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- ItemA comparative analysis of community sustainable development indicators with application to Baltimore County, Maryland(2015-02-23) Haig, Ayla R.; Fath, Brian D.; Towson University. Environmental Science and Studies ProgramThe concept of sustainability has some commonly understood definitions, but no single precise definition is used by all interested parties. Regardless, the three core components or pillars of sustainability include the environment, society, and economy. Some U.S. communities have developed indices, groupings of indicators, to measure and disseminate information about their overall sustainable development. However, there has been little coordination to ensure that valuable indicators are being used. This thesis evaluated sustainability indices in five U.S. communities, and identified the one considered most helpful (Santa Monica, CA), and the one least helpful (Minneapolis, MN). Relevant data from Baltimore County, Maryland were collected and applied to these two indices. The collected data revealed that indicators could be improved to better reflect sustainable development. Finally, productive directions for Baltimore County were outlined, should the county decide to utilize a sustainability index.
- ItemA comparative analysis regarding the role of internalized homophobia and community involvement in the identity development of non-heterosexually identified men(2013-03-14) Hailey, Jamal H. N.; Galupo, M. Paz (Marlene Paz); Towson University. Department of Psychology[From Chapter One: Introduction] [...]In order to better understand the development of same-sex sexual identities, this paper will first review different theoretical perspectives on the formation of gay and bisexual identities. Additionally, this paper will review homophobia and attitudes toward gay identified men also identifying possible negative outcomes associated with the aforementioned topics. [...]To date research on the development of sexual identities has primarily focused on sexual minorities. This research suggests that sexual orientation is staged based and generally comes about as a direct result of recognizing same-sex attraction within one's self. Additionally, it is theorized, particularly for persons with same-sex attraction, that a person's sexual identity and sexual orientation is something that is announced publicly and is congruent with a person's sexual behavior. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between internalized homophobia and connectedness to the gay community with respect to how men with same-sex sexual behaviors define their sexual orientation. It is hypothesized that men who engage in same-sex sexual behavior and who identify as same gender loving, do so as a result of feeling less connected to the gay community, therefore it is predicted that they will report lower community involvement than gay identified men. Additionally, it is predicted that internalized homophobia will not differ between men who identify as gay or same-gender loving; nor will it differ for men who identify as on the down low.
- ItemA comparison of audio comments and written comments: student and instructor preferences and instructor feedback patterns(2013-09-13) Cavanaugh, Andrew J.; Song, Liyan; Towson University. Department of Educational Technology and LiteracyProviding feedback to students on their writing represents one of the most important features of an online writing course. Two methods of providing feedback to student writing-written commentary and audio commentary-have emerged in the literature. However, most studies examining these two methods have been conducted in face-to-face classes, where students can approach the instructor for clarification about the commentary. The limited studies that have been conducted on written and audio commentary in online classes have often featured non-writing classes in which revision of work was not a part of the course design and in which the commentary was given to various tasks in the class, not to student papers. This study examined the use of written and audio feedback in five 100-level online composition classes. Through instructor surveys and interviews, student surveys and interviews, and quantitative analysis of the comments themselves, the study examined how commenting patterns change between written and audio commentary, whether the provision of audio commentary represents a scalable option for instructors, what form of commentary students preferred for comments on different aspects of their papers, whether instructors found one method to result in more student improvement in writing over the other method, and whether students found one method to result in improvement in their writing over the other method. The findings indicated that significantly more words were used for audio commentary than for written commentary but that an interaction effect occurs across instructors in their commenting patterns between the use of written and audio commentary. The findings also show that student comprehension on global- and middle-level issues in papers is improved through the use of audio over written commentary. The findings were not conclusive on whether one medium results in more improvement in student writing over the other medium. Instructors do find the use of audio commentary a scalable option when compared to the use of written commentary, with audio delivering more words than written commentary but with roughly the same time investment. In combining audio and written commentary, audio may be more effective for global- and middle-level concerns and written for micro-level concerns.
