57 Matching Results

Search Results

Identifying Breast Cancer Disparities in the African-American Community Using a Mixed Methods Approach

Description: Utilizing a mixed methods approach in assessing cities and metropolitan areas with the highest rates of breast cancer disparities in African-American communities, this study presents the Affiliate perspective of the Susan G. Komen non-profit organization in combination with available socioeconomic data and academic literature. Analyzed through an anthropological lens, qualitative and quantitative data illuminate the lived experiences and dynamic circumstances in which breast cancer disparities are disproportionately experienced in 21 of the nation’s populations of African-Americans. Two main recommendations arose from this research: prioritization of granting to activities such as patient navigation, usage of patient narrative messaging, community-based participatory research methods of program development and implementation, mobile mammography delivery, usage of lay health educators, and self-advocacy education to alleviate barriers to healthcare and supplementation of the current educational activities of the Komen Affiliates through program sharing and leverage of current assets with consideration of current Affiliate capacity. These recommendations may help in alleviating breast cancer disparities present in African-American communities with the highest levels of disparities in the nation.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Morrissey, Natalie Noel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding the Culture of Giving among Utility Fuel Fund Donors in Southern California

Description: The Energy Assistance Fund (EAF) is a voluntary, nonprofit fuel fund that provides grants to income qualified utility customers in an effort to help those customers avoid electricity service disconnection. The administering utility and the energy industry as a whole is undergoing transformative change, resulting in a projected decrease of fundraising capacity for EAF among its most substantial donor pool - utility shareholders and employees. Utility customers represent a small percentage of EAF donors, despite the significant size of the customer base. Through a series of ethnographic interviews and secondary research, this thesis seeks to understand the demographics and motivations of utility customers who donate to EAF in order to help improve EAF’s fundraising strategy and donor solicitations to eventually grow customer donations. The goal of EAF is to maintain or grow donations from 2014 levels so the Fund can continue to serve income qualified customers facing energy poverty. This thesis provides a contextual review of fuel funds; challenges faced by the energy and utility industry; the politics and culture of energy; as well as nonprofit sector fundraising challenges and cultures/motivations of giving. This thesis includes client deliverables such as thick description of donor motivation, motivation themes and a donor motivation map, demographic data which could be used to target solicitations, and lastly a series of recommendations for EAF to improve its fundraising strategy.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Sauer, Ashley
Partner: UNT Libraries

Facilitating Positive Relationships between Foreign-Born Providers and Their Patients in South Central Pennsylvania

Description: Foreign-born providers make up over a quarter of the physician workforce nationally. Patients in south central Pennsylvania are primarily white with limited interaction with foreigners which can produce barriers to communication and trust. This study proposes practical steps for building positive relationships between patients and their foreign-born providers. Ethnographic methods were used to interview and survey patients and providers about the relationships between foreign-born providers and patients, primarily in the Summit Health system. The results of the study provide a framework of how trust is built between patients and providers in general, suggest additional actions for foreign-born providers, and propose ways patients can do their part to achieve a positive relationship with their provider. While much of the literature on cultural competence is in the context of patients who are from minority ethnicities, this study adds to the body of research by also considering the providers as part of minority groups.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Long, Janel Elaine Lehman
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Just Tell Me the Truth”: Understanding Health Risks and Community Perspectives in Karnes County, Texas, an Oil and Gas Community

Description: Using ethnographic research methods, I collaborated with the organization Earthworks to conduct a community assessment on the health issues related to the air quality in Karnes County, Texas, an oil and gas community. The research consisted of in-depth interviews with residents on their experiences and knowledge on the health issues associated to air quality. This research is going to be used to inform the community and develop strategies to empower community members in improving their environmental conditions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Villa, Priscilla
Partner: UNT Libraries

Addressing Social Elements of Wildfire: Risk, Response, and Recovery in Highland Village, TX

Description: Representatives of the City of Highland Village expressed concern over the risk of wildfires for their community. Anthropology provides many tools for and examples of disaster assessment of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. These tools combined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can provide a holistic, cultural ecological look at how such a disaster may take place in the city. The project's methods included a detailed survey of preparedness steps which was analyzed using SPSS and also imported into ArcGIS for spatial analysis, and semi-formal, in-depth interviews with residents of the community regarding preparedness, response, and recovery. Residents fell into a middle category of preparedness, with the majority of participants considering or implementing a few recommended preparedness steps. Interview participants expressed respect for and trust of the city and first-responders, as well as a willingness to volunteer their help during response and recovery stages. Finally the American Community Survey showed that resident socioeconomic vulnerability was considerably low, and no action needed to be taken to advocate for at-risk individuals. Overall, the City of Highland Village showed a high resiliency to disaster. A wildfire likely will not have a major impact on the community as a whole, though the city may reduce the impact even further by informing the public of their risk, clearing natural areas of dead brush, sharing preparedness and evacuation information via social media and newsletters, and planning relief stations for those who may have been impacted.
Date: May 2016
Creator: MacKinnon, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigating the Impact of Patient-Provider Communication on HIV Treatment Adherence

