Search Results

The Value of Ties: Impact of Director Interlocks on Acquisition Premium and Post-acquisition Performance

Description: Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) evolved as alternative governance structures for firms seeking to combine resources with other firms, access larger markets, or acquire strategic assets. In spite of managers’ enthusiasm about the practice, studies show mixed results regarding post-acquisition performance of acquiring firms. The impact of acquisitions on the performance of acquiring firms has therefore remained inconclusive. A few reasons for this have been suggested and recent meta-analytic research efforts indicate that studies in M&A may have ignored variables that have significant effects on post-acquisition performance. In a bid to extend the literature on M&A and identify cogent variables that impact on acquisition performance, this dissertation draws on social network theory to advance a proposition for the value-of-ties. This was done by examining the impact of directorate interlocks on acquisitions specifically and organizational strategy in general. A non-experimental cross-sectional study of 98 interlocked directorate companies simultaneously involved in acquisitions was conducted. Several multiple regression analyses were conducted and the results obtained suggest that there is a positive linear relationship between director interlocks and post-acquisition performance and that to some extent this relationship is moderated by acquisition experience. The study also showed that director interlocks have a negative linear relationship with acquisition premium. This study complements the body of knowledge on acquisitions and network theory. It also successfully combined a multi-level approach to research on organizations and strategic management.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Lawani, Uyi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community College Student Success in Developmental Mathematics Courses: a Comparison of Four Instructional Methods

Description: The student success rates for three developmental mathematics courses (prealgebra, elementary algebra, and intermediate algebra) taught through four instructional methods (lecture, personalized system of instruction [PSI], hybrid, and online) were examined. The sample consisted of 9,211 students enrolled in a large Texas community college from fall 2009 through spring 2011. Student success was defined as a grade of C or better. Chi-square tests were used to compare the three developmental mathematics courses success rates. Statistically significant differences in student success were found between all four methods of instruction for all three mathematics courses (prealgebra: χ2 [df = 3] = 107.90, p < 0.001; elementary algebra: χ2 [df = 3] = 88.39, p < 0.001; intermediate algebra χ2 [df = 3] = 254.18, p < 0.001). Binary logistic regression modeling was used to determine to what extent age, gender, ethnicity, residency, Pell eligibility and mode of instruction accounted for the community college students’ course success for each of the three developmental mathematics courses. For prealgebra, the independent variables of gender, race, age, residency, and mode of instruction made statistically significant contributions to the model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 1,743] = 159.196, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .119), with greater success among female, White, younger, out of country students taking the course through lecture. For elementary algebra, the independent variables of race, age, residency, and mode of instruction made statistically significant contributions to the logistic regression model (χ2 [df = 14, n = 2,731] = 816.223, p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .358), with greater success among , younger, out of country students taking the course through lecture, hybrid or PSI. For intermediate algebra, only race and Pell eligibility made a statistically significant contribution to the logistic regression, with greater success among White, Pell-eligible students, and mode of instruction ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Keller, Judith
Partner: UNT Libraries

Lipodystrophy, Body Image and Depression in Hiv Positive Black Women

Description: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive men on highly active antiretroviral therapy treatment (HAART) who experience lipodystrophy syndrome (LD), a side effect of HAART, rate themselves as more depressed than those who did not experience LD(Crane et al., 2008). Furthermore, men who rated their LD symptoms as more severe also scored higher on depression measures than men who experienced less severe symptoms. It is unknown these findings can be generalized to other groups of HIV positive individuals. The current study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by exploring the associations between LD, body image, and depressive symptoms in an archival sample of HIV positive Black women. This study aims to describe the body changes associated with HAART in a Black female sample and explore the relationships between LD, body image, depression, and quality of life. Findings supported past research indicating a correlation between depression and poor body image but did not indicate that body image quality of life moderated the relationship between perceived body changes and depression. Results expanded on the literature by indicating that perceived body changes may be more distressing to Black women with HIV than objective changes. Lastly, findings suggested that Black women may have inaccurate perceptions of their own body changes. These findings are particularly informative for healthcare workers who treat HIV+ women. It is imperative that they consider clients’ self-report as well as clinical symptoms.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Carr, Jarice N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing the Players: Expanding the Bilateral Relationship of Conflict Management

