MSU Student Research Collection

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    Teacher Perception of Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies That Have the Greatest Impact on the Engagement of African American Male Students
    (2019-04-05) Scriven, Brian Walter; Hayman, Warren; Anderson, Christian; Dwarte, Marquiq; Education and Urban Studies; Doctor of Education
    This mixed method studied teacher perceptions of culturally relevant teaching practices as a viable methodology to better engage African American male students in the learning process. More specifically, the researcher seeks to identify what components of CRT are most effective in engaging African American male students. The researcher used a modification of Johnny McKinley’s teacher perception survey on Effective and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Strategies as the assessment instrument. An in-depth exploration of teacher perceptions gleaned useful and actionable information. This information, in turn, could form the basis of CRT related training programs and staff development aimed at implementing those aspects of CRT perceived as most effective in engaging AA males in the learning process, thereby improving their learning and achievement. The purpose of this study is to identify perceived teacher strategies that best engage African American students using Culturally Responsive Teaching.
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    Roger Mais's Protest Novels: A Revolt and Self-Affirmation Mandate for Marginalized Blacks
    Rose, Denise Angela; Henzy, Karl; Brown, Leiza; N'gom, M'bare; English and Languages; Doctor of Philosophy
    The problem of this study was to examine how Black marginalized individuals in the Caribbean use hybrid cultural practices—religion, family life, and creative arts—to protest societal dictates and simultaneously affirm their identity. Specifically, the marginalized use hybrid practices to cope with and simultaneously challenge the status quo that relates to their social, economic, and political climate. Mais adjoins his artistic sensibilities and skills to his writing, illustrating his intertwined overt and covert agenda of passive aggression—to effect desired change. Thus, in seeking to understand the mentality of the downtrodden population in Jamaica and their coping mechanisms, the researcher evaluated the problem identified in this study by critically examining Mais’s three multi-faceted novels: The Hills Were Joyful Together (1953), Brother Man (1954), and Black Lightning (1955). Mais’s three novels illustrate overlapping reasons why deviating from traditional religious practices, family structures, and creative arts necessitate the fundamental changes that the marginalized, in their seeming defenseless and naïve state, demands. Mais unmistakably demeaned societal values through the subtlety of his craft, which was predominantly apparent in this discourse. To establish the premise for this exposition, the researcher delved into historical facts that pre-date Mais’s affirmation and protest mechanisms. Additionally, the researcher employed theoretical works on colonialism, postcolonialism, cultural, socio-economic, and religious theories to advance the scope of the discussion. Although Mais’s novels evidence postcolonial readings, a lingering colonial mode pervades, particularly illustrated through the projection of the social institution of marriage as the standard for decent family decorum and traditional religious practices as the preferred or acceptable norm. Likewise, Mais examines Jamaican cultural norms in the form of creative arts—traditional dances, folk music, and crafts—which were derived from African and other historical experiences that the indigent used as coping and revolting tools. Mais’s novels also discuss the correlation between poverty and rebellion. Notable is that these selected novels structurally raise a thorough awareness of the strategies that poor people use to protest the system and simultaneously affirm themselves. In addition, Mais uniquely magnifies and celebrates his characters, despite the eventualities that he realistically inserts into their everyday existence, while he deliberately undermines any possibility of dignifying the actions or inactions of the colonizers and their oppressive “Babylon” system.
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    Examining the Relationship Between HBCU Faculty Online Education, Innovativeness and Attitudes Towards Computers
    (2019-04-01) Riggs, Valerie; Jackson, Omari; Anderson, Christian; Bista, Krishna; Education and Urban Studies; Doctor of Education
    Recent research highlights the relationship between levels of innovativeness, the use of online learning technologies and attitudes toward computers. Most of the research in this domain has been conducted in PWIs (Johnson, 2015; Pereira and Wahi, 2017; Glass 2017; Broussard and Wilson, 2018). Only a few studies were conducted at HBCUs (Lawrence, 2008; Keesee & Shepard, 2011; Johnson, 2008). There is some evidence on how HBCUs are participating in online learning, but there is certainly not enough to contribute to this overall body of work. This research attempts to augment the body of literature on academic studies completed at HBCUs. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to determine whether significant relationships exist among the variables: levels of innovativeness, attitudes toward online education, attitudes toward computers and various demographic characteristics of full or part time faculty members employed at an HBCU in a Mid-Atlantic state in the United States. The study and data analysis were informed by Rogers' (2003) Diffusion of Innovation Theory and Azjens' (1985; 1991) Theory of Planned Behavior. A survey correlation research design accomplished the objectives of the study. This study classified the faculty members based on Rogers' five categories of innovation adoption and correlated them with the demographic variables of age, gender, race/ethnicity, teaching experience and academic rank. A significant relationship emerged between Rogers' identified adopter category of Early Majority and attitudes toward online learning (r= .299, p< .05) and computers (r= .284, p< .05) and the variables ever taught online and faculty member innovativeness (r= .266, p< .05). The results did not show significant difference between faculty member adopter categories and demographic characteristics of age, gender, years of teaching experience, academic ranks and race/ethnicity. However, attitudes toward online education and computers were found to be significantly different by race and gender (p < .05). Positive attitudes of the faculty toward online education found in this study suggest faculty members would accept the continued implementation of online education in HBCUs. The study may inform further research on attitudinal aspects that can promote the growth and continued acceptance of online learning at HBCUs.
