• Hardwired For Purpose: A Journey In Reclaiming Call Language As Narrative At University Of Lynchburg

      Brooks, Katrina Stipe
      ABSTRACT KATRINA STIPE BROOKS HARDWIRED FOR PURPOSE: A JOURNEY IN RECLAIMING CALL LANGUAGE AS NARRATIVE AT UNIVERSITY OF LYNCHBURG Under the direction of Dr. Robert N. Nash, Jr., Ph.D. Despite the interpretations of Christian tradition and history, restricting call language exclusively to the ordained lacks biblical support. Reclamation of call and call language requires a new framework to restore it to its original and biblical meaning in the life of the church. This qualitative, ethnographical study investigates a sample population’s journey to reclaim call language and restore it to its original and biblical meaning in the life of the church. The study aims to observe the ability of a sample population, comprised of seven evangelical students, to imagine a new framework for call language as inclusive language for all Christians and assimilate the call language into their personal narrative. Over the course of five sessions, the sample population engaged the biblical text, Call Waiting: God’s Invitation to Youth, and group session materials. Responses to the reflection questions and session materials were recorded in the student journal entries. In addition to the journal entries, the session engagement tools, the project evaluation rubric, and call stories written by the sample population served as data collection tools items. Analysis of the collected research data indicates the sample population engaged the sessions at a high level and assimilated the call language into their personal narrative as evidenced in their journal entries and call stories. Recommendations for further study include: changing the sample population profile and analyze the data’s connection to the project goals, substitute a different text and/or reflection questions, increase the number of sessions, change the context to the church, and explore call and call language in the life of the ordained. Another recommendation for further study would be finding a church that implemented call language as inclusive language for all Christians and explore the catalyst for change, methodology implemented, or impact on the membership.
    • Healing Through Story: Exploring The Use Of Storytelling Preaching As A Means For Healing A Congregation

      Collins, Robert Don
      This project explores a preaching approach to healing a congregation that has experienced serious conflict within the church. Through the use of storytelling preaching, this project studies the ability of a story to break through the emotional barriers and deep-seated fears within a congregation. The goal of this project was to guide congregants toward overcoming their fears associated with major church conflict. This project is a qualitative study that utilized guided group discussions and a six-week sermon series to promote healing across a congregation. The sermon series exclusively and purposefully used a storytelling approach to preaching. Group discussions occurring before and after the sermon series provided data about the amount of church-related fear experienced by the participants and the progress made at the conclusion of the sermon series. This project guided the congregation to engage biblical stories throughout the sermon series that focused on overcoming fear associated with crises, conflict, and change. Hearing these stories helped people remember their own stories and embrace God’s call on their lives and the life of their church. The results indicate that storytelling preaching is a useful tool for helping a congregation moved beyond their fears and into a season of healing and hope. The project participants exhibited decreased levels of fear and a healthier understanding of their fear. They also demonstrated a much higher level of hope about their church and its future. Further study is needed to truly understand the full potential of combining group discussions with sermons to create a healing atmosphere and culture throughout the congregation.
    • Helping The Helper: Analyzing The Effects Of Clinical Supervision On Levels Of Burnout

      White, Adrienne Denise
      The hallmark of mental health counseling requires working with people who are experiencing current or previous pain, trauma, stress, grief, anxiety, as well as various complicated psychological needs (Maslach et al, 1996). The constant experience of sadness and emotional fatigue can lead to a form of stress called burnout. Studies report that beginning counselors have been shown to be more vulnerable to symptoms of burnout (Freudenberger, 1990; Tziporah and Pace, 2006). However, despite the knowledge and research on burnout, little attention is devoted to the therapeutic value of beginning counselor’s engagement in clinical supervision to combat symptoms of burnout. This research evaluated and identified a significant relationship between the symptoms of burnout, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and supervision styles, using the Supervisory Style Inventory (SSI) among beginning counselors in the United States of America.
    • Hidden Figures No More: Factors That Contribute To Stem Graduate Degree Attainment In African American Women

      Booker, Ansley Alicia
      The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of African American women with STEM doctoral/professional degrees to gain insight into their unique perspectives of barriers that inhibited and catalysts that facilitated their matriculation, graduation, and job success. The methodological approach used to address the research problem was qualitative, specifically grounded theory, to allow each participant to describe her journey and experiences as an African American woman STEM graduate. Participants held doctoral/professional degrees in computer science, physical sciences, or engineering. A purposeful sample of the population was interviewed in order to provide a narrative account of their persistence. The data unearthed seven major themes including Effects of the “Double Bind�?, Effects of Academic Environment, Intrinsic Constructs, Influence of Support, Barriers, Facilitators, and Career Determining Factors as it relates to African American women overcoming barriers in STEM graduate degree attainment and career choice.
    • High School Students' Physics Epistemological Beliefs

