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Exploring Caffeyl-Lignin Biosynthesis in Cleome hassleriana and Polymerization of Caffeyl Alcohol in Arabidopsis thaliana

Description: C-lignin (caffeyl-lignin) is a novel linear lignin polymer found in the seed coats of several non-crop plants, notably Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla), Jatropha Curcas (Jatropha), and Cleome hassleriana (Cleome). C-lignin has several advantages over normal G/S-lignin, found in the majority of lignocellulosic biomass, for valorization in the context of bioprocessing: less cross-linking to cell wall polysaccharides (less recalcitrant biomass), ordered linkages between monomers (homogeneous polymer), and no branching points (linear polymer). These properties make C-lignin an attractive replacement for native lignin in lignocellulosic biomass crops. The seed coats of Cleome hassleriana (Cleome) synthesize G-lignin during early seed maturation, then switch to synthesis of C-lignin during late maturation. This switch to C-lignin in Cleome seed coats is accompanied by loss of caffeoyl-CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) and caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activities, along with changes in transcript abundance of several lignin related genes. The focus of this research thesis is to understand the biochemical changes leading to C-lignin deposition in Cleome hassleriana seed coats, and to explore the ability of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings to polymerize caffeyl alcohol to C-lignin. In this thesis, candidate transcripts were implicated in C-lignin biosynthesis by differential gene expression analysis of transcripts in seed coat tissues at 8-18 days after pollination (DAP) and in non-seed coat tissues. Three candidate genes were selected for recombinant expression and their in vitro kinetic properties were measured with potential substrates. Of the three candidates, a cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (ChCAD5) was found to have high transcript levels during C-lignin formation and have a novel preference for converting caffealdehyde to caffeyl alcohol, the precursor of C-lignin. To determine if accumulation of caffeyl alcohol is sufficient for polymerization of C-lignin, Arabidopsis seedlings grown in a xylem induction system were supplied caffeyl alcohol. Polymerization of caffeyl alcohol was not found to occur in this Arabidopsis system, suggesting the ...
Date: December 2019
Creator: Harkleroad, Aaron Djuanell
Partner: UNT Libraries

Catalyst for Change in the Borderlands: U.S. Army Logistics during the U.S.-Mexican War and the Postwar Period, 1846-1860

Description: This dissertation seeks to answer two primary questions stemming from the war between the United States and Mexico: 1) What methods did the United States Army Quartermaster Department employ during the war to achieve their goals of supporting armies in the field? 2) In executing these methods, what lasting impact did the presence of the Quartermaster Department leave on the Lower Río Grande borderland, specifically South Texas during the interwar period from 1848-1860? In order to obtain a complete understanding of what the Department did during the war, a discussion of the creation, evolution, and methodology of the Quartermaster Department lays the foundation for effective analysis of the department's wartime methods and post-war influence. It is equally essential to understand the history of South Texas prior to the Mexican War under the successive control of Spain, Mexico and the United States and how that shaped the wartime situation. The wartime discussion of Department operations is divided into three chapters, reflecting each of the main theaters and illustrating the respective methods and influence within each area. The final two chapters address the impact of the war on South Texas and how the presence of the Quartermaster Department on the Río Grande served as a catalyst for economic, social, and political changes in this borderland region. Combining primary source analysis of wartime logistics with a synthesis of divergent military and social histories of the Lower Río Grande borderland demonstrates the influence of the Department on South Texas during the mid-nineteenth century. The presence of the Quartermaster Department created an economic environment that favored Anglo-American entrepreneurs, allowing them to grow in wealth and begin to supplant the traditional Tejano/Mexican-American power structure in South Texas. Despite remaining an ethnic minority, Anglos used this situational advantage to dominate the region politically. This outcome shaped South ...
Date: December 2019
Creator: Menking, Christopher Neal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of Principals Learning to Lead Professional Learning Communities in a Fast-Growth District