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    Examining Faculty Perceptions of Students' Information Literacy Competencies in a Community College General Education Program
    (2019-10-31) Terry, Carolyn Shields; Spaid, Robin L.; Gillett-Karam, Rosemary; Linck, Henry F.; Community College Leadership Program; Doctor of Education
    Years of declining public funding for two-year colleges have resulted in an increased dependence on part-time or contingent faculty members, who cost institutions less in salaries and benefits. Part-time faculty members now represent the majority of faculty members in higher education, with a larger proportion at community colleges. Accreditation agencies have responded to public calls for accountability with increased requirements for higher education institutions to demonstrate their worth through assessment of student learning, particularly in the general education offerings common to all academic majors. Best practices in assessment require full participation of the faculty teaching these courses, yet when a majority of faculty members are part-time and lack institutional support and resources, some researchers questioned whether their status negatively affects student learning. Senge’s The Fifth Discipline (2006) described shared vision in a learning organization as the participation of its members in common goals and values. The purpose of this quantitative study was to apply Senge’s theory of shared vision that relates the status of the faculty member as full-time or part-time. The study examined ex post facto data gathered from faculty assessments of student-demonstrated information literacy competency in general education courses at a large, multi-campus community college in the Middle States accreditation region. The study compared the faculty ratings to determine whether the status of the faculty member had an effect on the faculty member’s perception of students’ competency. The study also examined whether shared vision between full-time and part-time faculty members was stronger within discipline groups – Arts, Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences. The results of the study indicated that the employment status of the faculty member did affect the perceptions of student competency in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. In general, full-time faculty members rated student competency lower than the part-time faculty members did. However, the differences were not significant in the Science disciplines. These findings add to the body of research regarding the impact of part-time faculty members on student learning, as well as the research promoting advocacy for institutional resources for the support of part-time faculty members.
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    The Effect of Cellphone Usage on Driving Performance Using an Eye Tracking System and a Driving Simulator
    (2019-10-24) Sheykholmolouki, Maryam; Jeihani, Mansoureh; Lee, Young-Jae; Chavis, Celeste; Shin, Hyeon-Shic; Transportation; Doctor of Engineering
    In 2016 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 10% of fatal crashes, 18% of injury crashes, and 16% of all police-reported motor vehicle crashes resulted from distracted driving. Thus distraction while driving is a major risk factor for road traffic crashes in the U.S. and the State of Maryland. There are different types of distracted driving, usually categorized as those in which the source of distraction is internal (in-vehicle), such as using a mobile phone or tuning a radio, or external (out-of-vehicle) like looking at accidents, surrounding landscapes, or pedestrians. This study focuses on the different types of mobile phone distractions (hand-held, hands-free, voice commands, texting) and the effect they have on drivers’ performance while driving on different road classes, to show that the potential risk to road safety is increasing rapidly as a result of the exponential growth in the use of mobile phones in society. Different studies from different countries suggest that the proportion of drivers using mobile phones has grown over the past decade, ranging from 1% to 11%. The use of hands-free mobile phones is likely to be higher, but this figure is more difficult to ascertain. In many countries the extent of this problem remains unknown, as data on mobile phone use is not routinely collected when a crash occurs. Using a driving simulator and an eye tracking system, this study evaluates the driver’s performance (speed, steering, brake, throttle, etc.) when distracted by a cellphone in a simulated road network that includes four different road classes: urban, highway, rural, and local - school zone. Forty participants drove six scenarios sequentially with a few minutes break between scenarios. There are no cellphone distractions in the first and last scenarios to benchmark the pure effect of distraction and capture and remove the effect of learning and/or fatigue. The second to fifth scenarios have hands-free, hand-held, voice command, and texting as the distracting element, respectively. A total of over 960 simulator runs was collected and analyzed. Statistical analyses such as Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, ANOVA test, and Mann-Whitney U test were performed to find the effect of each distraction on driver performance. The first and last scenarios were specifically evaluated to examine the effect of fatigue on a driver’s performance. Since the results showed the effect of learning influences drivers’ speed, another study was conducted to examine the impact of learning on the performance of drivers. Additionally, a distraction model was also designed in this research to show the relationship between distraction and some variables. The statistical analysis of the results indicated; impaired performance of participants due to these distractions, is affected by other driving parameters such as; speed, steering and throttle. Based on the results of this analysis, increasing the complexity of the distraction will result in decreased speed. In other words, participants decreased their speed in all scenarios, on all roads, in the presence of an external distraction. It is the author’s hope that this study’s findings will help to root out the issue of distracted driving, identify key effective factors, and ultimately identify factors associated with driving distraction to remove or mitigate this issue.
