• Raising the Bar: Institutional Action to Address College Graduation Rates for Students of Color from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds

      Clark, Jr., Ricky; Tift College of Education
      The purpose of this qualitative single site case study was to examine the practices, policies, and programs at a university with exceptional graduation rates for students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This study identified the impact of various departments, such as financial planning, recruitment and admissions, academic services, curriculum and instruction, and student services, on student persistence, from the perspective of both students of color as well as departmental leadership. This study also identified what students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds perceived contributed to their success. The research question that guided this study was: How are the institutional factors of Swail’s (2003) Geometric Model of Student Persistence and Achievement implemented at a southern U.S. university with graduation rates for students of color from low socio-economic backgrounds that meet or exceed the national average graduation rate of 59 percent? The selected site was a private liberal arts institution in the southern region of the United States. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with faculty, staff, and students; campus observations; and document reviews. Hybrid thematic analysis (inductive and deductive) revealed that peer-to-peer mentoring and faculty/staff to student mentoring, supplemental instruction and tutoring, office or staff devoted to retention efforts, collaborative community campus environment, and consistent financial resources positively impacted the success of students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This study may inform institutions of higher education of successful policies, practices, and programs that may influence persistence to graduate for students of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Implementation of the following may influence the success of students of color from low socioeconomic background: interdepartmental cross training, investment of additional time and resources into TRIO programs, creation or expansion of supplemental instruction and tutoring programs, create an office or train a staff member to address student retention, provision of consistent financial resources and education, provision of affinity group opportunities or safe space environments, and creation of a “community feel” on campus. Recommendations for further research include applying this research to various institutional types such as technical colleges, community colleges, HBCUs, Tribal Colleges or public institution; expand current research to include alumni perspective on student success; and expand current research focusing on individual academic departments or units to offer deeper understanding.
    • Reduction Of Angiotensin Ii Induced Hypertension And Cardiac Fibrosis With Glp-1 Receptor Agonist And Dpp-4 Inhibitor Via Decreasing Nadph Oxidase Expression

      Banks, Trenton
      Objectives: Preservation of plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) has been demonstrated to be cardioprotective in animals and patients. This study aims to investigate the mechanisms of action underlying cardioprotection by enhancing GLP-1 level through inhibiting NADPH oxidase mediated signaling. Methods: The study was performed in the Sprague-Dawley rat model of angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion (500 ng/kg/min) using osmotic minipumps for 4 weeks. GLP-1 agonist liraglutide (0.3 mg/kg, injected subcutaneously twice daily) and dipeptidyl peptidease-4 inhibitor, linagliptin (8 mg/kg, administered via oral gavage) were selected to preserve GLP-1 level. Blood pressure was measured noninvasively. Aorta and heart were saved for histological analysis. Results: Relative to the animals with Ang II infusion, in the aorta, treatment with liraglutide and linagliptin significantly downregulated the expression of NOX4/ICAM-1, and enhanced eNOS expression. Aortic wall thickness was reduced comparatively (267.4 ±22.5µm and 286.6 ±25.5µm vs. 339.7 ±40.4µm in Ang II group, all p<0.05); with a significant reduction in mean blood pressure in these two groups (121±19 and 139±16 mmHg vs. 163±30 mmHg in Ang II group, all p<0.05). In the heart, liraglutide and linagliptin comparatively reduced the protein levels of NOX4 and TGFβ1 and expression of MCP-1, as well as attenuated the proliferation of myofibroblasts (15.1±4.9 and 13.3±3.6 vs. 42.8±22.6/HPF in Ang II group, all p<0.05). Furthermore, mitochondrial structure damaged by Ang II was significantly preserved by liraglutide and linagliptin, in company with a significant reduction in cardiac fibrosis. Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggest that the preservation of GLP-1 level with exogenous supply of GLP-1 with liraglutide or prevention of endogenous degradation of GLP-1 with linagliptin protects against Ang II induced injury in aorta and heart, primarily mediated by inhibiting NOX-mediated signaling.
    • Respiratory Synctial Virus Treatment Using Gold Nanoparticles