Description: Today over 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States; over the last 4 decades mortality rates have decreased largely made in part because of advancement in awareness and treatment options. Treatment adherence has long been considered a vital component in decreasing HIV/AIDS related mortality and has proven to reduce the risk of transmission. However not all patients take their medicine as prescribed. This research study, sponsored by The North Central Texas HIV Planning Council explored how Patient and Provider communication impacted treatment adherence. By utilizing a mixed-methods approach survey data and semi-structured interviews were used to collect insights from both Patients and Providers. Data gleaned through the interview process provided a perspective that could not be captured by using quantitative methods alone. The results from this research yielded multiple themes related to patient and provider communication with recommendations as to how The North Central Texas HIV Planning Council could address treatment adherence, such as Providers focus on Patients perceived severity based on their understanding of disease and illness; that side-effects remain a concern for patients and should not be dismissed; and finally that the word AIDS is perceived to be more stigmatized and as such organizations providing HIV/AIDS related services should explore alternative names where the word AIDS in not included.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Barnes, Shelly Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Why Breastfeed? Understanding the Factors that Influence Women to Breastfeed in Southeast Fort Worth

Description: Today breastfeeding is a common conversation with the ever-growing holistic movement and the effort to 'go green' as demonstrated by the proliferation of the organic food industry in recent years within the United States. Breastfeeding may reduce poor health outcomes including infant morbidity and mortality. Infant mortality is a priority in Tarrant County within southeast Fort Worth as defined by this project’s client Healthy Moms – Healthy Babies – Healthy Community. The purpose of this research was to identify the contextual factors that influence breastfeeding decisions among the zip codes in southeast Fort Worth in which infant mortality is greatest. In analysis of the data among breastfeeding mothers and stakeholders, support was the greatest contribution to successful breastfeeding.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Jimenez, Lesley S
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing Policy for a Tech Program Based on Understanding Organizational Practices

Description: This thesis contributes to research that informs the studies of organizational management and organizational anthropology. It examines the internal hierarchy and organizational practices of a Tech Company and describes how findings contributed to policy recommendations aimed towards supporting a “guild” model for organizational success. The data collecting and research were undertaken while working as an employee of the Tech Program and subsequent analysis continued past the end of that phase of work. Methods included semi-structured interviews which captured the sentiments and understandings of employees within the organization, and a questionnaire which revealed sentiments and experiences from former employees. These were buttressed with participant observation engaged through a participatory action research methodology. Findings add to the work directed towards understanding the effect of Founder’s Syndrome within organizations. Additionally, this thesis contributes to a growing body of research centered on best practices for fostering positive organizational growth by creating lines of communication from front-line employees to management level employers.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Machado Perez, Luis Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding Road User Interaction: An Exploratory Ethnographic Study Toward the Design of Autonomous Vehicles

Description: This thesis contributes to research that informs the design of autonomous vehicles (AVs). It examines interactions among various types of road users, such as pedestrians and drivers, and describes how findings can contribute to the design of AVs. The work was undertaken as part of a research internship at Nissan Research Center-Silicon Valley on the Human Understanding in Design team. Methods included video ethnography “travel-alongs” which captured the experience of travel from the point of view of drivers and pedestrians, analysis of interaction patterns taken from video of intersections, and analysis of road laws. Findings address the implications of what it will mean for AVs to exist as social entities in a world of varied road contexts, and how AVs might navigate the social act of driving on roads they share with a variety of human users. This thesis contributes to an emerging body of research and application on the subject of the AV in the world.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Mclaughlin, Logan
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploration of College Attitudes among Sioux Falls High School Students

Description: Since the recession of 2008, there has been an increased scrutiny of higher education, with little research done on how this affects high school students' college search process. This study seeks to understand how college perceptions are formed and how they affect the college decision process of high school students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In order to gain a holistic perspective of this process, this study utilized a mixed method approach of analyzing public data, conducting interviews with community members and students, conducting a focus group with high school guidance counselors, and administering a survey to high school students. This study found that students in this area form their perceptions of college in three distinct phases and that these phases affect a student's college priorities. Special attention was given to how academics, cost and location contributed to a student's overall college decision. These findings can be used to assist faculty and staff at higher education institutions in creating effective messaging and programming that relate to this group of students.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Duesterhoeft, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sustainable Education: An Interfaith Climate Change Initiative

