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Alloy Development and High-Energy X-Ray Diffraction Studies of NiTiZr and NiTiHf High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys

Description: NiTi-based shape memory alloys (SMAs) offer a good combination of high-strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility that has served them well and attracted the attention of many researchers and industries. The alloys unique thermo-mechanical ability to recover their initial shape after relatively large deformations by heating or upon unloading due to a characteristic reversible phase transformation makes them useful as damping devices, solid state actuators, couplings, etc. However, there is a need to increase the temperature of the characteristic phase transformation above 150 °C, especially in the aerospace industry where high temperatures are often seen. Prior researchers have shown that adding ternary elements (Pt, Pd, Au, Hf and Zr) to NiTi can increase transformation temperatures but most of these additions are extremely expensive, creating a need to produce cost-effective high temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs). Thus, the main objective of this research is to examine the relatively unstudied NiTiZr system for the ability to produce a cost effective and formable HTSMA. Transformation temperatures, precipitation paths, processability, and high-temperature oxidation are examined, specifically using high energy X-ray Diffraction (XRD) measurements, in NiTi-20 at.% Zr. This is followed by an in situ XRD study of the phase growth kinetics of the favorable H-phase nano precipitates, formed in NiTiHf and NiTiZr HTSMAs, based on prior thermo-mechanical processing in a commercial NiTi-15 at.% Hf HTSMA to examine the final processing methods and aging characteristics. Through this research, knowledge of the precipitation paths in NiTiZr and NiTiHf HTSMAs is extended and methods for characterization of phases and strains using high energy XRD are elucidated for future work in the field.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Carl, Matthew A
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Population Genetic Structure of Quadrula aurea (Bivalvia: Unionidae), A Threatened Freshwater Mussel in Central Texas

Description: The anthropogenic alteration of riverine ecosystems has led to declines in the abundance and diversity of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida) worldwide. Central Texas is home to a diverse freshwater mussel fauna including three candidates for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Surveys conducted over the last few decades suggest many of the endemic freshwater mussel species in Texas exist in small isolated populations that may be vulnerable to the deleterious effects of genetic diversity loss. Microsatellite primers from two closely related species were used to identify a set of genetic markers that functioned in the Golden Orb (Quadrula aurea). Microsatellite markers were then applied to document the population genetic structure of Q. aurea within and among three connected river drainages in southeastern Texas. Gene flow within existing Q. aurea populations appears high indicating little potential for genetic issues stemming from isolation and inbreeding. Two weakly divergent admixed populations were identified occupying the San Antonio and Guadalupe/San Marcos rivers. Population genetic structure was related to river basin affiliation, but results for environmental factors were unresolved. Current effective population size estimates are large for the Guadalupe/San Marcos drainage and moderately large for the San Antonio drainage and there is no clear genetic evidence of contemporary population declines. Transport in the glochidial phase by a highly mobile host fish, the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), may provide a mechanism for maintaining connectivity among spatially discrete mussel beds and deserves further study. Information on the occurrence and habitat associations of Q. aurea and two other threatened freshwater mussel species was documented. Quantification of the population genetic structure for Q. aurea provides important information needed for the management of this species, a baseline for understanding future changes, and insight into the factors that shape the population genetic structure of other threatened unionids in Texas.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Mabe, Jeffrey A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Urban Trees as Sinks for Soot: Deposition of Atmospheric Elemental Carbon to Oak Canopies and Litterfall Flux to Soil