Description: This research seeks to explore the behavior of international and regional organizations within conflict management. Previous research on conflict management primarily examines UN peacekeeping as the primary actor and lumps all non-UN actors into a single category. I disaggregate this category, examining how international and regional organizations interact when deciding to establish a peace mission, coordinate a peace mission with multiple organizations, and finally, how this interaction affects the success of peace missions. I propose a collective action theoretical framework in which organizations would rather another actor undertake the burden and costs of implementing a peace mission. I find the United Nations is motivated to overcome the collective action problem through an increase in the severity of the conflict. Regional organizations are motivated to establish a peace mission as the economic and political salience of the conflict increases, increasing the possibility of the regional organization acquiring club goods for its member states. The presence of a regional hegemon within a regional organization also significantly increases the likelihood of an organization both establishing a peace mission and taking on the primary role when coordinating a joint mission. I argue this is because a regional hegemon allows the organization to more easily overcome the collective action problem between its own member states due to the presence of a privileged actor.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Stull, Emily A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fundamental Issues in Support Vector Machines

Description: This dissertation considers certain issues in support vector machines (SVMs), including a description of their construction, aspects of certain exponential kernels used in some SVMs, and a presentation of an algorithm that computes the necessary elements of their operation with proof of convergence. In its first section, this dissertation provides a reasonably complete description of SVMs and their theoretical basis, along with a few motivating examples and counterexamples. This section may be used as an accessible, stand-alone introduction to the subject of SVMs for the advanced undergraduate. Its second section provides a proof of the positive-definiteness of a certain useful function here called E and dened as follows: Let V be a complex inner product space. Let N be a function that maps a vector from V to its norm. Let p be a real number between 0 and 2 inclusive and for any in V , let ( be N() raised to the p-th power. Finally, let a be a positive real number. Then E() is exp(()). Although the result is not new (other proofs are known but involve deep properties of stochastic processes) this proof is accessible to advanced undergraduates with a decent grasp of linear algebra. Its final section presents an algorithm by Dr. Kallman (preprint), based on earlier Russian work by B.F. Mitchell, V.F Demyanov, and V.N. Malozemov, and proves its convergence. The section also discusses briefly architectural features of the algorithm expected to result in practical speed increases.
Date: May 2014
Creator: McWhorter, Samuel P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It

Description: Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a high modulus ceramic with an ultra-high melting temperature and, consequently, is capable of withstanding extreme environments. Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are important structural materials in future hypersonic aircraft; however, these materials may be susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures during extreme velocities. At speeds of exceeding Mach 5, intense heating of leading edges of the aircraft triggers rapid oxidation of carbon in CCCs resulting in degradation of the structure and probable failure. Environmental/thermal barrier coatings (EBC/TBC) are employed to protect airfoil structures from extreme conditions. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a well-known EBC/TBC material currently used to protect metallic turbine blades and other aerospace structures. In this work, 3 mol% YSZ has been studied as a potential EBC/TBC on CCCs. However, YSZ is an oxygen conductor and may not sufficiently slow the oxidation of the underlying CCC. Under appropriate conditions, ZrC can form at the interface between CCC and YSZ. Because ZrC is a poor oxygen ion conductor in addition to its stability at high temperatures, it can reduce the oxygen transport to the CCC and thus increase the service lifetime of the structure. This dissertation investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of the YSZ/ZrC/CCC system and the resulting structural changes across multiple size scales. A series of experiments were conducted to understand the mechanisms and species involved in the carbothermal reduction of ZrO2 to form ZrC. 3 mol% YSZ and graphite powders were uniaxially pressed into pellets and reacted in a graphite (C) furnace. Rietveld x-ray diffraction phase quantification determined that greater fractions of ZrC were formed when carbon was the majority mobile species. These results were validated by modeling the process thermochemically and were confirmed with additional experiments. Measurements were conducted to examine the effect of carbothermal reduction on the bond lengths in ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Sondhi, Anchal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Culture Interrupted: Assessing the Effects of the Shining Path Internal Armed Conflict in the Peruvian Highlands