- ItemA comparison of dissociative patients to simulators on the trauma symptom inventory-2(2014-09-23) Palermo, Cori; Brand, Bethany; Towson University. Department of PsychologyDissociative identity disorder (DID) patients report experiencing chronic trauma in childhood which contributes to severe symptomatology in adulthood. These traumatic reactions are associated with validity and clinical scale elevations on a variety of psychological assessments. The Trauma Symptom Inventory-2 (TSI-2) measures posttraumatic stress symptoms, and has yet to be studied with a complex dissociative disorders (CDD) population. This study compared a group of CDD patients to coached DID simulators on the TSI-2. The CDD group had clinically significant elevations on a majority of the TSI-2 clinical scales and factors. Profile analysis revealed significant differences between CDD and coached simulator TSI-2 profiles. The TSI-2 ATR correctly classified 60 - 73% of participants, and specificity scores were unacceptably low. These results suggest that the TSI-2 may not be adequate at distinguishing feigned CDD from CDD.
- ItemA fuzzy computational intelligence approach to monitoring information technology project scope(2013-06-18) McQuighan, Joseph M.; Hammell, Robert J., II; Towson University. Department of Computer and Information SciencesMonitoring and understanding scope status is essential to the management of information technology (IT) projects. Many IT project failures have been due to mismanagement of scope, a subjective constraint. The result has been a reliance on monitoring systems that measured quantitative data to indirectly infer the status. This study designed methods to address monitoring IT scope when it is intangible. The design science research methodology was implemented using processes identified by Peffers, Tuunanen, Rothenberger, and Chatterjee. The methodology involved six activities in the building and evaluating of artifacts to demonstrate computational intelligence methods. The first activity in the methodology established IT scope as a source of costly project failures. The second step defined the objectives for a solution to the problem. The third activity in the research methodology was to build a design. The output of the design process was a set of methods utilizing computational intelligence for both collection and processing of subjective opinions. The fourth and fifth activities of the design science approach were to demonstrate and then to evaluate the effectiveness of the methods compared to conventional status reports. The evaluation by experts confirmed that the methods can monitor subjective status. After establishing the utility of the methods, their evaluation considered two extensions of the design: computational linguistic hedges and leading indicators for scope status. The sixth activity in the methodology was to communicate findings to both IT researchers and project management professionals. That was accomplished by presenting the design artifacts in peer reviewed conference proceedings. In summary, the design science research methodology framed the research questions, presented a design of the methods, the demonstration and evaluation of design artifacts by subject matter experts, and the communications of the findings. The primary contribution of this research is the employment of computational intelligence methods to the subjective, qualitative scope constraint in the monitoring and execution phases of an IT project. The other contributions are utilizing computational linguistic hedges to modify the scope status, and the implementation of CI methods for leading indicators. It was clear that the methods provided information to project managers to initiate corrective actions.
- ItemA hybrid intelligence/multi-agent system for mining information assurance data(2015-09-02) Fowler, Charles A.; Hammell, Robert J., II; Towson University. Department of Computer and Information SciencesOrganizations across all domains and of all sizes wrestle with the problem of "coping with information overload," or CwIO. They ingest more and more data, in new and varied formats every day, and struggle increasingly vigorously to find the nuggets of knowledge hidden within the vast amounts of information. Furthermore, due to the various and pervasive types of noise in the haystack of data, it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern between shiny false shards and the true needles of knowledge. Although the costs of data storage, memory and processing have dropped, this decline has not maintained parity with the unprecedented increase in the amount and complexity of data to be examined. This problem is especially challenging in the world of network intrusion detection. In this realm, one must not only deal with sifting through vast amounts of data, but it must also be done in a timely manner even when at times one is not sure what exactly it is being sought. In efforts to help solve this problem, this research demonstrates that in the realm of offline network forensic datamining, several different datamining algorithms (hybrid intelligence) working within a multi-agent system, will yield more accurate results than any one datamining algorithm acting on its own. Toward that end, this paper outlines the steps taken to generate and prepare suitably minable test data, compare and contrast the capabilities/output of various types of datamining algorithms (hybrid intelligence), and finally discuss the architecture and construction of a SPADE based multi-agent system to semi-autonomously perform multi-path datamining tasks.