      Boyoglu, Cemil
      Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is negative-sense RNA virus of the family Paramyxiridiae, causing lower respiratory tract infections and hospital visits in infants and young children. Today, RSV is known as a global outbreak of the lower respiratory tract disease in infant and young children and a high priority for vaccine development. It is estimated that RSV causes between 50,000 and 125,000 hospitalizations of children < 2 years of age and up to 200,000 deaths each year in the world. Here, we developed an innovative treatment model with different attributes from other conventional anti-viral approaches that have been reported before. In our first strategy, the main objective was to provide experimental evidence for the anti-RSV activity of GNPs and to determine the importance of the morphology on the functionality of the particles. Our results showed that GNRs prevents the RSV infections more than GNSs due to the positively charged elongated surfaces and hydrophobic nature of the particles. In our second project, we applied gold nanorods (GNRs) in photothermal therapy to inhibit the pathogenesis of RSV. Rod shape provides an excellent electrodynamic and multiple electron oscillations named as a surface plasmin resonance (SPR). The process of SPR on the surface of GNRs results in the conversion of photonic energy to thermal that has been use to cure cancer. We successfully applied this mechanism to RSV treatment and inhibited virus replication. Our third and last project is based on gene silencing process, in which we applied the GNSs as delivery agents for small interfering RNA (siRNA). In the process of gene silencing, we temporarily blocked rotary activity of the c subunits on V-ATPase thus to prevent the binding of RSF F protein to specific small GTP proteins, such as Cdc42, RhoA and Rac 1 proteins. Uncertainties associated with efficacy of the treatment was evaluated, analyzed and confirmed using different assays, such as ELISA, MTT, ELI-Spot, immunofluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy.
    • "riddle Me This, Batman": A Critically Visual Bricolage Of The Agency For Sociocurricular Positions In The Middle School Classroom

      Bailey, Toni Marie
      ABSTRACT Prescribed norms of standard behavior dictated by ta endoxa (individuals of perceived wise opinions) operate to categorize individuals and align their access to social capital, thereby inducing a stratified social order. The academic field offers a favorable threshold for the reproduction of these dominant norms through the habitus and pedagogic actions of educators. The prevalence of sociocurricular positions are a response to societal perpetuations of legitimacy in the academic field. Oftentimes, the sociocurricular positions dictated by the characteristics of class, gender, knowledge, language, and race hold individuals that are affluent, male, articulate, mainstream linguistic, and of European descent in higher regards, thereby, the representations of legitimacy. Upon a review of the literature, evidence regarding the presence of these positions suggested that students’ placement within the academic field influences their academic success. Students placed in low sociocurricular positions because of their ascriptive characteristics negotiate their habitus in processes that negatively influence their academic progress or impede their individuality. Thus, the incidence of sociocurricular positions can be correlated to achievement disparities. Using a visual bricolage methodology, this study was conducted to analyze to what degree of agency middle school educators uphold dominant norms of the aforementioned characteristics within their habitus, and how it influences their delivery of the curriculum. It was determined that of the participants analyzed, norms deemed legitimate because of dominant societal influence (ta endoxa) reside significantly within educators’ habitus, and it does translate to their delivery of the curriculum in various and interrelated paths. INDEX WORDS: Legitimacy, Social Reproduction, Cultural Reproduction, Sociocurricular Positions, Middle Childhood, Habitus, Field, Social Capital, Self-Concept, Ta Endoxa
    • Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance in Undergraduate Nursing Faculty: A Mixed-Methods Study

      Crawford, Ryan Patricia; Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
      The current nursing and nursing faculty shortages are related, multifactorial problems. The nursing faculty shortage impedes the current demands to increase the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses. Important concepts, which could impair recruitment and retention of nursing faculty, include job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work-life balance. These concepts could be impacted by certain demographics. The purpose of this study was to better understand the gender, generational, and racial differences of job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work-life balance in baccalaureate nursing faculty. This study incorporated a convergent parallel mixed-methods study design to assess job, satisfaction, life satisfaction, and work-life balance of baccalaureate nursing faculty of differing genders, generational cohorts, and races. A total of 370 full-time, baccalaureate nursing faculty members participated in one web-based survey. Quantitative data were collected using four instruments: a demographic questionnaire, the Work-Life Balance Self-Assessment, the Job Satisfaction Survey, and the Satisfaction with Life Survey. Qualitative data were collected using open-ended questions. Within the quantitative findings, significant differences were identified with minority faculty reporting less job and life satisfaction. Gender differences were also identified in satisfaction levels. Both findings have practical significance as there are increased calls to diversify the nursing workforce and faculty. Qualitative data analysis revealed the themes Relationship with Administration, Nursing Faculty Workload, and Boundary-setting. These themes presented a dichotomy in subthemes relating to the concerns of the nursing faculty members. Generational differences were seen among the qualitative findings, which included one theme for Generation X and Millennial cohorts Family Life, with varying subthemes for the generations. The findings of the quantitative and qualitative strands were similar for work-life balance regarding the bimodality noted in the quantitative strand and the dichotomy of subthemes within the qualitative strand. The findings from this study have the potential to provide a better understanding of work-life balance among full-time, baccalaureate nursing faculty members. Recommendations for nursing based on these findings include thoughtful workload calculations, mentoring, faculty development, and administrator development. The findings from this study could guide further research, which is needed to identify the unique experiences of faculty who identify as male or from a minority race.
    • Scripture Meditation (lectio Divina) And The Regulation Of Negative Reactions To Stress In Anderson University Students Anderson, South Carolina