Description: This study was a qualitative examination of social, economic, political, and cultural dilemmas that face Peruvian survivors of the Communist Shining Path Revolution, an internal armed conflict that cut a swath of terror and destruction during the years 1980-2000, with a reported loss of 69,000 residents either killed or considered “disappeared.” The conflict affected primarily poor, uneducated Andean campesinos and townspeople in the highland areas of the Ayacucho District. In this study, I looked closely at the responsibilities of both government and NGOs in the facilitation of readjustment during and after times of instability. In addition, specific challenges the elderly, women and campesinos face in a post-conflict world are analyzed and possible social policies are discerned that might be developed to better implement the transition to a new form of community. Ideas that emerged from this research may assist policy shapers in other less developed countries involved in similar conflicts by examining how Peru dealt with its own issues. Methodology included participant observation and interviews with long-term Ayacuchan residents who stayed-in-place during war time, along with migrants who went to live in shantytowns in more urban areas. The government-mandated Truth and Reconciliation Commission report serves as a framework as it outlined those ultimately deemed responsible and detailed what those affected may expect in the way of appropriate reparations and compensation in the future. Much emphasis is given to the emerging role of women and how ensuing shifts of gender specific cultural roles may affect familial and communal bonds in small-scale societies.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Van Wye, Kalynn Hicks
Partner: UNT Libraries

Private Affections: Miscegenation and the Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine

Description: This study politicizes the mixed relationship in Israeli-Palestinian literature. I examine Arab-Jewish and interethnic Jewish intimacy in works by Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, canonical Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua, select anthologized Anglophone and translated Palestinian and Israeli poetry, and Israeli feminist writer Orly Castel-Bloom. I also examine the material cultural discourses issuing from Israel’s textile industry, in which Arabs and Jews interact. Drawing from the methodology of twentieth-century Brazilian miscegenation theorist Gilberto Freyre, I argue that mixed intimacies in the Israeli-Palestinian imaginary represent a desire to restructure a hegemonic public sphere in the same way Freyre’s Brazilian mestizo was meant to rhetorically undermine what he deemed a Western cult of uniformity. This project constitutes a threefold contribution. I offer one of the few postcolonial perspectives on Israeli literature, as it remains underrepresented in the field in comparison to its Palestinian counterparts. I also present the first sustained critique of the hetero relationship and the figure of the hybrid in Israeli-Palestinian literature, especially as I focus on its representation for political options rather than its aesthetic intrigue. Finally, I reexamine and apply Gilberto Freyre in a way that excavates him from critical interment and advocates for his global relevance.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Cohen, Hella Bloom
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dual-band Microwave Device Design

Description: This thesis presents a brief introduction to microwave components and technology. It also presents two novel dual-band designs, their analysis, topology, simulation and fabrication. In chapter 2, a novel dual-band bandpass filter using asymmetric stub-loaded stepped-impedance resonators (SLSIRs) operating at 1 and 2.6 GHz is shown. This type of design applies suitable arrangements to improve the filter’s performance. Then, in chapter 3, a novel dual-band balun (transforms unbalanced input signals to balanced output signals or vice versa) operating at 1.1 and 2 GHz with flexible frequency ratios is presented, which has more advantages in microwave applications. Then, conclusion and future works are discussed in chapter 4.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Li Shen, Andres E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Transition Experience of Second Career Respiratory Faculty: a Phenomenological Study

Description: This phenomenological study investigated the transition experiences of clinical respiratory therapists who pursued second careers as respiratory faculty. Situated Learning Theory and Workplace Learning Theory were the frameworks for interviews with 11 second career respiratory faculty who had taught fewer than five years in baccalaureate degree programs. The goal of this study was to identify the major themes of their experiences. Thematic analysis revealed five common experiences: under-preparation, challenges, overwhelmed feelings, personal responsibilities, and rewards. The common theoretical framework for all participants was the critical need to understand their communities of practice within their organizations. From this study, respiratory department chairs and administrators may better understand the challenges and needs of clinical therapists as they transition into faculty positions. Positive experiences such as improved orientations and continued effective faculty support may promote a more rewarding and long-term practice.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gresham, Jennifer L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Relationship Between Persistence in Attendance in an Afterschool Program and an Early Warning Index for Dropout