- ItemA mixed method study of mood disorders in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder and mothers of typically-developing children(2015-11-06) Batarseh, Haifa Shafeek; DeLany, Janet V.; Towson University. Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational ScienceThis mixed method study examined mood disorders in mothers who were rearing a child with ASD.. The objective of the quantitative section of the study was to examine the occurrence of maternal depression and bipolar disorders in mothers of children with ASD compared to mothers of typically developing (TD) children. The Depression History Questionnaire that was adapted from Interactive Autism Network (IAN) at Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) database was used for this comparison. The qualitative section of the study explored the meaning of the lived experience of mothers who concurrently were depressed and rearing a children with ASD using a phenomenological approach. Results of the quantitative inquiry indicated that mothers of children with ASD report a history of: (a) depression and bipolar disorder; (b) treatment for depression or bipolar disorder; (c) suicidal ideation or suicidal attempts; and (d) depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide among the participants' first and second-degree relatives more frequently than mothers of TD children. The following five emerged themes emerged from the qualitative exploration: a) Regardless of when I was first diagnosed, having a child with ASD contributed to and intensified my depression; b) I feel a lack of support and understanding either from my husband, the extended family, or the community; c) Challenges and stressors of rearing a child with ASD are ongoing; what I do is never enough and is physically and mentally exhausting; d) It is difficult to balance all aspects of my life; it may be less demanding if I sacrifice one of my roles; and finally, e) There is a history of mental health challenges in my family. These findings provide valuable insight about concurrently coping with depression and rearing a child with ASD and propose interventions to address the challenge.
- ItemA mixed-methods study on employment within a feminist non-profit organization(2014-02-12) Locher, Kelley A.; Roberts, James; Towson University. Social Sciences ProgramThis thesis explores the mechanisms that drive individuals employed in non-profit feminist organizations to be proponents of social change. The means to recruit additional support for women's rights is clarified by examining individual and group motivations. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 60 individuals currently employed in a feminist nonprofit organization. The findings provide insight into reasons why men and women actively engage in women's advocacy roles. The outcomes suggest there are two consistent characteristics that identify support of feminism: a liberal political orientation and a high educational attainment. In addition, emphasizing female kinship relationships may have a positive effect on male support of feminism. Further, reframing women's rights as a human rights issue may attract and recruit a broader community of individuals.
- ItemA normative study on the click vestibular evoked myogenic potential(2013-01-18) Phillips, Sasha T.; Korczak, Margaret A.; Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf StudiesVestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMPs) were recorded at various intensities to click stimuli in 16 subjects with a negative self-reported history of vestibular pathology. At most, recordings were obtained to a total of six stimulus intensities (i.e., 90, 95, 70, 75, 80 and 85 dBnHL). From the VEMP waveforms collected at 90 and 95 dBnHL several response indices (i.e., absolute latency values for p13 and n23, peak-to-peak amplitude values, and amplitude asymmetry ratios) were assessed. Results from this study revealed no significant difference for latency, peak-to-peak amplitude, amplitude asymmetry ratio, and threshold between the left and right ears for the 90 and 95 dBnHL responses. Additionally, the tonic EMG RMS values ranged from 300 to 1250uV. All subjects were able to maintain and achieve tonic contractions within +10% of their established EMG tonic level for all stimulus intensities for each trial of the VEMP recordings. These findings provide a normative guideline for optimal stimulus and recording conditions to be used in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Center at Towson University.