Description: Elemental carbon (EC), a product of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass, contributes to climate warming and poor air quality. In urban areas, diesel fuel trucks are the main source of EC emissions from mobile sources. After emission, EC is deposited to receptor surfaces via two main pathways: precipitation (wet deposition) and directly as particles (dry deposition). Urban trees may play an important role in removing EC from the atmosphere by intercepting and delivering it directly to the soil. The goal of this research was to quantify the magnitude of EC retention in leaf waxes (in-wax EC) and EC fluxes to the soil via leaf litterfall in the City of Denton, Texas. Denton is a rapidly growing urban location in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. A foliar extraction technique was used to determine EC retention in leaf waxes. Foliar samples were collected monthly, from April through July, from pairs of Quercus stellata (post oak, n=10) and Quercus virginiana (live oak, n = 10) trees. Samples were rinsed with water and chloroform in a two-step process to determine EC retained in leaf waxes. A Sunset OC/EC aerosol analyzer was utilized to analyze the EC content of extracts filtered onto quartz-fiber filters. From April through July, leaf litter was collected bi-weekly under 35 trees (20 post oak, 15 live oak), and oven dried to determine dry weight. EC retained by tree canopies was estimated by multiplying in-wax EC by canopy leaf area index, while EC flux to soil was estimated by multiplying in-wax EC by leaf litterfall mass. This study shows that through retention of EC in leaf waxes, urban tree canopies represent important short-term sinks for soot in urban areas.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Rindy, Jenna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of the Resistance Exercise-Induced Hormonal Changes on Satellite Cell Myogenic State

Description: Skeletal muscle satellite cells are important for muscle repairing and muscle mass growth. For a successful muscle regenerative process, satellite cells have to sequentially undergoing different stages of myogenic process, i.e. proliferative state and differentiation state. To support this process, the presence of different circulating factors, such as immune cells, cytokines, and hormones, at the appropriate time course is critical. Among these factors, hormones, such as testosterone, cortisol, and IGF-1, have shown to play an important role in satellite cell proliferation and differentiation. Studies investigated the effect of testosterone on satellite cell using a supraphysiological dose in human or in cell culture demonstrated that testosterone is critical in satellite cell myogenic process. Due to the anabolic effect of testosterone on muscle, studies had been focused on the physiological means to increase the circulating testosterone concentration in the body to maximize the muscle mass growth from resistance exercise. The acute and transient increase in testosterone has shown to be beneficial to muscle mass growth and strength gain; however, this change in physiological testosterone concentration on satellite cell myogenesis is not known. Therefore the purpose of this dissertation is to first determine the effect of acute change in exercise-induced hormones on satellite cell myogenic state, then to determine if testosterone promotes satellite cell proliferation.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Luk, Hui Ying
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rentier States and Conflict: New Concepts, Different Perspectives

Description: Since the 1970s, a curious phenomenon has emerged, suggesting that resource rich countries are "cursed" by their resources. Over the last couple of decades, researchers have argued that rentier countries are more likely to have educational underachievement, the Dutch disease, corruption, slower democratization, and conflict. Although current research has proven helpful and productive, some aspects still remain contested in both theoretical and empirical terms. This dissertation aims to fill certain lacunae in this literature. My dissertation examines how ordinary citizens turn into dissidents and then to rebels in rentier states. I build and test an innovative theoretical argument, which focuses on individuals' daily lives, and explains how policies by rentier governments discourage merit-based employment. This, in turn, yields a high level of grievance among segments of the population. I also develop a comprehensive theory that combines macro-level and micro-level explanations of conflict onset in rentier states. Finally, I analyze an important, but previously neglected aspect of civil wars in rentier states: conflict outcomes. I suggest that the existence of abundant natural resources would have a significant impact on conflict outcomes. Accordingly, government victory would be more likely, and negotiated settlement would be less likely in rentier countries compared to non-rentier countries.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Ozsut, Melda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Students' Perceptions on the Curriculum and their Intentions to Work in the Sustainable Industry

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine hospitality and tourism students' attitudinal process shaping their intentions to work in the sustainable industry. The cognitive-affective-conative-attitude framework is used to examine students' intentions to work in the sustainable industry. This study proposes that intentions to work in the sustainable industry is as a result of students' satisfaction of and affective engagement with programs teaching sustainability courses. Sustainability knowledge, program perceptions and perceived value on sustainability education are identified as the factors impacting satisfaction and affective engagement. Four hundred sixty responses were collected from 14 institutions in the U.S. and Asia. A total of 342 responses were used to test the hypotheses. Factor analysis is used to identify the independent variables of the study, and multiple regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses. The results reveal that students´ satisfaction of programs teaching sustainability courses is as a result of their perceptions the program. Affective engagement with the programs teaching sustainability courses is as a result of their perceptions of the program and perceived value on sustainability education. The findings also provide evidence that affective engagement and program satisfaction are directly associated with intentions to work in the sustainable industry. Finally, the findings provide important implications to ensure sustainability is increasingly integrated into the hospitality and tourism curricula.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Njeri, Millicent
Partner: UNT Libraries