Description: The role of the principal has become increasingly complex and challenging. Recent emphasis has been placed on the role of principals as leaders who can build a culture of learning in schools to close the student achievement gap. Outside factors such as fast-growth in Texas have caused schools to change and grow quickly, which increases the learning demands placed on principals as they seek to develop the knowledge and skills needed for effective leadership. Developing and sustaining a professional learning community is a powerful strategy that has been found to improve teaching and learning, however developing professional learning communities requires skilled leadership. Limited research exists regarding how principals learn to implement and sustain professional learning communities within fast-growth districts, therefore, with this phenomenological qualitative research, I explored the lived experiences of seven principals within one fast-growth district in Texas to explore how they learned to develop and sustain a professional learning community.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Rapp, Kellie C
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving College Readiness: An Analysis of School-Level Factors

Description: While much of the literature regarding college readiness focuses on student-specific factors, such as the individual's academic achievement; scores on college readiness assessments; and high school GPA, more research is needed to understand which school-level factors have the most influence on the percentage of college-ready graduates. The purpose of this research study was to explore the impact of various school-level factors (i.e., student demographics, college entrance exam facts, course offerings, and school characteristics) on the percentage of college ready graduates from Texas public high schools serving Grades 9-12 over a 3-year period. A multiple regression analysis conducted for each year's data resulted in three regression models, which identified various predictors (e.g. per-pupil instructional expenditures, teacher years of experience, taking advanced and/or dual credit coursework) of the percentage of college-ready graduates for schools accounting for 91.7%, 79.5%, and 65.6% of the explained variance in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. Findings from this study provide educational leaders with data that could help them to make better-informed decisions regarding potential college readiness initiatives that, ultimately, could improve student performance.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Norton, Shonna Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Leadership Practices for Effective Equitable Learning Environments: A Case Study of Opportunity Gaps in a Rural District

Description: In rural, low socioeconomic public schools, the diversity of the student population challenges teachers beyond their means to meet the wide-ranging needs of students, and therefore creating opportunity gaps. The purpose of this study was to explore one district's leadership support of teachers to create an equitable learning environment for all students. The present study built on existing literature by discovering leadership practices and perceived necessary supports for closing achievement gaps in K-12 classrooms. Through interviews with district and school administrators, classroom teachers, and observations of leadership meetings, the research for this case study included data collection and analysis. From the interview questions and observations, six themes emerged. The themes revealed from the data collected and analysis for this qualitative study aligned with the components of the conceptual framework, a sequence of initiative requirements for equitable learning environments. Developing a sequence of initiatives among all levels of educators could benefit sustainment of an equitable learning environment in Rural ISD. Recommended for further research is professional development to both leadership and teachers about professional learning communities (PLCs). In addition, study of parent education programs and how relationships achieve more parental involvement requires further research. A final recommendation for collegiate education preparation programs should include parental involvement, differentiation, and small group instruction as a requirement for teacher development when planning instruction for equitable lessons resulting in student achievement.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Palazzetti, Lisa A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spatial Partitioning Algorithms for Solving Location-Allocation Problems

Description: This dissertation presents spatial partitioning algorithms to solve location-allocation problems. Location-allocations problems pertain to both the selection of facilities to serve demand at demand points and the assignment of demand points to the selected or known facilities. In the first part of this dissertation, we focus on the well known and well-researched location-allocation problem, the "p-median problem", which is a distance-based location-allocation problem that involves selection and allocation of p facilities for n demand points. We evaluate the performance of existing p-median heuristic algorithms and investigate the impact of the scale of the problem, and the spatial distribution of demand points on the performance of these algorithms. Based on the results from this comparative study, we present guidelines for location analysts to aid them in selecting the best heuristic and corresponding parameters depending on the problem at hand. Additionally, we found that existing heuristic algorithms are not suitable for solving large-scale p-median problems in a reasonable amount of time. We present a density-based decomposition methodology to solve large-scale p-median problems efficiently. This algorithm identifies dense clusters in the region and uses a MapReduce procedure to select facilities in the clustered regions independently and combine the solutions from the subproblems. Lastly, we present a novel greedy heuristic algorithm to solve the contiguity constrained fixed facility demand distribution problem. The objective of this problem is to create contiguous service areas for the facilities such that the demand at all facilities is uniform or proportional to the available resources, while the distance between demand points and facilities is minimized. The results in this research are shown in the context of creating emergency response plans for bio-emergencies. The algorithms are used to select Point of Dispensing (POD) locations (if not known) and map them to population regions to ensure that all affected individuals are ...
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Date: December 2019
Creator: Gwalani, Harsha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Is it Really a Different World? Colorism Then and Now in Black Sitcoms