- ItemA phenomenological examination of the caregiving experience of elderly spousal caregivers(2013-01-15) Moghimi, Christine L.; Stevens-Ratchford, Regena; Towson University. Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational ScienceProblem: Older adults with chronic illness often require extensive informal care. Informal care generally is provided by family members, and increasingly, elderly spouses. Providing care to a loved one has the potential to last for weeks, months, and in chronic illness management, even decades. The literature has shown that there can be great burden and stress in the occupation of spousal caregiving. The purpose of this study was to examine the caregiving process in a sample of informal elderly spousal caregivers caring for a chronically, medically ill spouse. In order for occupational therapists to assist elderly spouses in their caregiving occupation, they must have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the caregiving experience. Methodology: A qualitative phenomenological approach was utilized to provide an in-depth look at the elderly spousal caregiving process. Research questions in this study explored the culture, occupation, successful aging and occupational justice in elderly spousal caregiving. Data was collected from a purposive sampling of five elderly spousal caregivers through a series of four long interviews that were audio taped and then transcribed. Statements were transformed into clusters of meanings. The data analysis process transformed these clusters to make a general description of the experience for each participant including a textural description, a structural description and finally a texturalstructural synthesis. Conclusion: Four themes emerged from the data: the culture of elderly spousal caregiving is one of forced self-reliance; the occupation of elderly spousal caregiving centers around concern for safety; elderly spousal caregiving challenges one's ability to age successfully and elderly spousal caregiving is an unjust occupation. Elderly spouses committed themselves to caregiving when their loved one needed help in the home. The caregiving occupation involved advocacy, multiple interactions with formal healthcare and challenges to physical and emotional capabilities. Elderly spouses learned through trial and error, were isolated and confined, and were often the sole provider of care. Clinical considerations included a population-based approach for occupational therapists with the intent of a triad approach to care: therapist, patient and caregiver.
- ItemA singularity theory: unifying pedagogical differences between "abled" and learning "disabled" writers(2015-08-03) Morgan, Lindsey; Brown, Cheryl; Towson University. Professional Writing ProgramUniversal Design in Learning (UDL) was designed to provide support for students with learning disabilities (LD). It gives flexibility to both teaching and learning: how to present information (teaching), how to receive and respond to information (learning), and how to create a classroom space that is both accommodating and challenging to students with LD. UDL is a fairly recent installment, enacted in 2008, addressing the question of how to teach students with LD - a legislative pairing to LD pedagogy theory - while the field of Rhetoric/Composition (Rhet/Comp) has existed for decades, though it is not necessarily wedded to any specific demographic, such as LD. This piece will review works from LD and Rhet/Comp theorists, as well as individuals who have influenced or are influenced by Rhet/Comp. It will look at the theory and practice of teaching LD and non-LD students, what the differences are and, in some cases, shouldn't be, and how to create a singularity theory that merges UDL with already existing theories and practices in the field of Rhet/Comp. In order to do this, two schools of thought will be discussed, compared, and re-thought to the extent that the two can be latticed together. In the end, this thesis will posit the idea of singularity - that pedagogical segregation should not necessarily the result of being different nor should it be the initial reaction in the discussion of how to teach students with LD.
- ItemA SIP server and user agent with SRTP for VoIP on a bare PC(2013-01-02) Alexander, Andre; Wijesinha, Alexander L.; Towson University. Department of Computer and Information SciencesBare PC applications run on ordinary desktops and laptops without the support of an operating system (OS) or kernel. They provide immunity against attacks targeting an underlying OS, and have been shown to perform better than applications running on conventional systems due to their reduced overhead. In this dissertation, we describe a SIP server and user agent (UA) with SRTP that are designed for VoIP on a bare PC. We give details of their implementation and present experimental results evaluating their performance. The server and UA include streamlined SIP functions and message handling, efficient CPU tasking, protocol and application intertwining, and direct Ethernet-level data manipulation. In particular, the server provides registration, proxy, and redirection services, and the UA is integrated with lean implementations of the necessary protocols within the bare PC softphone. We evaluate the performance of the bare PC SIP server by determining its throughput and latency in a dedicated test network with and without authentication. We also report internal timings for the server. The server's performance is compared with that of the OpenSER and Brekeke SIP servers running on Linux and Windows respectively. Our results show that the bare PC SIP server has low cost for internal SIP-related operations, and higher throughput and lower latency than the OS-based servers except in a few cases that need further optimization. We also implement SRTP to secure VoIP conversations on a bare PC softphone. Experiments to evaluate UA performance with SRTP are conducted using the bare PC softphone, and Twinkle and snom softphones running on Linux and Windows respectively. Pre-defined SRTP transforms based on AES counter mode encryption with HMAC-SHA-1 authentication are tested. Measured internal timings for SRTP operations indicate that authentication is more expensive than encryption regardless of key or tag size. Measured values of jitter, delta (packet interarrival time) and throughput show that the addition of SRTP protection to VoIP traffic over RTP has a negligible effect on voice quality.