Application-Specific Things Architectures for IoT-Based Smart Healthcare Solutions

Description: Human body is a complex system organized at different levels such as cells, tissues and organs, which contributes to 11 important organ systems. The functional efficiency of this complex system is evaluated as health. Traditional healthcare is unable to accommodate everyone's need due to the ever-increasing population and medical costs. With advancements in technology and medical research, traditional healthcare applications are shaping into smart healthcare solutions. Smart healthcare helps in continuously monitoring our body parameters, which helps in keeping people health-aware. It provides the ability for remote assistance, which helps in utilizing the available resources to maximum potential. The backbone of smart healthcare solutions is Internet of Things (IoT) which increases the computing capacity of the real-world components by using cloud-based solutions. The basic elements of these IoT based smart healthcare solutions are called "things." Things are simple sensors or actuators, which have the capacity to wirelessly connect with each other and to the internet. The research for this dissertation aims in developing architectures for these things, focusing on IoT-based smart healthcare solutions. The core for this dissertation is to contribute to the research in smart healthcare by identifying applications which can be monitored remotely. For this, application-specific thing architectures were proposed based on monitoring a specific body parameter; monitoring physical health for family and friends; and optimizing the power budget of IoT body sensor network using human body communications. The experimental results show promising scope towards improving the quality of life, through needle-less and cost-effective smart healthcare solutions.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Sundaravadivel, Prabha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Traditional Korean Music in Contemporary Context:A Performance Guide to Gideon Gee Bum Kim's Kangkangsullae

Description: Gideon Gee Bum Kim is an internationally-acclaimed contemporary Korean-Canadian composer. Kim has utilized traditional Korean music with Western composition techniques in some of his works. Kim created his own style by incorporating traditional Korean musical elements such as the scale, rhythmic diversity, syncopation, variation, ornamentation, and the progression of melody into a body of music that is otherwise contemporary and Western. The purpose of this study is to develop a performance guide for Gideon Gee Bum Kim's Kangkangsullae for string trio. Kangkangsullae trio is based on Korean historical, cultural and musical influences. I give a detailed historical and cultural background for this work and demonstrate how Kim integrated Western compositional techniques with traditional Korean music. My emphasis is on defining specific characteristics of traditional Korean music which will provide several points toward understanding Kim's compositional style.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Lee, Hyejin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Public Market Trade Areas: Local Goods, Farmers, and Community in the US Southwest Region, 1996-2016

Description: The number of public markets in the United States increased from more than 300 in the 1970s to more than 8,600 by 2016. This increase in markets is related to changes in food production, localism and the local food systems movement, socioeconomic changes, cultural changes, and perceptions of embeddedness. Research on the underlying conditions for the success of public markets is scant in the United States, and especially in the USDA Southwest Region. This study provides analysis of public market locations as compared with non-market locations by drive-time trade areas during a 20-year period, 1996 and 2016, to gain further insights into factors leading to their success. The results from logit regression analyses and simulations of socioeconomic, college-town status, and climate-grid classifications find an increased likelihood of public markets with population, education, college town status, and some climate-grid locations. Median income, surprisingly, has an inverse relationship with public market success. Qualitative data and a literature review point to three types of embeddedness that motivate customers to attend public markets. This study concludes that "local nontradable consumer goods" tied to place are offered at these "nontradable consumption amenities." These amenities are "third places" that promote social interaction and become important places of community, farmer support, and commerce across the Southwest Region.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Oppenheim, Vicki Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationship between Males' Coaching Efficacy and Prior Exposure to Sport Psychology