Description: This study focuses on dark-skinned, Black women's representation in Black sitcoms. Through a mixed-methods use of a comparative textual analysis and focus group, the content and context of episodes from A Different World and Dear White People are explored to illustrate portrayals of dark-skinned, Black women and how these portrayals affect dark-skinned, Black women's self-esteem. Its findings contribute to colorism research by exploring colorism in Black sitcoms. Because this topic is largely unexplored, this study seeks to begin a conversation about dark skinned, Black women's representation in Black sitcoms. The main objective is to ultimately improve their depictions and roles in Black sitcoms and hold Black creatives responsible for the role they play in promoting colorism and its ultimate effect on Black women's self esteem.
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Date: December 2019
Creator: Johnson, Jasmine Cherese
Partner: UNT Libraries

Biomedical Semantic Embeddings: Using Hybrid Sentences to Construct Biomedical Word Embeddings and Their Applications

Description: Word embeddings is a useful method that has shown enormous success in various NLP tasks, not only in open domain but also in biomedical domain. The biomedical domain provides various domain specific resources and tools that can be exploited to improve performance of these word embeddings. However, most of the research related to word embeddings in biomedical domain focuses on analysis of model architecture, hyper-parameters and input text. In this paper, we use SemMedDB to design new sentences called `Semantic Sentences'. Then we use these sentences in addition to biomedical text as inputs to the word embedding model. This approach aims at introducing biomedical semantic types defined by UMLS, into the vector space of word embeddings. The semantically rich word embeddings presented here rivals state of the art biomedical word embedding in both semantic similarity and relatedness metrics up to 11%. We also demonstrate how these semantic types in word embeddings can be utilized.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Shaik, Arshad
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Instruction through Teacher Evaluation: Principal and Teacher Perceptions of Leadership Practices and Policy Tools within the Evaluation Process

Description: In recent decades, changes to federal and state accountability policy and related teacher evaluation systems occurred in the United States with minimal input from two of the largest groups of stakeholders impacted: principals and teachers. For this case study, I explored principals' and teachers' perceptions of their experiences with the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS), specifically the role of leadership practices and use of the evaluation rubric as a policy tool within an evaluation process. The study took place at one elementary school. Teachers perceived the evaluation process as carrying out its intended purpose of improving instruction through professional growth. Principals and teachers viewed the teacher evaluation system and the teacher evaluation rubric, a policy tool designed to facilitate and inform the processes and practices used to improve instruction in their districts and schools, as effective. Important district-level decisions also impacted how principals and teachers perceived the T-TESS. District-level decisions included policy related to frequency of required observations, methods of including student performance data, decisions related whether to issue a single rating or multiple ratings, and evaluation of specialized teachers. School-based leadership behaviors and practices were also found to influence teachers' perceptions related to the effectiveness of teacher evaluation which included a focus on school culture, leadership style employed, evaluation training, and use of the evaluation rubric. The findings of this study have implications for policy decisions, district-leadership decisions, and school-based leadership practice related to teacher evaluation, both in Texas as well as the nation.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Clark, Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

Microfluidic-Based Fabrication of Photonic Microlasers for Biomedical Applications

Description: Optical microlasers have been used in different engineering fields and for sensing various applications. They have been used in biomedical fields in applications such as for detecting protein biomarkers for cancer and for measuring biomechanical properties. The goal of this work is to propose a microfluidic-based fabrication method for fabricating optical polymer based microlasers, which has advantages, over current methods, such us the fabrication time, the contained cost, and the reproducibility of the microlaser's size. The microfluidic setup consisted of microfluidic pumps and a flow focusing droplet generator chip made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Parameters such as the flow rate (Q) and the pressure (P) of both continuous and dispersed phases are taken into account for determining the microlaser's size and a MATLAB imaging tool is used to reduce the microlaser's diameter estimation. In addition, two applications are discussed: i) electric field measurements via resonator doped with Di-Anepps-4 voltage sensitive dye, and ii) strain measurements in a 3D printed bone-like structure to mimic biomedical implantable sensors.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Cavazos, Omar
Partner: UNT Libraries