Description: School districts constantly struggle to find solutions to address the high school dropout problem. Literature supports the need to identify and intervene with these students earlier and in more systemic ways. The purpose of this study was to conduct a longitudinal examination of the relationship between sustained afterschool participation and the host district’s early warning index (EWI) associated with school dropout. Data included 65,341 students participating in an urban school district’s after school program from school years 2000-2001 through 2011-2012. The district serves more than 80,000 students annually. Data represented students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, and length of participation ranged from 1 through 12 years. Results indicated that student risk increased over time and that persistent participation in afterschool programming had a significant relationship with student individual growth trajectories. Slower growth rates, as evidenced through successive models, supported students being positively impacted by program participation. Additionally, participation was more meaningful if students persisted, as noted in the lower EWI rates, as compared to students who attended less consistently.
Date: May 2014
Creator: King, Teresa C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Sucrose on Ethanol Consumption in Ethanol Naïve and Non-naïve Rats

Description: Sucrose fading and intermittent access are two common procedures that induce alcohol consumption in rodents. Sucrose fading procedures involve exposing ethanol naïve rats to a mixture of ethanol and sucrose and gradually reducing the concentration of sugar. Intermittent access procedures involve providing rats with access to ethanol on alternating days. Given that rats will consume ethanol without sucrose, the role of sugar in the sucrose fading procedure is unclear. Rats must be ethanol naïve when they are exposed to treatment with sucrose fading, so there is no point of comparison to show that exposure to sugar in sucrose fading produces higher levels of drinking. There has yet to be any work that isolates the effects of sugar on the consumption of alcohol. The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the effects of sucrose on ethanol consumption in rats with different alcohol histories. Two groups of six rats were exposed to two successive sucrose fading procedures, 30 days apart and their drinking was measured 30 days after each one. One group was exposed to an intermittent access procedure to establish drinking prior to treatment with sucrose fading, the other was ethanol naïve. Following sucrose fading, all rats drank pharmacologically active doses of ethanol. For both groups consumption correlated with the concentration of sucrose and decreased in a step-wise manner as it was faded. For the ethanol experienced rats, consumption dropped below baseline levels as sucrose was faded and decreased further with the second exposure. In contrast, the ethanol-naïve rats did not decrease consumption from the first sucrose fading procedure to the second. Slight differences in peak force of responses were also observed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Dove, Rachel Jolene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Synthesis, Characterization, Structural, and Optical Properties of Zinc Oxide Nanostructures Embedded in Silicon Based Substrates

Description: Structural and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures synthesized by low energy ion implantation technique were examined. ZnO molecular ions were implanted into Si/SiO2 substrates at room temperature and then furnace annealed under different temperatures and environments. In all as-implanted samples only Zn nanostructures with varying diameters distributed into the Si/SiO2 matrices were observed. No trace of ZnO was found. The distributions of Zn nanostructures in Si/SiO2 closely matched results from Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM) simulations. During annealing at 750 oC, Zn diffused both toward and away from the surface of the substrate and combine with oxygen to form ZnO nanostructures. At higher annealing temperatures ZnO bonding started to break down and transfer to zinc silicate (Zn2SiO4), and at 900 oC the ZnO was completely converted into Zn2SiO4. The average sizes of Zn/ZnO nanostructures depended on the ion fluence. If the fluence increased the average sizes of nanostructures also increased and vice versa. For room temperature photoluminescence (RT-PL), band-edge emission in the ultraviolet (UV) region was observed from all samples annealed at 700 oC/750 oC and were slightly blue shifted as compare to bulk ZnO. Donor-bound exciton (D,X) and acceptor-bound exciton (A,X) transitions were observed in low temperature photoluminescence (PL). The lifetime of both donor-bound excitonic emission (D, X) and acceptor-bound excitonic emission (A, X) were found to be in the picosecond (ps) range.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Pandey, Bimal
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Goal Difficulty and Monitoring Frequency on Effort and Risk Taking Decisions