Description: Coaching efficacy is largely influenced by mastery experiences such as formal education, coaching experience, and sport participation. Further examining specific experiences, such as exposure to sport psychology, may prove helpful in advancing our understanding of coaching efficacy. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore male high school coaches' coaching experience to determine whether sport psychology education and interactions with sport psychology consultants relate to coaches' coaching efficacy. Participants, 585 males (Mage = 43.89 + 10.02), completed an online survey measuring coaching efficacy and coaching and sport psychology experience. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that after controlling for years of coaching experience and school size, sport psychology education and interactions with sport psychology consultants were associated with higher overall coaching efficacy scores (p < .001). Additionally, analysis of covariance revealed that those with extensive sport psychology education had statistically higher coaching efficacy scores than those reporting no sport psychology education (p < .05). Knowledge of these phenomena may be relevant for sport psychology consultants, coach educators, and researchers.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Villalon, Christina Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Not So Elementary: An Examination of Trends in a Century of Sherlock Holmes Adaptations

Description: This study examines changes over time in 40 different Sherlock Holmes films and 39 television series and movies spanning from 1900 to 2017. Quantitative observations were mixed with a qualitative examination. Perceptions of law enforcement became more positive over time, the types of crime did not vary, and representation of race and gender improved over time with incrementally positive changes in the representation of queer, mentally ill, and physically handicapped individuals. The exact nature of these trends is discussed. Additionally, the trends of different decades are explored and compared. Sherlock Holmes is mostly used as a vehicle for storytelling rather than for the salacious crimes that he solves, making the identification of perceptions of crime in different decades difficult. The reasons for why different Sherlock Holmes projects were created in different eras and for different purposes are discussed.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Camp, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Professional Learning Communities on Perceived Teacher Self-Efficacy

Description: This qualitative case study examined the effect of PLCs on teacher self-efficacy, and whether the type of PLC structure on each campus affected efficacy. The overarching research question that guided the study was, to what extent does perceived teacher self-efficacy change as a result of the practice of PLCs? Participants were selected using purposive and convenience sampling. Ten teachers and two principals on two different campuses participated in teacher focus groups and one-on-one principal interviews, respectively. The available literature on the topics of professional development, professional learning, teacher collaboration, and teacher self-efficacy yielded the discovery that collaborative practices can be used to improve a school and/or district or used to enhance positive practices that already occur. This study adds to the body of research as it develops the area of teacher efficacy and influence of PLCs. Using the coding software, NVivo, focus group data were coded into themes and further comparisons were made with categories derived and saturated until conclusions were drawn. The data show teacher self-efficacy increases as a result of PLCs when teachers are able to experience positive feedback from teammates, shared leadership, trust and honesty, and a freedom to fail. For those teachers who are not on a campus where PLCs are present, the data suggest they created their own PLCs as the need arose. These teachers experienced all of the same benefits of those teachers on a campus where a formal PLC structure exited; however, their stress level was higher.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Prince, Coryn Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Socially Just Principals' Pursuit of Cultural Proficiency

Description: The purpose of this research was to explore how the personal and professional experiences of school leaders strengthened or hindered their ability to engage in social justice leadership to advance educational equity and encourage culturally proficient practices in their schools. I employed a descriptive multi-case study and the research was viewed through a conceptual framework that included social justice, equity, and the five elements of cultural proficiency. Five principals from three different school districts were selected as participants. They represented elementary, middle and high schools. Interviews consisted of semi-structured face to face interviews with each principal participant and one focus group interview with five participants. Each participant also provided a cultural autobiography. Findings revealed while principals may care deeply about providing equitable opportunities for students, the interest does not supplement knowledge, skills, experience, and support. The information gained from this study can inform the practice of school leaders, and the way in which districts and programs of educational leadership prepare school leaders to serve and address the needs of all students as public schools become more culturally diverse.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Kelly, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Isolation and Characterization of Phages Infecting Streptomyces azureus