Transgenerational Responses to Environmental Stressors in Vertebrates: From Organisms to Molecules

Description: Genomic modifications occur slowly across generations, whereas short-term epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adaptive phenotypes may be immediately beneficial to large numbers of individuals, acting as a bridge for survival when adverse environments occur. In this study we used dietary exposure to crude oil as an example of an environmental stressor to assess its effects from the molecular to the organismal levels in piscine and avian animal models. In addition, we assessed the role of the parental exposures on their offspring F1 generation. The research developed in this dissertation has contributed to several areas of investigation including molecular biology, animal physiology, and evolutionary biology. The quantitative information from these studies may be utilized to supplement information regarding the proximate and ultimate effects of environmental stressors on fish and bird populations. Furthermore, this information may be used as additional support for understanding the conservation of the responses from the molecular to the whole organismal levels across the vertebrate taxa, as well as their implications for population survival and maintenance. Additionally, the zebrafish (Danio rerio), the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) and the king quail (Coturnix chinensis) have proven to be excellent models to start building a strong basis for understanding the effects of environmental stressors and transgenerational epigenetic phenomena using a multi-level approach. Furthermore, as more raw data and information is discovered, the concatenation of development, organismal variation, epigenetics inheritance, natural selection, speciation and evolution is being slowly decrypted.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Martinez Bautista, Naim
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conceptual Barriers to Decarbonization in US Energy Policy

Description: In order to meet emissions targets under the UN Paris Agreement, every nation must decarbonize its energy production. The US isn't reducing energy-related emissions fast enough to meet its targets for keeping overall warming under 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This constitutes a grave injustice to the most vulnerable populations of the world, who are suffering the ill effects of climate change already. The challenge of eliminating fossil fuels from the US energy system is not simply one of technological limitations, however. The aim of this dissertation is to provide an analysis of historical, political, and, most importantly, conceptual barriers to decarbonization of energy in the US. I believe not just our policies and our markets, but our thinking has to change if we are to avoid recapitulating the injustices of the fossil fuel energy system. I argue that energy policy in the US over time has ossified around a narrow conception of energy as fossil energy—as a substance, rather than as a service. I call this the fossil conception of energy (FCE). I follow historical traces of the FCE in three key areas: political discourse in the US, the relationships between the US dollar and OPEC oil (a complex web called the petrodollar system), and domestic energy markets. Through William Freudenburg's "double diversion" framework for analysis of society-environment relationships, I argue that the FCE grounds a privileged discourse that legitimates the supremacy of fossil fuels and contributes to the maintenance of US hegemony worldwide. I propose that one possibility for rethinking energy may be found in systems thinking, which leads me to conclude that any energy system organized around capital will recapitulate many of the injustices of the fossil fuel system.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Rowland, Jennifer Joy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ensemble Singing in the Bel Canto Salon Repertory: A Pedagogical Reconsideration

Description: Vocal duets have had a long history in the Western classical music tradition. Their use as a teaching resource can be traced back to the Renaissance, where duets were used for the development of singing, performance, and musicianship. In the late 19th and all of the 20th centuries, this pathway of vocal pedagogy has markedly declined. This study proposes a reintroduction of this methodology of teaching, asserting that it provides the collegiate vocal student with maximum opportunity for growth and development in terms of technique, musicianship, ensemble skills, and performance development. Four vocal duets ("La pesca," "Il brindisi," "Il gallop," and "La caccia") of Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) serve as the point of discussion. These songs from Les soirées italiennes (C.1836), which are representative of the salon culture of the 19th century, are given detailed attention through a discussion of their pedagogical value. Since they are long out of print, a new performance edition is presented.
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Date: December 2019
Creator: Brown, Shaun Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

Transient Expression of BABY BOOM, WUSCHEL, and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS from Virus-Based Vectors in Cotton Explants: Can We Accelerate Somatic Embryogenesis to Improve Transformation Efficiency?