Description: Management control systems perform a vital role in facilitating the accomplishment of organizational objectives. To effectively align the objectives of employees with those of the organization, firms balance multiple control mechanisms to encourage organizationally desired behaviors and discourage undesired behaviors. The purpose of my dissertation was two-fold. First, I assessed how changes in monitoring frequency influenced employee behaviors and the overall function of the management control system. Second, I investigated the effects of stretch goals on behavior to determine whether stretch goals can lead to harmful behaviors and whether continuous monitoring can mitigate these behaviors. Results suggest that individuals exert more effort when assigned a stretch or difficult goal compared to an easy goal. My study also finds that stretch goals can be harmful because of their effect on risk taking, goal commitment, and job insecurity. Finally, results indicate that accountability mediates the monitoring frequency-risk taking relationship such that continuous monitoring increases accountability and accountability decreases risk taking. However, the ability of monitoring frequency to decrease risk taking may depend on numerous factors. Results from this study allow practitioners to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of implementing continuous monitoring systems and the combined effects of using these systems in conjunction with compensation systems. Consequently, this study highlights necessary considerations for practitioners during the implementation continuous monitoring systems. The study also informs practitioners of the potentially harmful effects of stretch goals, the conditions under which they occur, and the possible ways to mitigate these effects.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Shoemaker, Nikki L.
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

The Impact of Target Revenue Funding on Public School Districts in North Texas

Description: A pre–post case study was conducted to examine how target revenue funding from Texas House Bill 1 (2006) has impacted the school districts within the Texas Education Service Center Region X area. Forced by the courts, the Texas Legislature was required to fix the Texas school finance system because of a de facto statewide property tax it had created by capping school district’s maintenance & operations tax rate at $1.50. Texas Governor Rick Perry used this opportunity to reduce school district M&O taxes by one-third. The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1 (2006), the Public School Finance and Property Tax Relief Act, in response to the courts and to address a continuous decline in state funding support for public education. The Public School Finance and Property Tax Relief Act reduced local school districts’ property tax rates and revenue with the assurance that these funds would be exchanged for state aid. Local school property taxes were reduced over two years, 2006–2007 and 2007-2008, by 33%. In order for the State of Texas to meet the state aid funding guarantee from House Bill 1 (2006), each school district was frozen to its 2005–2006 revenue per weighted student, which was called a district’s revenue target. This study examined the impact target revenue has had on these school districts by analyzing and comparing revenues and expenditures prior to and following the law’s implementation. Specifically, changes in per-student revenue, per-student expenditures, and district fund balances were assessed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Womack, Dennis E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sexual and Nonsexual Boundary Violations Between Sport Psychology Professionals and Their Client-athletes

Description: Sexual attraction (SA), as well as sexual (SBVs) and nonsexual boundary violations (NSBVs), have been identified as matters of ethical concern, being viewed as harmful within mental health or counseling relationships. Much of the literature in the area of SA and SBVs has focused on the counselor-client relationship, but it has been investigated only minimally in the field of sport psychology and specifically with regard to sport psychology professionals (SPPs). Because SA, SBVs, and NSBVs between SPPs and their client-athletes seem to be potentially problematic concerns in need of empirical investigation and practical scrutiny, the aim of this study was to examine: (a) the incidence of SBV and NSBV beliefs and behaviors among SPPs; (b) SPPs' feelings regarding SA for and from client-athletes; and (c) SPPs' willingness to seek supervision to manage their SA beliefs and behaviors towards client-athletes. SPPs (n = 365) completed the Survey of Applied Sport Psychologists (SASP) via e-mail or regular mail. As expected, SPPs experienced SA (40.6%) and generally did not experience strong feelings as a result of the SA. However, of the SPPs experiencing SA, 13.5% of males and 13.8% of females engaged in a SBV with a client-athlete. NSBV behaviors and beliefs are also reported. Chi-squared analyses revealed male SPPs engaged in nonsexual touching with their client-athletes more frequently than female SPPs. T-tests suggested ethically trained SPPs were more likely to seek supervision as a result of SA and view certain NSBVs as good professional behavior in comparison to non-ethically trained SPPs. Appropriate supervision and ethical training for SPPs experiencing SA could be helpful in the management of potential future SBV or NSBV behaviors. Implications for SPPs working with athletes, limitations of the present study, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Moles, Troy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Eastern Work Ethic: Structural Validity, Measurement Invariance, and Generational Differences