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Banis, Joshua Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teacher Leadership Implementation: Change Agents in a Large Urban School District

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Hickling, Alexandra K
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating a Sustainable Community Development Initiative Among the Lakota People on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Description: This thesis details my applied thesis project and experience in the evaluation of a workforce development through sustainable constructio program. It describes the need of my client, Sweet Grass Consulting and their contractual partner, the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, in the evaluation of Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program. My role involved the development of an extensive evaluation package for this program and data analysis of evaluation materials to support Thunder Valley CDC's grant-funded Workforce Development Program. I place the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC in the context of their community, the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota People, and within an historical and contemporary context to highlight the implications of the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC. Using the theoretical frameworks of cultural revitalization and community economic development, I attempt to highlight two important components of Thunder Valley CDC's community development efforts - cultural revitalization for social healing, and development that emphasizes social, community and individual well-being. Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program is still in its early stages, and so this first year of implementation very much represented a pilot phase. However, while specific successes are difficult to measure at this point, general successes are viewable in the daily operations of Thunder Valley CDC that examplify their stated mision and goals. These successes include initiatives that holistically address community needs; relevancy in the eyes of the community they serve; support for the community and for Program participants' unique challenges; and a cultural restoration and revitalization emphasis that underlies and strengthens all of this. The program thus has the potential to provide a model for community development by challenging dominant "development" paradigms and utilizing community resources and assets for community development that reflects the community's values and worldviews.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Mosman, Sarah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Oral History of Bonton and Ideal Neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas

Description: The Bonton and Ideal neighborhoods in Dallas Texas, developed in the early 1900s, experienced physical and social decay throughout the 1980s. Neighborhood organizations and resident activism were vital to the rebirth of the community in the 1990s. Current revitalization efforts taking place there have been a source of contention as the neighborhood continues to overcome inequalities created by decades of racialized city planning initiatives. This thesis focuses on how the structuring structure of whiteness has historically affected, and continues to affect, the neighborhoods of Ideal and Bonton, as well as acts to identify how black residents have navigated their landscape and increased their collective capital through neighborhood activism.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Payne, Briana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Universally Designed Playground Needs Assessment for Flag Pole Hill in White Rock Lake Park, Dallas, Texas

Description: There is limited anthropological research on inclusive play and universally designed playgrounds and this study aims to make some contribution in this field. This was a qualitative research study guided by anthropological theory and methods, conducted for For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) Foundation. FTLOTL is a non-profit organization located in Dallas, Texas, dedicated to White Rock Lake Park's maintenance. In 2014, FTLOTL became of the view that the park's current playgrounds lacked accessibility for differently-abled children. Therefore, FTLOTL decided to undertake a renovation project of Flag Pole Hill playground to incorporate inclusiveness and diversity in the playground design. The overarching objective of this exploratory, ethnographic needs assessment was to provide insights for an inclusive playground using universal design for families with special needs children. Fourteen parents, each with at least one child having physical, social, or intellectual disabilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Texas metroplex were interviewed. The interviews were semi structured, each lasting for about an hour and were digitally recorded. Later these audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and then coded using Dedoose. The coded data was synthesized into coherent themes and sub-themes and finally organized into formal research findings. Observations were made of existing universally designed as well as typical playgrounds in this region. All parents interviewed supported the playground initiative and gave suggestions for physical accessibility along with social inclusion. They expressed their frustrations and apprehensions about the usability of current playgrounds. They also shared their preferences for facilities, features, and equipment to support their children's physical and social needs as well as their own. There was a unanimous agreement that a universally designed playground would have recreational, therapeutic and emotional benefits for participants and would improve the quality of their family lives and build a more closely-knit community.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hasan, Hira
Partner: UNT Libraries

High Driver Turnover among Large Long-Haul Motor Carriers: Causes and Consequences

Description: My thesis provides evidence supporting a theory asserting that the high level of competition that exists between motor carriers operating within long-haul trucking is the most significant factor contributing to the continuously high driver turnover rates affecting the entire logistics industry. I explore how long-haul truck drivers internalize the conflict between their identity and the aggressively competitive environment within which they work. Social science authors, industry reports, and truck driver feedback from my own ethnographic study are analyzed for contexts in order to explore the current operating definition of success for motor carriers in both monetary and human terms.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Ferrell, Christopher Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Giving Voice to Multiple Sclerosis: A Patient and Provider Investigation