Description: Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is the world's most prominent fiber crop. Cotton transformation is labor intensive and time consuming, taking 12 to 18 months for rooted T0 plants. One rate limiting step is the necessary production of somatic embryos. In other recalcitrant species, ectopic expression of three genes were shown to promote somatic embryogenesis: WUSCHEL (WUS), SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM), and BABY BOOM (BBM). WUS is responsible for maintaining stem-cell fate in shoot and floral meristems. STM is needed to establish and maintain shoot meristems. STM and WUS have similar functions but work in different pathways; overexpression of both together converts somatic cells to meristematic and embryogenic fate. BBM encodes an AP2/ERF transcription factor that is expressed during embryogenesis and ectopic expression of BBM reprograms vegetative tissues to embryonic growth. In prior studies, these genes were constitutively expressed, and cultures did not progress beyond embryogenesis because the embryogenic signal was not turned off. In our study, we set out to use these genes to increase the efficiency of cotton transformation and decrease the time it takes to regenerate a plant. A disarmed cotton leaf crumple virus (dCLCrV) vector delivers WUS, STM, or BBM into cotton tissue cultures through Agrobacterium tumefaciens infection. We propose that virus delivery of embryo-inducing genes is a better approach for transformation because A) inserts more than 800 nucleotides are unstable, and will spontaneously inactivate, B) virus DNA can migrate through plasmodesmata to cells around the infected cell, creating a gradient of embryonic potential, C) the virus DNA does not pass through the germ line and the seed will not contain virus. We propose this method of inducing embryogenesis will facilitate the stable transformation of cotton and will be beneficial to the cotton industry. Ectopic expression of AtBBM, AtSTM, and AtWUS GrWUS:meGFP from a constitutive CaMV 35S ...
Date: December 2019
Creator: Alejos, Marcos
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Psychological Resiliency of Latino Immigrants in Five Texas Cities: Policy, Economics, and Politics – The Case of the Latino Community

Description: This dissertation examines the impact of city-level characteristics (immigration-friendliness index, unemployment rate, and the percentage of Democrat Party votes) on the psychological resiliency of Latino immigrants. In the light of increased attention on the immigrant issue throughout the world, this study aims to develop our understanding of the factors that have the effect on the resiliency of immigrant populations. This dissertation examines these different characteristics by examining five different cities in Texas: Austin, Dallas, Fort-Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. The survey was distributed through the Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to those individuals who define themselves Hispanic or Latino. Results suggest that the city characteristics have a significant impact on the resiliency of Latino immigrants suggesting that local governments have a potential capability to increase the resiliency of the immigrant groups in the United States by embracing the notion that immigrants should be integrated into the fabric of the local community.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Icer, Mehmet Mustafa
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of an Optical Carbon Dioxide Sensor and Modeling of Metal-Metal Interactions for Sensor Applications

Description: An investigation of luminescent sensing has been presented. Neutral Red, a common pH luminescent sensor, was shown to be an effective carbon dioxide sensor for the first time. Sensing experiments were performed both through fluorometric and fluorescent microscopy studies, giving rise to the possibility of carbon dioxide sensing for biological applications. Neutral Red was benchmarked against the well-established carbon dioxide sensor Pyranine (8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid trisodium salt), HPTS. Neutral Red was shown to have improved response times and higher consistency within the sensing drift compared to HPTS. Trinuclear Au(I) complexes have previously shown to sense metal ions through changes in their luminescent properties. A computational study on d10-d10 interactions, which exist in complexes where Cu+, Ag+, and Au+ are intercalated with [Au(μ-C2,N3-ethylImidazolate)]3 in the form of both half and full sandwich adducts. Binding energies, total density plots, and Morse and Dunham analyses of potential energy surfaces are employed to better understand the metal-metal interactions and the effects of electron correlation, basis set superposition error, and dispersion of metallophilic interactions of the adduct complexes. As metal-metal interactions within these types of complexes become better understood, the tuning of trinuclear Au(I) complexes for luminescent sensing of metals becomes increasingly possible.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Ericson, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Survey of Psychology Professionals on Their Involvement in Sport and Performance Psychology Services

