• A Building Ministry: The Role Of A United Methodist Minister In The Major Building Project Of Dublin First Umc, A Large Historic Church

      Plaxico, David Tyler
      ABSTRACT DAVID TYLER PLAXICO A BUILDING MINISTRY: THE ROLE OF A UNITED METHODIST MINISTER IN THE MAJOR BUILDING PROJECT OF DUBLIN FIRST UMC, A LARGE HISTORIC CHURCH Under the direction of GRAHAM WALKER, Ph.D. Dublin First United Methodist Church is a large historic United Methodist Church located in downtown Dublin, GA. This church is much like many of its kind; it has a long proud history of effective ministry in the community in which it resides. For over 150 years DFUMC has been a faithful body of believers bent on making disciples of Jesus Christ from its location in the heart of Dublin. As time has progressed, the facilities of the church have begun to decline and the existing structure became much in need of renovation, remodel and new construction. The leadership of DFUMC decided that a Building Project was needed to directly address these acknowledged needs in order for the church to continue to be a place of meaningful worship, study and fellowship. The purpose of this Project Thesis came as a result of this decision and of the desire to ascertain what the specific role the Senior Pastor of the church would be in this building project. In pursuit of this end, extensive research on pastoral identity, sacred architecture, institutional change theory and Christian leadership was conducted. Following this research, Qualitative Research methodology was employed through the utilization of subject interviews. The interviews were focused on similarly situated Senior Pastors of large historic UMC congregations that have or were currently undergoing a ! ix ! similar large Building Project. Four such Senior Pastors were chosen according to these criteria and were interviewed using identical targeted interrogatories. The data gleaned from these interviews was then analyzed by coding the resulting information. Specific categories and codes that were identified as pertinent to the study were identified and the data was examined accordingly. The findings were that there is indeed a specific role for the Senior Pastor of a large historic UMC in a Building Project of this type. The identified role was that of a “Managing Agent of Visionary Change.�? The future study of this work is varied and includes the continued examination of Pastoral Identity and perceived ministerial responsibility as it pertains to particular congregations and to the church-specific needs of a Senior Pastor. The information gathered and examined in this Project Thesis may be expanded accordingly and may serve as a foundation for studies on ministerial responsibility within the UMC.
    • A Case Study Of Policies And Procedures To Address Cyberbullying At A Technology-based Middle School

      Tate, Bettina Polite
      ABSTRACT BETTINA POLITE TATE A CASE STUDY OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO ADDRESS CYBERBULLYING AT A TECHNOLOGY-BASED MIDDLE SCHOOL Under the direction of OLIVIA M. BOGGS, Ed. D. This qualitative case study explored the policies and procedures used to effectively address cyberbullying at a technology-based middle school. The purpose of the study was to gain an in-depth understanding of policies and procedures used to address cyberbullying at a technology-based middle school in the southern United States. The study sought to understand educators’ experience with addressing the problem. The study explored how educators discipline students for cyberbullying, the actions they take to protect students who are cyberbullied, and the actions they take to decrease or prevent cyberbullying in their schools. Further, the study explored the challenges educators face and the procedures they follow to address and prevent cyberbullying at a technology-based middle school. The study was guided by the question, what policies and procedures are in place to effectively address cyberbullying at a technology based middle school? Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and John Rawls’ Social Justice Theory were used to as a guide to explain cyberbullying and how the phenomenon is addressed. Data were collected through open ended interview protocol with the school’s principal, assistant principal, and counselors, focus groups with teachers, and a document analysis of relevant school and school district documents. Data analysis revealed major findings aligned to nine distinct themes: 1. Address Incidents Immediately, 2. Be Proactive: Students Are Taught Netiquette, 3. Challenges, 4. Consistent Procedures When Addressing Cyberbullying, 5. Counselors are Key People, 6. Discipline for the Cyberbully is Incremental and Progressive, 7. Protect the Victim, 8. Loving School Culture, and 9. Teachers are the Frontline. The conclusions drawn from the research findings presented in Chapter 4 and discussed in Chapter 5 suggest that utilizing policies and procedures suggested by the nine themes are effective in addressing cyberbullying at a technology based middle school. The policies and procedures used by the school were aligned to the current research about cyberbullying and how the phenomenon should be addressed by educators. Implications for future research include exploring the policies and procedures at different education levels, from the perceptions of parents and students, and among multiple cases.
    • A Comparative Analysis Of The Achievement Gap And International Baccalaureate Curriculum With Implications For School Leaders