Description: Isolating novel phages using Streptomyces azureus, which produces antibiotic thiostrepton, as a host, and characterizing the genomes may help us to find new tools that could be used to develop antibiotics in addition to contribute to the databases of phages and specifically, Streptomyces phages. Streptomyces phages Alsaber, Omar, Attoomi, Rowa, and ZamZam were isolated using during this study. They were isolated from enriched soil and sequenced by Illumina sequencing method. They were isolated from three different geographical regions. They are siphoviridae phages that create small clear plaques with a diameter of approximately 0.5-1 mm, except for Rowa which has cloudy plaques, and they have varied sizes of their heads and tails. ZamZam was not characterized at this time. The sequencing shows that they are circular genome with 3' sticky overhang and various genomes' sizes with high percentage of GC content with the average of 66%. Alsaber was classified under sub-cluster BD3, while Omar was categorized under sub-cluster BD2. They share the same cluster of Cluster BD. Rowa was placed in Cluster BL and Attoomi is currently a singleton that does not fit into an established cluster. Alsaber yields 76 putative genes with no tRNA, Omar 81 putative genes with 1 tRNA. Attoomi 53 putative genes with no tRNA, and Rowa with 61 orfs and 7 tRNA. Rowa also was a putative temperate phage due to its lysogenic activity, and Row was not able to reinfect the lysogenic strain, S. azureus (Rowa). All of the isolated phages infected S. indigocolor, while only Attoomi and Rowa were able to infect S. tricolor. Upon completion of this project, we acquired more data and understanding of S. azureus phages and Actinobacteriophage in general, which will expand the scale of future research of Streptomyces bacteriophages.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Sulaiman, Ahmad M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contemporary Double Bass Techniques: An Advanced Technical Approach

Description: Diverse practicing methods are evidence of the importance of applying creativity in our practice regimes. Regardless of a player's technique - traditional or modern - it must be regularly practiced and then applied. One of the most common ways to do that is through practicing technical exercises, which generally means the practice of scales, arpeggios and etudes. These exercises generally function as a warm-up regime for all musicians, but this regime doesn't necessarily provide enough reference for the player in the learning process of a new piece. Adapting exercises to address technical difficulties in a newly learned piece can provide the player with a wide range of practice methods to use, to be creative, to be more aware while practicing, and to build a solid technical foundation for the newly learned piece. Two well-known pedagogues who applied this approach are German bassist Ludwig Streicher and Czech violinist Otakar Ševčik. By implementing analytical studies and composing exercises based on the standard repertoire, Ševčik and Streicher became highly influential teachers in the 20th century. Their work serves as a model in achieving the purposes of this dissertation: the assessment of technical difficulties and compilation of a technique booklet based on six unaccompanied contemporary solo pieces written as required works for the solo competition of the International Society of Bassists' biennial convention since 2007.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Meyer, Mariechen
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Foot in Two Worlds: Exploring Organizational and Professional Dual Identification

Description: Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? These are some of the fundamental questions that identity scholars have grappled with since the 1900s when researchers across multiple disciplines first began to theorize about the self, identity, and identification. While the benefits and consequences of singular identities has been largely studied, recent scholars have argued for the importance of multiple identity research, as multiple identities have become increasingly salient to individuals due to societal and organizational changes including globalization and technological advancements. An important phenomenon within multiple identity research is dual identification, of which I explore a specific type– identification with both one's organization and one's profession. Using a three-study, quantitative design spanning two industries, I studied the effects of dual identification and identity conflict on individual psychological outcomes, turnover intentions, and OCB engagement. Findings from these three studies, holistically, indicate that when individuals experience identity conflict between their organizational and professional identities, they experience negative outcomes. These negative outcomes – increased emotional exhaustion, psychological distress, and turnover intentions, in addition to reduced OCB engagement – have important ramifications for the individuals themselves and their organization. However, post-hoc results indicate that dual identification – through the main effects of organizational and professional identification – itself leads to positive outcomes. Thus, whether multiple identities are a boon or burden might be a result of whether an individual has reconciled these identities. Ultimately, this research adds to the identity literature by providing a more nuanced view of multiple identities and their outcomes.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Ostermeier, Kathryn
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Ethnographic Inquiry and Evaluation into the Student's Perspective and Experience with Improvement Science at Algoma School District