Description: This study examined professional practice issues in sport psychology such as qualifications, credentialing, graduate training, and the scope of practice in order to address questions about who should be teaching and providing such services. We used frequencies, t-tests, and chi-square analyses to assess trends among licensed psychologists in the subdiscipline of sport psychology. Analyses show that 26.7% (n = 52) reported providing services to individual athletes and 17.9% (n = 35) to teams in which their work focused on directly improving sport performances. Additionally, 58.5% (n = 114) reported providing mental health services to individual athletes and 10.3% (n = 20) to sport teams. These results suggest services provided to individual athletes and groups/teams of athletes seem to emphasize mental health concerns. Regarding supervision, 18.5% (n = 36) indicated they had received supervision related to improving athletes' sport performance and 35.9% (n = 70) for mental health services they had provided. Another 17.5% (n = 34) indicated having provided supervision to other professionals who were working with athletes to improve their sport performance and 40.0% (n = 78) for those who were addressing athletes' mental health. Overall, 26 (13.3%) of the psychologists had published articles concerning sport and performance psychology in scientific journals; men (25.4%) were more likely than women (7.8%) to have done so, X 2 (1) = 11.26, p = .001. Issues related to training, professional involvement, and ethics in this growing field are discussed. Future directions for this research are also explored.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Jackson, Randi D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization, Analysis, and Optimization of Rotary Displacer Stirling Engines

Description: This work focuses on an innovative Rotary Displacer SE (RDSE) configuration for Stirling engines (SEs). RDSE features rotary displacers instead of reciprocating displacers (found in conventional SE configurations), as well as combined compression and expansion spaces. Guided by the research question "can RDSE as a novel configuration achieve a higher efficiency compared to conventional SE configurations at comparable operating conditions?", the goal of this study is to characterize, analyze, and optimize RDSE which is pursued in three technical stages. It is observed the RDSE prototype has an optimum phase angle of > 90° and thermal efficiency of 15.5% corresponding to 75.2% of the ideal (Carnot) efficiency at the source and sink temperatures of 98.6° C and 22.1° C, respectively. Initial results indicate that 125° phase angle provides more power than that of the theoretically optimum 90° phase angle. The results also show comparable B_n and significantly higher W_n values (0.047 and 0.465, respectively) compared to earlier studies, and suggest the RDSE could potentially be a competitive alternative to other SE configurations. Furthermore, due to lack of a regenerator, the non-ideal effects calculated in the analytical approach have insignificant impact (less than 0.03 kPa in 100 kPa). The clearance volume in the shuttled volume has a dramatic negative effect and reduces the performance up to 40%. Ultimately, utilizing CFD, it is proved that the existing geometry is relatively optimized where the optimum phase angle is 121° and geometric ratio D\/L for the displacer is 0.49.
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Date: December 2019
Creator: Bagheri, Amirhossein
Partner: UNT Libraries

Famine Fighters: American Veterans, the American Relief Administration, and the 1921 Russian Famine

Description: This study argues that the American Relief Administration (ARA) operationally and culturally was defined by the character and experiences of First World War American military veterans. The historiography of the American Relief Administration in the last half-century has painted the ARA as a purely civilian organization greatly detached from the military sphere. By examining the military veterans of the ARA scholars can more accurately assess the image of the ARA, including what motivated their personnel and determined their relief mission conduct. Additionally, this study will properly explain how the ARA as an organization mutually benefited and suffered from its connection to the U.S. military throughout its European missions, in particular, the 1921 Russian famine relief expedition.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Huebner, Andrew Brooks
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Acceptance and Usage Intention of Menstrual Underwear

Description: This research aims to study the consumer perception, acceptance and adoption of menstrual underwear as it provides a sustainable option to the current feminine hygiene management solutions widely used in the consumer market in the U.S. In addition to the functional and utilitarian aspect of the underwear, I further delve into studying the social psychological effect the usage of the underwear (i.e., hedonic) has on consumer adoption. A longitudinal, qualitative study employing a three-step approach was conducted. The findings suggest that participants have never heard of menstrual underwear and did not fully understand the phenomenon. Contradicting responses between subject's attitudes and behavior towards the environment were revealed although, menstrual underwear had a positive psychological effect on the participants. Overall, menstrual underwear was most accepted amongst participants in the study.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Phan, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Impact of Community Policing on Public Attitudes toward Fear of Terrorism, Resilience, and Satisfaction with Police in the Face of New Terrorism