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    Examining the Impact of Minority Student Participation in Culturally Based Clubs and Organizations at Community Colleges
    (2019-10-30) Simpson, Jenelle Brandi; Bista, Krishna; Davis, Russell A.; Parsons, Michael H.; Community College Leadership Program; Doctor of Education
    While there has been an increase of minority students looking to obtain degrees or certification in higher education, there has been a continued performance gap among minority students who attend community colleges. According to Chen (2018), minority students are overrepresented in terms of enrollment at community colleges but underrepresented among completers. The needs of underrepresented students are unique and community colleges are revitalizing various resources to restructure and redesign their student programs. This research examined the relationship between minority student involvement in culturally based clubs and organizations and their perception of marginality and mattering at their institutions. Data were collected using the College Student Experience Questionnaire (Gonyea, Kish, Kuh, Muthiah, & Thomas, 2003). The results of this study found that there was a significant, positive, moderate relationship between minority students’ involvement in clubs and organizations and their experiences with cultural diversity. There was no significant relationship between age, gender, generational status, and minority community college students’ interactions with peers and faculty members from diverse backgrounds.
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    A Case Study of Community College Students' Perceptions Regarding iPad Use and Their Academic Achievement
    (2019-03-20) Smothers, Deloris A.; Hollis, Leah P.; Parsons, Michael H.; Durham, Sandra K.; Community College Leadership Program; Doctor of Education
    The TRiO Program is not an acronym; it refers to a number (initially three, now eight) of U.S federal programs, which increase access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. TRiO programs are designed to assist first-generation college students, persons with disabilities, and low-income persons. This qualitative research study examined the TRiO students’ perception of iPad usage and how the iPad contributed to students achieving their course objectives. Achievement Goal Theory, used to frame this study, is a framework for understanding the principles used to measure success. In addition, the Achievement Goal Theory explains why people participate in achievement-related behavior (Ames, 1992a; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Nicholls, 1984). The researcher collected and analyzed the qualitative data from student interviews, as well as an administrator, and three teachers’ observations. In addition, a syllabus was reviewed to know how much the iPad was used for completing assignments. The researcher utilized a convenience sample of ten community college students who had been using the iPad either in class or the TRiO lab. The findings showed that most of the students adopted the iPad in their academic lives and judged the iPad along with existing instructional technology in the classroom. Students indicated that they achieved course objectives in the class. The results also indicated that, according to the administrator and teachers, the use of the iPad in the classroom and lab was beneficial to the students’ performance in the classroom. These findings resulted in the following four themes regarding TRiO students’ perception of iPad usage and their academic achievement: accessibility, interaction in the classroom with applications and different programs, benefits of iPads, and improved study skills. The benefits of iPads and accessibility were the two dominant themes found throughout the research.