Description: With the advent of the telephonic and technological healthcare revolution, pharmaceutical corporations seek to improve patient compliance and quality of life by contracting with services providers. As an employee of one such provider, working for more than three years on a medication for the neurologically degenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, this investigation utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In order to improve and diversify the clinical services provided to patients, I was contracted as a consultant. I interviewed phone and PRN nurses, developed and released a PRN survey, and interviewed patients living in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. The combined experiences and expertise of the three groups who participated would serve to inform and develop new programs and services for patients with differing disease states. The research resulted in a re-imagining of the social networking theory of health, as well as the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, to serve the evolving tele-health and technologically based healthcare workplace.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cutler, Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploratory User Research for a Website that Provides Resources for Educators of American Indian Students in Higher Education

Description: Several studies have indicated that American Indian students in the United States higher education system confront unique challenges that derive from a legacy of colonialism and assimilationist policies (Huff 1997). Several scholars, American Indian and non-Native alike, have explored the effects of this history upon students in higher education (Brayboy 2004; Guillory and Wolverton 2008; Waterman and Lindley 2013). Very few, however, have explored the role of the educators of American Indian students, and most of the literature focuses on K-12 educational settings (McCarty and Lee 2014; Yong and Hoffman 2014). This thesis examines exploratory user research conducted to generate a foundational understanding of educators of American Indian students in higher education. Utilizing methods from design anthropology and user experience, semi-structured interviews and think-aloud sessions were conducted, almost exclusively virtually, for 17 participants. This research was conducted for a client, Fire & Associates, as part of the applied thesis process. Findings revealed a complex web of needs for educators of American Indian students in higher education related to teaching diverse students, the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the process of networking among other educators. The research culminated in content and design implications for the Fire & Associates website as well as suggestions for further research based on best practices in the field of user experience.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Roth, Heather S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Story of Pathfinders [Family Pathfinders]: Investigating the Impact, Experiences, and Context of Re-Entry Mentoring

Description: The United States has the largest population of imprisoned persons in the world. The vast majority of these individuals eventually leave prison and re-enter society, facing a number of challenges in the process. Those who are unable to successfully re-enter society run the risk of recidivating back into the prison system. Mentoring has the potential to promote successful re-entry and help offenders to get their lives back on track. Pathfinders of Tarrant County is a unique organization. Its historical position as one of the foremost "welfare to work" programs gives it unique insight into the economic struggles of at-risk individuals and families, and its existing relationships with mentors and other community organizations gives it a rich pool of resources to draw from. By helping to connect participants with community resources, Pathfinders removes quite a bit of the complexity from seeking help at a time when vulnerable people need it most. This thesis presents an overview of how Pathfinders conducts mentoring and its unique brand of social service advocacy, including the unique and not-so unique challenges that a re-entry population may have to offer.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hanich, Kristen Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ethiopian Coffee Stories: Applied Research with Sidama Coffee Farmers Combining Visual and Ethnographic Methods

Description: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the value of visual research methods to applied anthropology in the context of exploratory research with farmers in Ethiopia. The three methods of photo-elicitation, participatory photography, and ethnographic film, enrich and expand ethnographic methods to support the client's objective of supporting farmers. The applied project constructs a narrative from the local perspective to help consumers learn more about farmers' lives. The research focuses on specific farmers, and their experiences with direct fair trade and coffee farming. The client sees the application of research produced by ethnographic and visual methods as a good direction not only for his company, but the Fair Trade Industry as a whole.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Suter, Paula Jean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Negotiated Living: An Ethno-Historical Perspective of Punta Allen

Description: Situated within the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Tulum and within the Sian Ka'an Biosphere gives the village of Punta Allen a distinctive agency in determining their role in the on-going development of tourism in the region that is not given to other communities in the state. This unique circumstance facilitates a dialogue between the reserve, the municipality, and the business cooperatives of Punta Allen that produce a negotiated living. Through the negotiations with the reserve and Tulum, the lobster fishing and tourism cooperatives are given the opportunity to have a relatively significant role in determining the future of Punta Allen in regards to tourism.
Date: December 2016
Creator: McRae, David Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Ahope Client Satisfaction and Attitudes

Description: I led a participatory action research (PAR) project with the staff and homeless clients of Ahope Day Center in Asheville, North Carolina, which was meant to evaluate client satisfaction with services and attitudes about certain issues. Project is led by an inquiry group consisting of members of Ahope staff and Ahope clients. The project is a co-designed, co-implemented, and co-interpreted mixed-method evaluation of Ahope's services, client attitudes about education and the environment, client adaptive strategies, optimism levels, and a mapping of client daily routines. The data was collected through participant observation, document analysis, surveys, a listing activity, and informal interviews. Documents were coded using grounded theory and themes emerged related to the value of the intangibles of security, community, and ‘being seen' at Ahope while some suggestions were also made. Findings included client attitudes indicating the importance of the environment and education to clients, high optimism levels among clients, and a number of suggestions for the improvement of Ahope's services.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Johnston, Josiah Ramsay
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

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