Description: This present study examined the structural validity of a Chinese version of Multidimensional Work Ethic Profile (MWEP-C), using a large sample of Chinese parents and their young adult children (N = 1047). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to evaluate the model fit of sample data on three competing models using two randomly split stratified subsamples. Measurement invariance for these two generational respondents was checked using differential item functioning (DIF) analysis. The results indicated that MWEP-C provided a reasonable fit for the sample data and the majority of survey items produced similar item-level responses for individuals that do not differ on the attributes of work ethic across these two generations. DIF items were detected based on advanced and successive iterations. Monte Carlo simulations were also conducted for creating threshold values and for chi-square probabilities based on 1,000 replications. After identifying the DIF items, model fit improved and generational differences and similarities in work ethic between parents and their young adult children were also identified. The results suggested that the younger Chinese generations have higher work ethic mean scores on the dimensions of work centrality and morality/ethics while they have similarities on time concept, self-reliance, delay of gratification, and hard work as their parents.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Chen, Danxia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sustainable Energy Solutions for Water Purification Applications: Municipal and Industrial Case Studies

Description: In several areas around the world, clean water is a precious asset that at anytime, and mainly due to circumstances of weather and climate, can become scarce. Mainly in the dry and remote places, people suffer with lack of water. A solution for this suffering can be a water desalination system, which makes water potable and usable for industry. That solution inherently, brings the problem of power requirement, which is sometimes arduous to accomplish in such remote areas of difficult access and long distances to overcome to build the infrastructure required to operate an electric power plant. Texas and the USA also face this scenario for many regions, for which the government has been creating some programs and driving forward incentives, looking for solutions to support water desalination. Water desalination has future applications for municipalities water-consuming or for arid and remote regions, as well as for industries that rely on heavy water usage, such as natural gas drilling operations, for which millions of gallons are trucked overland to the site and also hauled away afterwards, when the waste water produced must be treated. This thesis created the concept of autonomy for water desalination plants replacing the actual power supply from fossil fuel to a renewable source from wind or sun, giving capacity to them to produce its own electricity to operate as an autonomous unit, as demonstrated in the business case done for the Brownsville water desalination facility.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Mira, Sebastião Bittencourt de
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Curious Collection of Visitors: Travels to Early Modern Cabinets of Curiosity and Museums in England, 1660-1800

Description: The idea of curiosity has evolved over time and is a major building-block in the foundation and expansion of museums and their precursors, cabinets of curiosity. These proto-museums began in Italy and spread throughout Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Cabinets of curiosity and museums transformed as visitors traveled to burgeoning collections across the Continent and England. Individuals visited curiosities for a variety of reasons. Some treated outings to collections as social events in which they could see others in their social circles and perhaps rise in social status if seen by the correct people. Others were merely curious and hoped to see rare, astonishing, monstrous, and beautiful objects. Scholars of the era often desired to discover new items and ideas, and discuss scientific and philosophical matters. The British Isles are removed from the main body of Europe, but still play a major role in the history of collecting. A number of private collectors and the eventual foundation of the British Museum contributed seminally to the ever-increasing realm of curiosities and historic, cultural, and scientific artifacts. The collectors and collections of Oxford and London and its surrounding areas, drew a diverse population of visitors to their doors. Individuals, both foreign and local, female and male, visitors and collectors in Early Modern England chose to actively participate in the formation of a collecting culture by gathering, visiting, discussing, writing about, and publishing on collections.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Puyear, Lauren K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship of Personality Traits to Teacher Candidate Perceptions of Teaching Confidence and Teaching Experience in a Simulated Classroom Environment