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    Students' Preceptions of School Climate and Its Impact on Learning in Title I and Non-Title I Schools
    (2019-04-01) Stuckey, Tamala T.; Hayman, Warren; McKay, Sylvester E.; Goings, Ramon; Advanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy; Doctor of Education
    The achievement gap that exists between students of differing socioeconomic backgrounds has been a topic of academic discourse among educational leaders for countless years. Policymakers and researchers have offered a myriad of suggestions to reform schools in an attempt to create better educational opportunities for our most vulnerable youth. However, many of our youth from low-income backgrounds are still academically lagging behind their counterparts (Howard, 2010; National Center for Education Statistics, 2013). Cohen et al., (2009) suggested that the climate of schools may be a causal factor for the low student achievement in some schools. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore if there is a difference between the extent to which students from Title 1 and non-Title1 schools perceive their schools are conducive to learning. Eight school climate subscales, i.e., effective teaching, challenging and relevant curriculum, high expectations for all students, positive and nurturing environment, effective plant operations, safety and discipline, meaningful use of data, and parental involvement were analyzed. The school district serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in a mid-Atlantic state. The study revealed that overall, students at Title 1 elementary schools viewed their learning environments similarly to students attending non-Title 1 schools. However, there were significant differences found in two dimensions of school climate subscales: (1) High Expectations for All Students and (2) Parental Involvement. Both measures were significantly higher for non-Title 1 schools than for Title 1 schools. The results indicate that schools should use school climate research to improve policies and practices to create an optimal environment for all students.
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    A Finance Perspective to Risk-Sensitive Optimal Control with Regime Switching and Applications
    (2019-10-18) Teutu Talla, Serges Love; Kemajou-Brown, Isabelle; N'Guerekata, Gaston M.; Xie, Xuming; Ziyadi, Najat; Mathematics; Master of Arts
    In this work, we briefly review the literature on stochastic optimization problems using the Pontryagin Maximum Principle. Then, we investigate the procedure for solving a risk-sensitivity stochastic maximum principle problem with regime-switching. Finally, we provide an application in finance.
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    Community College Faculty & Technology: Integrating Technology in Face to Face Courses
    (2019-03-29) Tisdale, DArtegnon Antonio; Davis, Russell A.; Anderson, Carolyn; Zilberman, Diana; Community College Leadership Program; Doctor of Education
    The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to evaluate community college faculty use of technology modalities (face-to-face interaction, on-line interaction, e-learning, and social networking technologies) as measured by the CCFSSE 2015 cohort survey. Archival data collected by the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE) instruments were used for the study. These data were collected in the 2015 cohort and included three spring semesters of 2013, 2014, and 2015. The significant finding of this quantitative descriptive study revealed that faculty prefer using face-to-face interaction (lecturing) rather than applying technological methods in the classroom. Results showed that full-time faculty were more likely to be utilized Face-to-Face Interaction, Online Interaction, and Social Networking Technologies in a freshman seminar or first-year experience than that of part-time faculty who did not use technologies. Results of this quantitative descriptive study also demonstrated that full-time faculty were more likely to use all four modalities in an organized Learning Community course rather than that of part-time faculty who did not utilize such modalities. Faculty age made no difference in the use of the four modalities working directly with students in a college orientation despite the difference in their age. Female faculty who employed Online Interaction and E-Learning were more likely to teach a student success course than male faculty who did not. Native Hawaiian faculty were more than likely to employ Face-to-Face Interaction, while White faculty were more than likely to employ Online Interaction in an accelerated course compared to faculty who reported being of another race. Conversely, faculty race made no difference in their use of E-Learning and Social Networking Technologies in an accelerated course. The results presented in this quantitative descriptive study may help to contribute new information to the education literature about community college faculty integrating technology into the classroom.
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    Expanding Health Service Delivery in St. Marc, Haiti: A Case Study in Capacity Building and Infrastructure Development Within an Emerging Coalition
    (2019-03-29) Tolson, Shenell LaVonne; Barrett, Sharon E.; Terry, Raymond; Brown, Lawrence; Pierre-Louis, Dhierry; Public Health and Policy; Doctor of Public Health
    The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions and actions of a cross- sector, transdisciplinary group of collaborators as they worked to enhance health delivery services in the region of St. Marc, Haiti. Areas needing improvements in health service delivery include access, health administration, and sustainability. Using a systems thinking approach, the group addressed these areas of improvement with increased capacity building and infrastructure development. Members of the group of collaborators included various members of the St. Marc community who were previously conducting public health work individually, as well as members of the educational community and local government. The research design is a single, embedded, case study. Results indicate that stakeholders in the collaboration relied heavily on the establishment of strategic partnerships to reach the group’s end goal. These strategic partnerships were formed based on interpersonal relationships and a collaborative willingness to serve the community. Because of the formation of the collaboration, doors were opened for future partnerships, thus, transforming the coalition into an emerging system of collaborations and relationships focused on continued capacity building and infrastructure development. One immediate outcome of the study was the establishment of an educational program for para-professionals which includes a curriculum for administrative services. Implications of the study support the effectiveness of a systems thinking approach when expanding health service delivery in an area with weak infrastructure.