- ItemA Spanish-language modified rhyme test for word recongition testing(2011-10-19) Ball, Rita Irene; Kreisman, Brian M.; Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf StudiesA Spanish-Language Modified Rhyme Test (MRT) for word recognition testing was developed using the original MRT structure by House et al. (1965) with modifications as specified by Aguilar (1991). The greatest modification to the Spanish-Language MRT originally proposed by Aguilar (1991) is the use of bisyllabic Spanish words instead of monosyllabic words. A total of six 50-word lists were developed and recorded onto a compact disk (CD). This study also included testing of the developed test material in order to collect normative data. Forty four (N=44) native Spanish-speaking participants (18 males, 26 females) with normal hearing were included in this study. Paired-samples t-tests showed no ear, age or gender effect between the mean scores. Individuals with normal hearing scored close to or equal to 100% correct on all lists. Further studies, which may include a larger sample size and the inclusion of Spanish-speaking participants with hearing loss, are necessary in order to further validate the materials.
- ItemA spatial analysis of the impacts of climate change on coastal archeological sites in Maryland(2014-01-31) Chadwick-Moore, Jennifer L.; Lu, Kang Shou; Towson University. Department of Geography and Environmental PlanningMaryland is currently losing valuable archeological resources at an alarming rate. Members of the archeology community, both local and national, need to be aware of the immediate need for action against the already-active threat of climate change to our history and culture. Archeological resources are at risk from factors including sea-level rise, erosion, and storm surge. A vulnerability assessment was completed to prioritize high-risk archeological sites for management, protection and documentation purposes. Spatial analysis tools were used to develop a GIS model to overlay statewide datasets, including erosion rates, shoreline, inundation and proximity to shoreline data, with archeological resources to assess future impacts. With over 3,100 miles of shoreline in Maryland and relative sea-level rise projections for the Chesapeake Bay region as high as one meter by the year 2100, the findings revealed that thirty-three percent of recorded archeological sites in the project area are at high risk from climate change.
- ItemA study of a learner-centered technology professional development series with classroom teachers(2013-06-10) Stevens, CarolAnn; Wizer, David R.; Towson University. Department of Educational Technology and LiteracyUsing learner-centered teaching practices can change the state of technology integration in Elementary Schools (ES). A quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest survey was used to identify changes in the use of technology by ES students, ES teachers' technology skill, the use of computer technology to meet curricular objectives, and a learner-centered learning environment during technology professional development to change ES teacher's pedagogy. In the setting of an elementary school in the Baltimore / Washington corridor, twenty-five classroom ES teachers participated in research that measured: the time that ES teachers' used technology with their ES students, ES teachers' technology skill level, direct instruction with technology, and change of pedagogical practices. Additional computer lab usage data was collected for two years. Results from both data sources indicated that a learner-centered professional development series was related to significant changes in time that ES teachers' used technology with their ES students, ES teachers' technology skill level, and direct instruction with technology. This study points to the conclusion that job-embedded, learner-centered professional development is an effective way to provide technology professional development in an elementary setting.