      Grandison, Ayesha Odessa
      ABSTRACT A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP AND INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE CURRICULUM WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS There is limited evidence on how school-based international curriculum (International Baccalaureate-Primary Years Program) impacts achievement gaps in U.S. elementary schools in comparison to implementation of standards-based curriculum using common core standards and, more specifically, the Georgia Standards of Excellence. The purpose of this research was to determine if a significant difference exists in the rate of achievement on the English Language Arts and Mathematics End of Grade Georgia Milestones Assessments between fifth-grade students enrolled in an International Baccalaureate (IB-PYP) school curriculum as compared to those not enrolled in an International Baccalaureate (IB-PYP) school curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year. An ex post facto analysis was conducted using ELA and math proficiency rate data for IB and nonIB schools with Title I distinction. Conclusions about the appropriateness of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program as a sole instructional model for economically disadvantaged student populations cannot be drawn from this study. The study revealed that, although no significant difference in ELA and math achievement rates between IB and nonIB schools existed, IB schools are making a positive difference in content mastery among Title I public school fifth-grade students. Furthermore, the positive movement of proficiency rate in ELA and math is encouraging. Several avenues for further research were identified. Other researchers could examine school characteristics and individual differences as they pertain to achievement across grade levels, enrollment practices, family engagement, and transiency in relation to IB-PYP program participation. In addition, an examination of the implementation of standards-based curriculum, professional learning, and instructional resources of nonIB-PYP schools would be beneficial as a comparative measure to IB-PYP curriculum implementation, professional learning, and instructional resources. Since the International Baccalaureate Organization offers a learning continuum that supports early childhood education through high school (Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, Diploma Program), examining school systems that utilize the full continuum as opposed to school systems who do not may be beneficial. A qualitative study examining implementation of global competencies in relation to core academics in both IB and nonIB Title I schools would also add to the body of literature concerning IB-PYP curriculum and economically disadvantaged students.
    • A Computational Study Of Novel Kynurenine 3 Monooxygenase Inhibitors

      Hughes, Tamera Dionne
      Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a chronic, neurodegenerative condition that gradually affects an individual’s memory leading to dementia and ultimately death. � Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have been the mainstay of treatment for AD, but they are only able to control cognitive deficits. Such strategies only temporarily delay the symptoms and do not stop or reverse the progression of the disease. � While AD was initially thought to be the result of plaque accumulation in the brain, this is being reexamined. The kynurenine pathway (KP) has been discovered to play a major role in many neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. � The KP represents a major route for the catabolism of tryptophan (TRP) and accounts for most of the metabolism of TRP that is not committed to protein synthesis. Of particular interest in the KP is the KMO enzyme, which produces toxic metabolites. � This accumulation leads to AD. It is believed that inhibiting KMO will lead to a decrease in the production of these toxic products downstream attenuating or improving the effects of AD. The objective of this study is to identify novel KMO inhibitors using computer aided drug design approaches. � To accomplish this objective the following specific aims will be pursued: Aim 1: To determine the most thermodynamically stable conformations of each potentially novel potent inhibitors of KMO The molecular geometry for stable conformations must be calculated through energy-based methods in order to predict the corresponding molecular properties. � Knowing the molecular geometry is critical for understanding structure-function relationships, as well as the design of novel drugs. Molecular mechanics will be used to explore the conformational space of potential KMO inhibitors. � Each minimum energy structure will be characterized using quantum mechanics with frequency calculations. Based on ab initio and DFT full geometry optimization all stable conformations within an energy cut-off will be identified. � In addition, conformational flexibility will be explored by plotting specific dihedral angles vs. the corresponding energy to generate a conformational energy profile. � We hypothesize that generating a set of diverse conformations will yield the bioactive conformation that will further assist in discovery of a novel KMO inhibitor. Aim 2: To obtain a solvent equilibrated homology model of the substrate–free human KMO Understanding the conformational flexibility and tertiary structure of KMO is critical for structure-based drug design and interpreting structure-function relationship, which will be used in the design of novel therapeutics for disease. � Various KMO inhibitor-bound KMO models will be generated in order to obtain accurate atomic descriptions of the inhibitor-specific catalytic site of KMO. For KMO, different homology models of human KMO will be constructed using the x-ray crystal structures of the substrate free and bound form of yKMOs. � Aim 3: To better understand the specific molecular interactions between the KMO enzyme and bound inhibitors via docking and molecular dynamics simulations Docking and molecular dynamics simulations (MD) will be carried out to establish the specific molecular interactions that exist between the KMO enzyme and its bound inhibitors. � Molecular modeling methodologies available through YASARA will be utilized. � The chemical properties can be mapped to help identify the chemical space that contributes to inhibition. These docking algorithms will generate a score that attempt to distinguish between those potential inhibitors that bind strongly in the KMO binding pocket from those that bind weakly. � Also, MD simulations will be carried out on compounds that are identified through docking using YASARA.
    • A Concurrent Transformative Examination Of The Experiences Of Transfer Students

      Strong-Green, Ashley
      Increasingly, college students are transferring between schools in an effort to achieve their higher education goals. However, many transfer students find themselves significant challenges navigate the transfer process and longer paths to graduation as a direct result of transferring. This concurrent transformative study sought to better understand the ways in which a student’s first higher education institution influenced the student’s perception of the process of transferring between colleges and universities. The study used a modified version of the College Student Experience Questionnaire guided by Tinto’s theories of student departure and engagement as a theoretical framework to measure student effort based on 7 quality of engagement scales. These results were analyzed using factorial analysis of variance (ANOVAS). Data was analyzed from 112 participants, and the results were reported based on the student’s first higher education institution, the case sites utilized in the study, and the students perception of the transfer process as positive or negative. The results of this study indicated that the majority of students are satisfied with the transfer process. Data analysis also revealed there are disparities in the types of resources students are using based on their pre-transfer institutions. Finally, analysis revealed no statistical significance or effect based on quality of engagement scales.