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    Examining the Relationship Between Health Center Program Financing, Medical Services Utilization and Controlled Hypertension Among Maryland Community Health Centers from 2008 and 2013
    (2019-03-29) Warren, Sherese; Bronner, Yvonne L.; Barrett, Sharon E.; Odia, Godwin; Williams, Shanita; Public Health and Policy; Doctor of Public Health
    Using a conceptual model adapted from the Aday and Andersen’s (1974) framework, this study aims to examine the relationship between health center program financing, medical services utilization, and controlled hypertension among Maryland Community Health Centers (CHCs) in 2008 and 2013 calendar years. This study also examines other covariates in the model such as Maryland’s CHCs characteristics and characteristics of Maryland’s CHCs population at risk. There are three hypotheses in this study. First, there is a linear relationship between controlled hypertension and medical services utilization. Next, the average controlled hypertension rate among Maryland CHCs is significantly different between measurement years 2008 and 2013. Finally, the dependent variable (controlled hypertension) is linear related to the independent variables as a group. This was a cross-sectional study using calendar years 2008 and 2013 Uniform Data System (UDS) data as well as the UDS Mapper. The sample size included 15 Maryland CHCs in 2008 and 2013 calendar years that totaled 30 data points. The study found a significant, positive relationship between controlled hypertension and medical services utilization. However, medical services utilization was no longer a predictor for controlled hypertension when race and income was controlled. Maryland CHCs’ mean controlled hypertension rate in 2013 was significantly greater than 2008 calendar year. Lastly, while Maryland CHCs’ Bureau of Primary Health Care grants had a unexpected negative relationship to controlled hypertension, it also shared a significant, linear relationship to controlled hypertension when medical services utilization, White race, and incomes 151–200% above the Federal Poverty Guidelines were constant. Conclusions from the study includes the following key points. Not addressing the other interactions and interrelations of variables in which health policy/financing influences may indeed have unintended impacts on community health outcomes. Medical services utilization, as an independent variable is a significant predictor for controlled hypertension in Maryland CHCs. However, it does not uniquely explain controlled hypertension among Maryland CHCs. While Maryland CHCs in this study sample exceeded both the national average and Healthy People 2020 goals for controlled hypertension, further work is warranted to address the sociodemographic and socioeconomic disparities found within Maryland CHCs’ hypertensive patients.
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    Promoting Parental Involvement in Urban Elementary Schools: Perceptions and Experiences of Principals, Parents, and District Office
    (2019-04-01) Wheeler, Dwayne; Jackson, Omari; Bista, Krishna; Miles, Marjorie; Education and Urban Studies; Doctor of Education
    Parent participation continues to decline among African American communities in urban schools. Parental involvement is essential to closing the achievement gap in urban schools. This grounded theory study explored the principals’ perceptions and experiences of elementary school principals, parents, and district office staff as it relates to promoting parental involvement in the educational process of children in an urban school district in north-central Maryland. In order to develop a substantive theory addressing the barriers of low parent participation, data were collected from multiple sources. The data consisted of transcripts of semi-structured interviews of the participants, notes from parent focus group discussions, document review from school and district’s Family and Community Engagement Office, and field notes. The findings suggest the existence of complex and unique barriers that continue to plague the parental involvement in this urban school district with students from low income, traditionally and culturally underserved minorities. The findings add to the existing literature. An important contribution of this study is the development of a model to explain and address the barriers related to low parental involvement. Based on the findings, recommendations were incorporated into the development of Wheeler’s Model: Circle of Continuous Engagement. The new model describes ways to address the barriers to low parental involvement by building the capacity of the principals, as well as human and social capital of the parents in the communities being served by the school district enabling them to handle challenges in their schools, and the city. The findings of this study have the potential to inform parents, school leaders, and policy decisions. This study underscores the need for designing professional development that is (a) differentiated, (b) culturally relevant, (c) based on the realities of the work environments, (d) the issues in the local communities, and (e) based on the research evidence from urban contexts. Engaging parents in transparent conversations and providing resources will shift the trajectory of the current state of affairs to a collaborative, respectful, highly effective partnership, where students excel socially, emotionally, and academically.