- ItemA study of nature play space sustainability in the Piedmont Region of Maryland(2015-07-09) Brusaferro, Victoria Rose; Haines, Sarah; Towson University. Environmental Science and Studies ProgramMost of the United States population lives in urban areas, where heightened anthropogenic activity acts as a source of the majority of greenhouse gases (Hoornweg, 2011). Adaptive ways to deal with regional land management efforts need to be addressed in an effort to combat the effects of spreading urbanization (Roling, 1997). A positive environmental ethic is developed through children's regular contact with nature, as well as substantial nature-based play (Bunting and Cousins, 1985). This paper proposes targeting the age when children first begin developing their bond with earth to harness a generation of environmentally conscious thinkers that will integrate sustainable practices in their behaviors and careers (Sobel, 1994). The most rapidly urbanizing region of Maryland, the Piedmont, can be studied to discern the present-day perspectives of best sustainable practices for naturalization of outdoor spaces specifically targeted to children ages four to seven years old in that area.
- ItemA study of the state of personal health record research(2015-06-22) Alghareeb, Mohammed; Song, Yeong-Tae, 1960-; Towson University. Department of Computer and Information SciencesPurpose: The purpose of this study is to gather and analyze Personal Health Records (PHR) literature to provide a review of the current state of PHR, its deployments and to explore future trends that might influence the adoption of PHR. Objective: To conduct a cross-sectional survey of PHR past, present, and future trends. In addition, to investigating the world of operational patient-centered PHR for input on several matters such as usability, usefulness, and user perspective on these matters. Results: PHR systems are still evolving. PHR have the potential of improving the healthcare system. However, adoption rates have not reached critical mass. Even more, healthy patients do not know of the service or potential values and benefits of PHR.
- ItemA survey of audiologists' clinical practices and their formal education and training in the assessment and management of adults with vestibular pathologies(2013-01-15) Blohm, Ashlee; Korczak, Peggy; Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf StudiesA survey of audiologists' clinical practices and their formal education and training in vestibular topic areas was sent to 900 practicing audiologists. A total of 334 surveys were returned, both in print and online. The results of the survey were primarily focused on the participants' reported comfort levels in providing a number of vestibular assessment and treatment procedures. These comfort levels were evaluated as a function of the participants' levels of education (i.e., Master's degree, Au.D., or Ph.D in hearing science) as well as their years of clinical experience conducting these procedures (i.e., 0-5 years, 6-10 years, and 10+ years). The results of this survey indicated that the audiologists' years of clinical experience had a broad impact on participants' self-reported comfort levels in administering and interpreting several assessment procedures as well as providing treatment procedures, such as vestibular rehabilitation therapy. In contrast, it appears that audiologists' level of higher education had only a minimal effect on participants' mean comfort levels in the administration and interpretation of various vestibular assessment and treatment procedures. A review of 59 academic programs in audiology that are currently accredited by ASHA indicated that there are typically very few courses specifically focused on vestibular topics. It is hypothesized that if more academic courses as well as hands-on lab exercises related to these vestibular-based topics were available to students, then it is likely that audiologists' comfort levels in administering and correctly interpreting various vestibular diagnostic tests and rehabilitation test protocols would likely increase. Future research in this area is necessary to determine more specific ways to enhance audiologists' education in the assessment and management of individuals with vestibular disorders.
- ItemA survey of first year speech-language pathology and audiology graduate students on the graduate school application process(2015-07-06) Amrod, Kimberly L.; Smart, Jennifer L.; Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf StudiesLimited information is available on how students interested in pursuing a career in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) field feel about the graduate school application process. A shortage of professionals within both audiology and speech-language pathology has become an issue of concern for CSD graduate programs, who are responsible for the training of these individuals, as well as the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) who accredits CSD graduate programs, due to several known barriers that are preventing a widespread growth of professionals in these fields. A pilot survey was administered to 100 first year CSD graduate students to obtain information regarding their recent rationale for selecting their respective career path and their experience with the graduate school application process. Results from this study confirmed the need for academic programs to do the following: improve recruitment efforts, evaluate the students' criteria for selecting a graduate program, and clarify the importance of certain application materials used by graduate admission committees to students interested in applying to CSD graduate programs.