      Smeltzer-Schwab, Audrey D.
      ABSTRACT AUDREY D. SMELTZER-SCHWAB HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PHYSICS EPISTEMOLOGICAL BELIEFS Under the direction of KAREN W. SWANSON, Ed.D. This study was conducted to examine the extent to which high school students’ physics epistemological beliefs varied from the beginning of the semester where they had no physics instruction and after 11 weeks of high school physics instruction. A correlational study was conducted in the fall of 2017 at an urban high school in southeastern Pennsylvania. Fifty-two students completed the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) before any physics instruction. The CLASS was also completed by the same students after 11 weeks of high school physics instruction. Scores were evaluated on a 1 to 5 scale, ranking students’ physics epistemological beliefs on a novice-to-expert continuum. Data was analyzed with a repeated measures ANOVA. A statistical significance was found between the overall pretest and posttest scores. All of the mean scores for the posttests were higher than the pretests, showing that physics epistemological beliefs became more expert-like with more physics instruction. Overall, none of the controlling factors were influential. In terms of the controlling variables, gender, grade level, and GPA had no statistical significance on any category of the CLASS. Ethnicity was statistically significant in the Personal Interest category and socioeconomic status statistically impacted the Problem Solving Sophistication category. Small to medium effect sizes were observed throughout the study. Results from this study demonstrated that high school students’ physics epistemological beliefs can become more expert-like in high school after traditional physics instruction. However, further study on high school students’ physics epistemological beliefs is necessary.
    • Histone Acetylation Patterning: A New Direction To Reveal The Clinical Efficacy Of Hdac Inhibitors

      Nguyen, Trang Thuy Thi
      Recent data highlight the virtually unlimited therapeutic potentials of histone deacetylation (HDAC) inhibitors in treating cancer, inflammatory diseases, and psychiatric disorders. This unlimited therapeutic potential is due to the pleiotropic effects of HDAC inhibitors at cellular and systemic levels. The wide range of effects induced by HDAC inhibitors may have different consequences on histone acetylation that may result in various responses from cell type to cell type and from individual to individual. In this project, we used six different transformed mammalian cell lines from three species and different tissues. We treated them with sodium butyrate (NaBu), vorinostat (SAHA), and trichostatin A (TSA). After that, we used high-resolution two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to resolve histones and show the global changes in histone acetylation without using antibodies. We found that NaBu, SAHA, and TSA differentially caused an increase in acetylation of core histones in different cell lines. This result indicates that HDAC inhibitors may cause differential epigenetic patterning in different cell types. Thus, we chose seven different HDAC inhibitor drugs, which belong to different classes, to treat the HEK cells. The purpose of this experiment was to test how different HDAC inhibitor drugs affect the histone acetylation in one cell line. We hypothesized that HDAC inhibitor drugs differentially targeted histone subtypes with potentially differing consequences in chromatin structure, gene activity, and clinical outcomes. We found that both canonical and variants histones involved in histone modification and acetylated in a sequence. We proposed that the histone acetylation pattern may be a new way to learn the efficacy of HDAC inhibitor drugs.
    • Histone Variants In Gene Therapy And Cancer Epigenetics / By Earnest Landon Taylor

      Taylor, Earnest Landon
      Part I Enhancement of DNA transfection by NP, a highly basic and reversibly phosphorylated peptide derived from the N-terminal region of sea urchin sperm histone variant SpH1, was investigated in HEK293 cell cultures. NP and its corresponding C-terminal peptide CP were prepared by digestion of purified SpH1 with Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease followed by separation of the resulting N-terminal and C-terminal peptides using hydroxylapatite chromatography. Transfection vectors containing NP or CP, NP or CP mixed with polyethylenimine (NP-PEI and CP-PEI, respectively) and NP or CP crosslinked to PEI (NPxPEI and CPxPEI, respectively) were generated and mixed with a plasmid bearing a FLAG-tagged beta-2-adrenergic-receptor gene (FLAG-β_2AR) to create the corresponding transfection complexes. Free peptides (NP and CP) didn’t enhance transfection, rather they suppress transfection compared to PEI alone. Transfection efficiency of chemically crosslinked NPxPEI-DNA enhances transfection rate up to 1.4 fold increase compared to PEI-DNA. The data shows that the NPxPEI vehicle had an improved condensing capability than that of PEI alone at same mass ratio. Our results demonstrate that NP is a potential transfection vehicle when crosslinked with PEI. Part II Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and accounts for 25% of deaths, which are roughly 1,600 deaths per day, and almost 587,000 deaths per year. Cells become cancerous due either to changes to their DNA or epigenetic alterations that cause misregulation of histone modifications. The acetylation alterations of H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 histone were also screened by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The retinoblastoma binding protein 2 (RBP2), a histone demethylase belongs to the JARID1 protein family and is known to demethylate the H3K4 methyl groups. First, Wbras and H2009 cells lines will be screened for expression of RBP2 by western blot analysis. The histone deacetylation drugs, Vorinostat, MS-275 and 4-Phenyl-3-Butenoic Acid (PBA) were used at varying concentrations ranging, to test its effect on the expression of RBP2 and H3K4 methylation marks in H2009 and WBras1 cells. Results indicate that PBA showed the ability to increase covalent histone modification of H3, H4 and H2B in WBras1 cells while only modifying H3 and H4 in H2009 cells, and very similar migration patterns can be seen with it structurally similar compound Vorinostat (SAHA). RBP2 expression was decreased when treated with MS-275, SAHA and PBA, which lead to an increase in H3K4me2 and H3K4me3 expression.
    • Housing As If People Matter: Analyzing The Impact Of Interpersonal Interaction And Increased Familiarity On Housing-related Decision-making In The Old West End Neighborhood Of Danville, Virginia