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    A Markovian Optimization Model for Pavement Maintenance Using Policy Iteration Algorithm with Discounted Road-User and Agency Costs
    (2019-04-03) Narh-Dometey, Anita; Saka, Anthony Amos; Agboh, Dennis; Jeihani, Mansoureh; Arhin, Stephen; Lee, Young-Jae; Civil Engineering; Doctor of Engineering
    The widespread deterioration of roadways necessitates studying the adverse impact on energy consumption, vehicle maintenance, traffic flow, travel time, and the environment, and identifying effective maintenance strategies for localities. The rate at which pavement deteriorates is unpredictable, and modeling is both difficult and often inaccurate without applying an optimization technique such as the Markov decision model. Since pavement is an integral element of roadway infrastructure, more accurate prediction of deterioration rates is key for those involved and implementing an optimal maintenance strategy will help keep pavement in the best possible condition for as long as possible. Putting a good Pavement Management System (PMS) in place will maximize return on investment and/or minimize overall cost to society. Due to limited availability of funds for infrastructure development and maintenance, the issue of deciding how to approach road maintenance constantly arises. The objective of this study is to develop an optimum road maintenance policy by using the correlation between average vehicle speed and pavement roughness. The pavement condition data used was based on the International Roughness Index (IRI). The optimum road maintenance policy was based on the Markov Decision Model and then the policy iteration method was applied to address the questions of what maintenance actions will be required at a given state of the pavement. Developing an optimum road maintenance policy involved four major steps: (1) establishing a relationship between pavement roughness and vehicle speeds; (2) converting changes in speed into road user travel time; (3) determining increases in travel time with particular levels of pavement roughness and corresponding road user costs such as Vehicle Operating Cost (VOC) and lost wages; and (4) utilizing the aggregate road-user and agency cost to determine the optimum maintenance policy, using the District of Columbia as a case example. An opportunity cost analysis indicates that implementation of the recommended maintenance policy will result in a significant savings when compared with the existing District of Columbia’s road maintenance policy.
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    The Influence of Summative Teacher Evaluation on Urban Veteran Teachers' Instructional Practices
    (2019-10-25) Nolen, William Morris Kasim; Sekayi, Dia; Gibson, Simone; Williams, Darryl L; Education and Urban Studies; Doctor of Education
    In 2010, many states and local school districts had to create high-quality teacher evaluation systems that considered more than just subjective teacher observations, which school leaders developed, to compete for federal money from the Race to the Top grants. School districts had to develop a multi-tiered way of evaluating teachers based on standards. The goal of the multi-tiered summative teacher evaluation process was to improve teacher instructional practices that lead to improved student achievement based on state standards. However, researchers have found that teacher evaluation systems often fail to provide meaningful information to improve teacher performance, subsequently not impacting student achievement. The goal of this study was to examine how summative teacher evaluation and a schools’ culture shaped the instructional practices and professional growth of veteran Pre-kindergarten to grade five teachers. A hybrid deductive and inductive process was used to analyze the data from the semi-structured interviews. The findings of this study answer the following research questions: To what extent do veteran Pre-kindergarten to grade five school teachers perceive the evaluative processes as influencing their practice? To what extent do veteran Pre-kindergarten to grade five school teachers perceive how their schools’ culture influenced their professional growth? Two theories framed this study, Dweck’s implicit theories of intelligence and Knowles’ theory of Andragogy. Eight (n=8) Pre-kindergarten to grade five teachers who worked in a large urban school district on the east coast, where the state was a recipient of the Race to the Top grant, participated in the study. Four themes became evident from the analysis of the semi-structured interviews: (a) Subjectivity promotes skepticism in the teacher evaluation process; (b) Familiarity with the process aid in teachers’ growth; (c) Teachers take their professional learning into their own hands to enhance their knowledge, skills, and instructional strategies; (d) School leadership matters in teachers’ professional growth. The findings of the research study showed the veteran teachers’ experiences with the summative teacher evaluations influenced their instructional practices, and it is necessary for teachers to have a positive school culture influence their professional growth. Additionally, all participants did what they felt was necessary for their students to obtain academic success.