Description: Individual personality traits of pre-service teachers may have a significant influence on their confidence in teaching. Confidence in teaching does not always align with the experience of pre-service teachers. simSchool enables transformational experiences for teacher candidates to improve in general teaching skills, connect learning theories in the classroom, and develop confidence to be an effective teacher without the ill impacts of practicing on real students. This study executed a quasi-experimental design to explore the personality traits of 152 pre-service teachers and examined how their perceptions of teaching confidence and teaching experience were related in the context of simSchool. A treatment and comparison group completed the Survey of Teaching Skills pre/post tests and the OCEAN survey for quantitative data analysis to investigate four research questions: 1. Is there a difference between treatment and comparison groups on educator’s gains in confidence and experience? 2. Is there a relationship between personality type and perceived teaching effectiveness? 3. Is there a relationship between personality attributes and pre-service educator ratings of teaching experience in a simulated teaching environment? 4. Is there a relationship between personality attributes and pre-service educator ratings of teaching confidence in a simulated teaching environment? Findings from repeated measures MANOVA tests indicated that the simSchool treatment group increased their perceptions of experience with significant gains (p < .05), in contrast to the comparison group. Two key constructs of personality and effective teaching, the latter of which is comprised of the pre-service teachers’ self-reports of teaching confidence and teaching experience, were examined using canonical correlation analysis. The traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism were components linked by structure coefficients to the synthetic variable of personality, the latter of which was found to be correlated with effective teaching. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were produced to assess the relationship between experience and confidence ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Hopper, Susan B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

When and Where Does It Pay to Be Green: Intra- and Inter-organizational Factors Influencing the Environmental/Financial Performance Link

Description: Managers are coming under increasing pressure from a wide array of stakeholders to improve the environmental performance of their firms while still achieving financial performance objectives. One of the most researched questions in the business and the natural environment (B&NE) literature is whether it pays to be green. Despite more than three decades of research, scholars have been unable to clearly answer this question. The purpose of this dissertation was to attempt to identify the antecedents that lead to increased, firm-level environmental performance and the conditions in which firms are then able to profit from enhanced environmental performance. First, I assessed three intra-organizational factors of top management teams (i.e. female representation, concern for non-financial stakeholders, and risk-seeking propensity) that theory indicated are associated with increased corporate environmental performance (CEP). Theory also leads us to believe that top management teams with these attributes should perform better in dynamic settings, so I tested to see if industry dynamism moderates these relationships. Second, I then examined industry-level forces that theory indicates would moderate the relationship between CEP and corporate financial performance (CFP). These moderating forces include industry profitability, industry dynamism, and the degree of industry environmental regulation. Hypotheses were tested using panel data obtained from the KLD, Compustat, and Environmental Protection Agency databases for the years 2000 to 2011. The sample consists of firms comprising the Standard and Poor’s 500 and was analyzed using fixed-effect regression and moderating variables were analyzed using the Johnson-Neyman technique.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Cox, Marcus Z.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Design of Tunable/Reconfigurable and Compact Microwave Devices

Description: With the rapid development of the modern technology, radio frequency and microwave systems are playing more and more important roles. Since the time the first microwave device was invented, they have been leading not only the military but also our daily life to a new era. In order to make the devices have more practical applications, more and more strict requirements have been imposed. For example, good adaptability, reduced cost and shrank size are highly required. In this thesis, three devices are designed based on this requirement. At first, a symmetric four-port microwave varactor based 90-degree directional coupler with tunable coupling ratios and reconfigurable responses is presented. The proposed coupler is designed based on the modified structure of a crossover, where varactors are loaded. Then, a novel reconfigurable 3-dB directional coupler is presented. Varactors and inductors are loaded to the device to realize the reconfigurable performance. By adjusting the voltage applied to the varactors, the proposed coupler can be reconfigured from a branch-line coupler (90-degree coupler) to a rat-race coupler (180 degree coupler) and vice versa. At last, two types (Type-I and Type-II) of microwave baluns with generalized structures are presented. Different from the conventional transmission-line-based baluns where λ/2 transmission lines or λ/4 coupled lines are used, the proposed baluns are constructed by transmission lines with arbitrary electrical lengths.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Zhou, Mi
Partner: UNT Libraries