Description: This dissertation examines the impact of citizen's perception of community policing on public attitudes toward fear of terrorism, resilience for a future terrorist attack, and satisfaction with the police in the face of new terrorism. In particular, considering the changing nature of terrorism in recent years as a response to the centralized homeland security efforts, this dissertation attempts to develop our understanding about the extent to which community policing could be a strategy in dealing with terrorism fear among citizens, in building up resilience for future terrorist attacks, and to increase citizens' satisfaction with the police in order to enhance the quality of life in the face of new terrorism. Additionally, this dissertation examines the impact of the variation in the level of community policing implementation on public attitudes toward fear of terrorism, resilience for a future terrorist attack, and satisfaction with the police. Data was collected through an online survey conducted in the cities of Arlington and Frisco, Texas. The survey distributed to the citizens through the Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) platform. These cities were selected based on a community policing scale which was created through the help of the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. Results suggest significant association between the citizen's perception of community policing and fear of terrorism, resilience, and satisfaction with the police respectively, highlighting the importance of community policing philosophy as a framework for a comprehensive proactive strategy in response to the existing and ongoing terrorism threat.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Ayazma, Tayfun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Flexibility in Emergency Management: Exploring the Roles of Spontaneous Planning and Improvisation in Disaster Response

Description: One of the long-standing debates in disaster science and practice is the tension between planning and structure on the one hand and flexibility and adaptation on the other in maximizing the effectiveness of response operations. This research aims to reconcile the divide that currently exists among scholars and practitioners and present a continuum that bridges the above models and ties planning, improvisation, and spontaneous planning together. The main questions that were examined with this research are: First, what role did spontaneous planning and improvisation play in responding to the two disasters. Second, in what ways do hazard characteristics (e.g. speed of onset and scope of impact) influence the roles played by spontaneous planning and improvisation? This is a qualitative study that employed a comparative case study to examine the characteristics of spontaneous planning. The major findings are that spontaneous planning does occur and that variables such as speed of onset, scope, magnitude, and number of organizations involved impact the visibility of spontaneous planning characteristics.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Gutierrez, Miguel
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Shaping Procedure for Introducing Horses to Clipping

Description: The purpose of the current study is to evaluate a procedure that can be used to introduce horses to clipping. Negative reinforcement was used in a shaping paradigm. Shaping steps were conducted by the handler, starting with touching the horse with the hand, then touching the horse with the clippers while they are off, culminating with touching the horse with the clippers while they are on. When a horse broke contact with either the hand or the clippers, the hand or the clippers were held at that point until the horse emitted an appropriate response. When the horse emitted an appropriate response, the clippers were removed, and the handler stepped away from the horse. For all eight horses, this shaping plan was effective in enabling the clipping of each horse with minimal inappropriate behavior and without additional restraint. The entire process took under an hour for each horse.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Hardaway, Alison K
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding Factors that Contribute to Career Commitment in New Student Affairs Professionals

Description: Early career attrition in student affairs is a topic of interest for hiring and supervising managers, graduate preparation programs, as well as new professionals. Contributions to the growing body of research on the topic potentially informs bets practices in curriculum development, hiring, onboarding, and professional development for new student affairs employees. This study involved 352 new student affairs professionals in the field's largest professional association. With Rhodes and Doering's integrated model of career change as a framework, the research study was designed to identify individual and environmental factors influencing new student affairs professionals' person-environment fit and, subsequently, career commitment. The result was an eight-factor structural equation model that included graduate curriculum, pay satisfaction, mentoring, student interaction, connection to institutional mission/vision, collegiality, and person-environment fit as independent variables, and career commitment as the dependent variable. The study suggests that these eight variables, to varying degrees, indirectly and directly influence career commitment in new student affairs professionals.
Date: December 2019
Creator: Lynch, Creston Cornell Holloway
Partner: UNT Libraries