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    Evaluating the Impact of Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) on the Rates of Hospitalization and Readmission Among the Beneficiaries in Washington, DC Using a Cross-Sectional Survey
    (2019-10-07) Obiejemba, Obinna; O'Keefe, Anne Marie; Hossain, Mian Bazle; Baptiste-Roberts, Kesha; Goldson-Desabaye, Sian; Public Health and Policy; Doctor of Public Health
    According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), inpatient hospitalization remains the sector with the highest level of Medicare FFS spending growth, jumping from $125 billion in 2006 to $141 billion in 2014. A segment of beneficiaries who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, also known as dual-eligible beneficiaries are some of the main drivers of this spending growth. Dual eligibles are individuals who qualify for and whose health services are covered by Medicaid and Medicare. They have an option to receive all their benefits through a health plan with the opportunity for enhanced benefits through Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) created as part of the Medicare Advantage Coordinated Care Plan. Dual eligibles experience higher hospitalizations since they tend to be older or younger with disabilities, generally poorer, and have worse health outcomes when compared to similar Medicare-only beneficiaries. Some of the hospitalizations are avoidable presenting opportunities for improved health outcomes and lower healthcare cost. This study, therefore, aimed at examining the impact of D-SNP on the hospitalization and readmission rates among dual eligibles using beneficiary survey. This study is a primary data analysis using a 37-question survey instrument that was administered via telephone over two months across all Washington D.C wards. The sample includes 217 D-SNP members and 112 non-D-SNP members (n=329). Responses from the survey questionnaires were analyzed using univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses. Our results using Logistic regression show that beneficiaries enrolled in D-SNP had a 70% lower hospitalization rate when compared to non-enrolled beneficiaries [OR, CI: 0.3 (0.12, 0.62)]. Using Poisson regression, our results show the hospitalization incidence rate ratio (IRR) of beneficiaries enrolled into D-SNP was 40% lower for each hospitalization incident compared to non-D-SNP members [IRR, CI: 0.6 (0.49, 0.73)]. Similar lower rates of 30-day readmission rates was noted with D-SNP members when compared to non-D-SNP members; 50% fewer odds of readmission [OR, CI: 0.5 (0.29, 0.86)] and 70% fewer readmission incidence rate [IRR, CI: 0.3 (0.18, 0.56)]. Our results, therefore, suggest that enrollment of dual eligibles into D-SNP can significantly improve health outcomes, reduce acute inpatient care utilization and lower Medicare spending.
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    Synthesis, DNA Binding Studies and Anticancer Properties of Organorhenium Sulfonato Complexes
    (2019-10-25) Odebode, Tijesunimi; Mandal, Santosh K.; Wachira, James; Zhang, Yongchao; Abebe, Fasil; Banerjee, Hirendra; Chemistry; Doctor of Philosophy
    Cancer is a worldwide concern. It is the second leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and the leading cause of death in many states. The most effective treatments currently being used for cancers are associated with significant side effects and tumor resistance after extended use. Previous studies have described organometallic rhenium complexes as highly promising anticancer compounds since low IC50 values can be obtained and they exhibit low toxicity on normal cells. Other studies have demonstrated strong anticancer activity of Rhenium(V) Oxo complexes against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. In this study, we are exploring the synthesis and anticancer properties of novel rhenium complexes of the type XRe(CO)3Z [X = α-diimines and Z = tosylate, 1-naphthalenesulfonate and 2-naphthalenesulfonate] against breast cancer (hormone-dependent MCF-7, triple-negative MDA-MB-231) and lymphoma cells (U-937). Several derivatives were synthesized in two steps. The first step is the synthesis of a pentylcarbonato (PC) complex from dirhenium decacarbonyl. In the last step, the pentylcarbonato (PC) complex was treated with a corresponding sulfonic acid to afford the expected p-toluenesulfonato (TOS), 1-naphthalenesulfonato (1NS) or 2-naphthalenesulfonato (2NS) complex. These compounds were characterized using IR, NMR, and X-ray crystallography. The sulfonato compounds synthesized had yields ranging from 70¬¬–99%. Alamar blue and MTT cell viability assays were used to determine the IC50 values and demonstrate the potency of the rhenium complexes against breast and lymphoma cells. The complexes were found to be more potent than conventional cancer drug cisplatin. DNA binding studies were performed using UV-Vis titrations, ethidium-bromide displacement assay, cyclic voltammetry, gel electrophoresis, and viscosity. These studies suggested DNA partial intercalation interaction for some of the complexes synthesized.
