legislation that seeks to merge ground and surface water management in practice.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Miller, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Considerations for Global Development and Impact using Haiti as a Case Study

Description: As the world becomes more connected, issues surrounding sustainable development are coming to the fore of global discussions. This is exemplified in strategies such as the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), released in 2015, which created a framework for global development that defines specific goals for issues like poverty, climate change, and social justice. To complement the analysis that went into defining the SDGs, capital allocations around the world are becoming more impact focused so that the paradigm of development is shifting from donations to impact investments. The push for impact, however, has led to a homogenization of global challenges like reproductive health and poverty. This, in turn, has led to a standardization of information resulting in agencies designing interventions based on data and information that is misguided because of incorrect assumptions about a specific context. This paper explores how the decision-making mechanisms of global development agencies and investors could apply more anthropological processes to mitigate negative impact. As the development sector becomes more and more standardized, anthropologists can act as translators between affected communities and the institutions deciding how best to help them.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Clerie, Isabelle
Partner: UNT Libraries

Artscapes: Community Perceptions of City Beautification through Murals in Denton, Texas

Description: Keep Denton Beautiful (KDB) is inspired by Keep America Beautiful's model of community engagement to create a clean, beautiful, and vibrant city. The community mural initiative, Artscapes, aims to enliven public spaces, abate graffiti, and inspire community members to keep Denton, Texas, clean and beautiful. The goals of this research project are to understand the impact of Artscapes initiative, community perceptions of public art, and find ways KDB can better align future mural projects with the needs and desires of community members. By talking to artists that have worked with KDB, members of the mural art committee, and community members from the neighborhoods that have existing murals, this research provides input from these three populations to continue creating public art for the Denton community. I discuss the context of my work through Lefebvre's concept of "Right to the City," Rafael Schacter's opposition between sanctioned and non-sanctioned murals, Bourdieu's concept of symbolic and social capital, and David Harvey's work on neoliberalism and the entrepreneurial city.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Robertson, Lindsey
Partner: UNT Libraries