Description: Using ethnographic research in the form of an outcomes assessment, this project aims to unpack and evaluate the experiences of students and significance of the key concepts shared during the Live Algoma-Improvement Science course/and associated projects during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years. Through the use of evaluative techniques such as interviews, focus groups, and a survey, I endeavor to both strengthen and inform the work Live Algoma is doing and highlight to the community and other stakeholders the valuable impact of this initiative on the students. As part of the Improvement Science course, students from the Algoma School District were trained on key concepts such as failing forward, PDSA, and ways of being to empower them to better handle individual project management, life challenges, and goal setting. While this project was expansive in overall scope, this outcome evaluation sought to understand the retention and internalization by program participants of key concepts imparted from the Improvement Science course and related projects. The findings provide strategic and targeted insights into the success of the course and opportunities for refinements in future Improvement Science courses and school and community projects with Live Algoma and the Algoma School District.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Williams, Jodi M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rapid Metabolic Response of Plants Exposed to Light Stress

Description: Environmental stress conditions can drastically affect plant growth and productivity. In contrast to soil moisture or salinity that can gradually change over a period of days or weeks, changes in light intensity or temperature can occur very rapidly, sometimes over the course of minutes or seconds. So, in our study we have taken an metabolomics approach to identify the rapid response of plants to light stress. In the first part we have focused on the ultrafast (0-90 sec) metabolic response of local tissues to light stress and in the second part we analyzed the metabolic response associated with rapid systemic signaling (0-12 min). Analysis of the rapid response of Arabidopsis to light stress has revealed 111 metabolites that significantly alter in their level during the first 90 sec of light stress exposure. We further show that the levels of free and total glutathione accumulate rapidly during light stress in Arabidopsis and that the accumulation of total glutathione during light stress is dependent on an increase in nitric oxide (NO) levels. We further suggest that the increase in precursors for glutathione biosynthesis could be linked to alterations in photorespiration, and that phosphoenolpyruvate could represent a major energy and carbon source for rapid metabolic responses. Taken together, our analysis could be used as an initial road map for the identification of different pathways that could be used to augment the rapid response of plants to abiotic stress. In addition, it highlights the important role of glutathione in initial stage of light stress response. Light-induced rapid systemic signaling and systemic acquired acclimation (SAA) are thought to play an important role in the response of plants to different abiotic stresses. Although molecular and metabolic responses to light stress have been extensively studied in local leaves, and to a lesser degree in systemic leaves, very ...
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Choudhury, Feroza Kaneez
Partner: UNT Libraries

Student Perceptions of the University of North Texas Campus Police

Description: Numerous studies have been conducted to determine predictors of perceptions and attitudes toward police. Less effort has been spent on determining university and college students' perceptions of campus police departments. The purpose of this thesis was to fill this gap in the literature with an added emphasis on exploring potential differences in perceptions between students involved in Greek Life organizations and students not involved in Greek Life organizations. Prior literature found that Greek Life students engage in risk-taking behaviors at higher rates than their counterparts, so it was hypothesized that Greek Life students would have higher levels of distrust in the campus police due to their increased engagement in risk-taking behaviors. The survey questionnaire measuring trust and procedural justice/legitimacy perceptions of campus police was distributed through convenience sampling to university students. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and multivariate analyses were utilized to analyze the data. The results showed that students overall had positive perceptions of campus police, that Greek Life students had more negative perceptions of the campus police than non-Greek Life students, and that students with prior interactions with the campus police were more likely to perceive the police to be less procedurally just/legitimate. Race/ethnicity was not found to be a predictor in perceptions of trust or procedural justice/legitimacy of the campus police. Limitations, policy implications, and suggestions for future research concerning student perceptions of campus police were also discussed.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Stidd, Megan D
Partner: UNT Libraries

Seeds of Disempowerment: Bt cotton and Accumulation by Dispossession in the States of Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh in India

Description: In 1991, India adopted neoliberalism, a system of political economic practices that promotes private property and free trade, as its political and economic system to promote development in their country. India's neoliberal reform has created issues surrounding human development, resource accumulation, and power struggles. Eleven years later, in 2002, Bt cotton was introduced to the Indian agricultural sector. This research examines how the genetically modified organism Bt cotton is being used to commodify nature in the context of agriculture under neoliberalism. The research focuses on the dispossession of the rural farmers through the commodification of agriculture using Bt cotton. Dispossession of the rural farmers happen through the implications that arise from the commodification of nature. Through Marxist theory of primitive accumulation, this research analyzes accumulation by dispossession and how it neglects the working class and its struggle in rural India. Through this examination, the research will argue alternatives to the dispossession of the working class and the commodification of nature through Bt cotton. Dispossession, in this research, is examined both through working class, but also through the dispossession of biodiversity. Through the loss of biodiversity, the rural farmers are becoming dispossessed from a more sustainable environment. Along with these goals, the research will also incorporate themes of food security through changing landscape of agriculture due to the incorporation of Bt cotton. This research argues the contradictions that are presented through the commodification of agriculture under neoliberalism and provide a contribution to social justice literature, and our understanding of the relationship between technology and the commodification of nature.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Hoyt, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Changes in Student Borrowing at Private Not-for-Profit Four Year Institutions in the United States