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    Bioinformatic Analysis and Design of a GLUT3 Construct to Examine Cell Surface Expression
    (2019-10-25) Ogunwole, Sandra; Rameau, Gerald; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Wachira, James; Li, Yuejin; Biology; Master of Science
    Glucose transporter type 3 (GLUT3) expression at cell surface plays a vital homeostatic function in neurons. However, the mechanism involved has yet to be fully examined. We devise a strategy to tag a rat GLUT3 cDNA clone. This will be used to assess GLUT3 localization at cell surface. To install the tag, we attempt to generate a point mutation at the first exofacial loop, which would result in a unique Hpa1 restriction site in GLUT3. In another strategy, to compare total versus surface GLUT3, we propose an HA-GLUT3-eGFP fusion protein. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that this protein would be functional. GLUT3 movement to plasma membrane is carried out through vesicles. These vesicles interact with many trafficking proteins that regulate GLUT3 surface expression. Data mining using the STRING database has identified potential GLUT3-interacting proteins. Future work will focus on expressing tagged-GLUT3 and examining interactions with these proteins.
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    Trade Space Analysis of Receiver Architectures with Non-Linearity Performance Evaluation for Digital Microwave Radiometers in Radio-Frequency Interference Environment
    (2019-11-06) Pannu, Randeep Kaur; Thompson, Willie L., II; Bradley, Damon C.; Reece, Michel A.; Mohammed, Priscilla N.; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Doctor of Engineering
    Microwave radiometers are highly sensitive receivers that remotely measure the average power of natural thermal emissions from the Earth’s surface and its atmosphere. This measured power is converted to brightness temperature to estimate different geophysical parameters. The man-made signals like radars, communication systems, air traffic control, etc. cause interference for radiometric measurements and are known as radio-frequency interference (RFI). The RFI threatens the authenticity of the measured radiometric data since it corrupts the measurements. Different types of RFI detection and mitigation algorithms have been developed to date. Linearity is a critical performance parameter for RF communication systems. The linearity performance of microwave radiometers is more significant since radiometers are designed to be sensitive receivers to measure low levels of thermal emissions. This feature makes the radiometer susceptible to RFI signals that can further impact the linearity of the radiometer by generating additional spurious signals. Therefore, the first contribution of this research work offers a quantitative analysis of non- linearity performance of a microwave radiometer for a CW-type of RFI signal. The radiometer’s performance is evaluated for both second and third-order non-linearity. The results of the spur analysis with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) radiometer system specifications confirm that spur power level is not significant to contribute to in-band fundamental RFI signal. This suggests that the non-linearity specifications can be relaxed for a radiometer. The second outcome of this research is the derivation of equations to determine the output second-order intercept point (OSOI) and output third-order intercept point (OTOI) specifications for a microwave radiometer based on the science requirements and RFI environment. These developed equations can assist system designers to determine the non-linearity specifications based on the science requirements and system specifications for a given RFI environment. Since superheterodyne is the conventional receiver architecture implemented in microwave radiometers, therefore, it is important to explore the benefits and limitation of other receiver architectures over the heterodyne receiver architecture. Therefore, trade-off study between superheterodyne and direct conversion receiver architecture has been performed for a microwave radiometer. The heterodyne architecture was determined to be more favorable receiver architecture than the direct conversion for a radiometer based on discussed figures of merits.
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    Examining the Persistence Factors for Minority and White Female Students at Rural Community Colleges in Ohio
    (2019-03-16) Penn, Charisse; Gillett-Karam, Rosemary; Parsons, Michael H.; Gaulee, Uttam; Advanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy; Doctor of Education
    The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine persistence factors of Minority and White female students at three rural community colleges in Ohio. The study also examined the demographic characteristics of female Ohio rural community college students. The independent variables in this study were race (White, Minority), gender, first-year-to-college status (first year, non-first year), and enrollment status (enrolled, non-enrolled). The dependent variables in this study were the ten College Persistence Questionnaire factors: academic integration, financial stress, social integration, degree commitment, collegiate stress, advising, scholastic conscientiousness, institutional commitment, academic motivation, and academic efficacy. Descriptive statistics examined the demographic characteristics of female community college students. Inferential statistics (MANOVA, Multivariate regression, Chi-Square) were employed to examine the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. The overall findings indicate Minority female students’ Degree Commitment, Scholastic Conscientiousness and Institutional Commitment were lower than that of White female students. In addition, the results of enrolled versus non-enrolled suggested female students who were enrolled had lower Degree Commitment, Academic Motivation and Academic Efficacy than that of female students who were not enrolled. Last, the results indicate that there is no significant main effect of first year to college (first-year versus non-first year) on any of the ten College Persistence Factors and that a statistically significant relationship was found between the father’s education.