      Hearne, Joshua
      ABSTRACT JOSHUA DAVID HEARNE HOUSING AS IF PEOPLE MATTER: ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF INTERPERSONAL INTERACTION AND INCREASED FAMILIARITY ON HOUSING-RELATED DECISION-MAKING IN THE OLD WEST END NEIGHBORHOOD OF DANVILLE, VIRGINIA Under the direction of Rev. Melissa Browning, Ph.D., Supervisor This project explores the degree that a deeper level of familiarity between diverse persons has an impact on the way they think about housing-related priorities and factors. More specifically, this project analyzes how both insiders and outsiders to a particular neighborhood (the Old West End in Danville, Virginia) think about housing in the context of a particular neighborhood both before and after getting to know each other over the course of a series of meals. In establishing its context and ideological foundation, this project considers the history of housing policy in the United States in light of the work of E.F. Schumacher and John M. Perkins. By applying both Schumacher’s person-focused economic principles and Perkins’ philosophy of community development as a lens through which to consider housing-related decision-making, the project explores a philosophy of housing-related decision-making that is both person-focused and rooted in Jewish and Christian scripture and theology. This project uses two instruments to gather data both before and after a set of meals that included both free and guided conversation. The first instrument asks participants to rank a set of fourteen housing-related decision-making factors from most important to least important. The second instrument is an interview including questions designed to gather each participant’s latent and manifest values related to housing as well as what they perceive to be the assets and challenges of the neighborhood. Administering the same instruments both before and after the meals and conversations produced data about how priorities, values, perceived assets, and perceived challenges converged and diverged among participants from before to after the meals. The data demonstrates that interpersonal contact and increased familiarity have the effect of producing some convergence of opinion on matters discussed at some length during the meals as well as producing an overall increase in participant confidence as to the relative importance of some housing-related decision-making factors. Further study of the data as it relates to other demographic differences would likely be beneficial. Additionally, it would be valuable to consider how the data changes over a longer period of time and with greater degrees of interpersonal contact and increased familiarity.
    • How Can Music Assist in the Subversive Intent of the Eucharist?

      LeGrand, Caroline Dean; McAfee School of Theology
      This thesis explores the Christian ritual of the Eucharist in conjunction with another crucial Christian ritual element—music. It first looks to scripture—1 Cor 11:17-34—and considers what the Apostle Paul believed was the original intent of the Eucharist as established by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. The conclusion is that it is intended to be a subversive ritual for liberative communal change. The thesis then takes a shift to explore music and its capacity to both solidify and, contrastingly, subvert the existing structure of communities. Operating through the lens of postcolonial theory, it asserts that music can allow subaltern peoples to subvert hegemonic culture through musical hybridity. The thesis finally brings these two elements together—Eucharist and music—to explore how music can assist this subversive intent of the Eucharist in contemporary worship practice. The conclusion is that hybrid music can be applied in the worship of congregations where a hegemonic culture is in the majority population in order to disrupt the homogeneity of that congregation’s music practices and allow outside voices—the voices of the subaltern—into the boundaries of the community, thereby beginning to shift a community’s hierarchical social structure. This hybrid music worship practice, crucially at the moment of the Eucharist, assists the Eucharist in fulfilling its intent to liberate oppressed peoples. The hope is that the method established in this thesis can be applied wherever hegemonic and subaltern forces are at play in the world.
    • I Saw That In A Movie: A Hermeneutic Study On Students' Historical Thinking Abilities

      Herbert, Courtney Marie
      With the reliance on digital technology as the newest form of 21st century pop culture, students have virtual access to multiple resources that influence their cognition. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how high school students construct historical knowledge and meaning using film and media as a medium, how historical thinking and literacy skills impact student perceptions of history, and the possible disconnections that exist between the skills used in document resources and film/media sources. Data was collected using an online questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis of information processing skills used on historical documents used in high school social studies classes. Using Gadamer’ s hermeneutic lens, the researcher incorporated thematic and content analysis. Three themes emerged: Let’s Watch a Movie, Excogitation, and Utilization facilitating Gadamer’ s spiral of fusions. Overall, the results of this case study revealed that teacher usage and student viewing of film and media provide a conduit for understanding historical content. Students have difficulty identifying film and media as trustworthiness and accurate. Employment of historical thinking skills are viable yet inconsistently used by students. There appears to be a strong disconnect in student skill sets based on varying mediums. Further recommendations for research on student’s construction of historical knowledge include but are not limited to evaluation of teacher instructional practices using HTS, how professional development in social studies is utilizing inquiry based techniques to facilitate HTS, and possibly how teacher education preparatory programs are addressing media literacy and use of HTS in the 21st century classroom.