Description: Trends in tuition and financial aid policy have increased the number of students who borrow for higher education and the aggregate debt students acquire. Most research on student borrowing over the years has analyzed the effects of borrowing and the prospects of indebtedness on individual students' choices and persistence. However, dynamics at the institutional level such as the need to ensure a stable flow of resources may accelerate or slow down student borrowing. Drawing on resource dependence theory, this study examined changes in student borrowing at private not for profit four year institutions in the US to identify trends and implications. A fixed effects regression analysis was applied to panel data from the Delta Cost project and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Analytical focus was on the financial and enrollment characteristics of private not for profit four-year institutions, the relationship between these characteristics and student borrowing, and whether these relationships are stable or change over time. Findings revealed that the financial and enrollment characteristics of private not for profit institutions during the study period were characterized by gradual variation. The results also revealed that most of the financial characteristics were predictive of student borrowing and that these relationships vary with time. Evidence from this study cautions higher education policy makers that high tuition dependence and the attendant student loan burden may disadvantage some students. Policy makers concerned about providing equitable access to higher education to all student subpopulations should try to moderate competition among institutions and tuition rises that intensify student borrowing. Institutional practices such as tuition maximization and selective price discrimination must be moderated so that financial aid, including loans, can realize the objective of encouraging fairness and choice in higher education entry.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Namalefe, Susan A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Preventing Thermal Degradation of Pvc Insulation by Mixtures of Cross-Linking Agents and Antioxidants

Description: Poly(vinyl chloride)(PVC) wire and cable insulation has poor thermal stability, causing the plasticizer to separate from the PVC chain and produce an oily residue, lowering the tensile elongation at break and thus increasing brittleness. We have added 4 wt.% of three different types of cross-linking agents and antioxidants, as well as mixtures of both, to improve the thermal stability of the plasticizer and tensile properties of PVC after thermal exposure. We performed tensile tests, tribological tests, profilometry, scanning electron microscopy(SEM) and water absorption determination before and after thermal exposure at 136 ℃ for 1 week. After adding the agents, elongation at break increased by 10 to 20 % while the wear rate and water absorption were lower than for the control sample. Less voids are seen in the SEM images after adding these two kinds of agents. The thermal resistance of the PVC cable insulation is best enhanced by combinations of cross-linking agents and antioxidants.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Kim, Taehwan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Animal Rights and Human Responsibilities: Towards a Relational Capabilities Approach in Animal Ethics

Description: In this thesis, I analyze some of the most important contributions concerning the inclusion of animals in the moral and political sphere. Moving from these positions, I suggest that a meaningful consideration of animals' sentience demands a profound, radical political theory which considers animals as moral patients endowed with specific capabilities whose actualization needs to be allowed and/or promoted. Such theory would take human-animal different types of relationships into account to decide what kind of ethical and political responsibilities humans have towards animals. It would be also based on the assumption that animals' sentience is the necessary and sufficient feature for assigning moral status. I start from the consideration that in the history of political philosophy, most theorists have excluded animals from the realm of justice. I then propose an examination of utilitarianism, capabilities approach, and relational-based theories of animal rights (in particular the works by Kymlicka and Donaldson, and Clare Palmer) and borrow essential elements from each of these approaches to build my theory. I claim that a political theory which attaches high importance to individual capabilities, as well as to the various types of relationships we have with animals, is the most appropriate to tackle the puzzle of human responsibilities to animals.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Guerini, Elena
Partner: UNT Libraries