      Jennings, Amy S.
      ABSTRACT AMY STURDIVANT JENNINGS SCRIPTURE MEDITATION (LECTIO DIVINA) AND THE REGULATION OF NEGATIVE REACTIONS TO STRESS IN ANDERSON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ANDERSON, SOUTH CAROLINA Under the direction of Karen G. Massey, Ph.D., Supervisor On university campuses there has been an increase in students needing accommodations for stress related issues. Anderson University is no exception, and over the past three years the university has seen a 7% increase in academic accommodations for psychological issues related to stress. The two main purposes of this research study were to assist female students in deepening their relationship with God and to help them in managing their negative emotional reactions to stress. The researcher sought to accomplish these goals through a series of four teaching sessions by introducing participants to the spiritual practice of Scripture meditation (Lectio divina). The research methodology was an experimental design and obtained both quantitative and qualitative data. The study was conducted on forty-seven recruited students from introductory behavioral science courses at Anderson University. All students voluntarily participated, signed consent forms, and received behavioral science research credit upon completion of the study. Students were randomly assigned to two groups: control group (n=23) and experimental group (n=24). During the first session participants completed several assessments that measured their stress, emotional regulation, and spirituality. While the control group received emails with suggestions for handling stress, the experimental group met weekly for four weeks to learn Scripture meditation. They were given journals with instructions on how to practice Scripture meditation privately, and they also prayed in small groups weekly. The same assessments given before the intervention were given at the conclusion of the intervention. The quantitative aspect involved completing ANOVAs to determine the statistical significance of the intervention. The qualitative component gathered data from student journals and private interviews. The results of the study revealed that, in comparison to the control group, the experimental group had significant differences on their scores between the pre- and post-assessments. The interviews also confirmed these findings. The results suggest that Scripture meditation assisted students in deepening their intimacy with God and provided them with an effective way of managing their negative emotional reactions to stress. Application of this study could be made to various populations who use their faith as a means of developing both mental and spiritual well-being.
    • Searching For Scientific Literacy And Critical Pedagogy In Socioscientific Curricula : A Critical Discourse Analysis / By Kristina Marie Cummings.

      Cummings, Kristina Marie
      The omnipresence of science and technology in our society require the development of a critical and scientifically literate citizenry. However, the inclusion of socioscientific issues, which are open-ended controversial issues informed by both science and societal factors such as politics, economics, and ethics, do not guarantee the development of these skills. The purpose of this critical discourse analysis is to identify and analyze the discursive strategies used in intermediate science texts and curricula that address socioscientific topics and the extent to which the discourses are designed to promote or suppress the development of scientific literacy and a critical pedagogy. Three curricula that address the issue of energy and climate change were analyzed using Gee’s (2011) building tasks and inquiry tools. The curricula were written by an education organization entitled PreSEES, a corporate-sponsored group called NEED, and a non-profit organization named Oxfam. The analysis found that the PreSEES and Oxfam curricula elevated the significance of climate change and the NEED curriculum deemphasized the issue. The PreSEES and Oxfam curricula promoted the development of scientific literacy while the NEED curricula suppressed its development. The PreSEES and Oxfam curricula both promoted the development of the critical pedagogy; however, only the Oxfam curricula provided authentic opportunities to enact sociopolitical change. The NEED curricula suppressed the development of critical pedagogy. From these findings, the following conclusions were drawn. When socioscientific issues are presented with the development of scientific literacy and critical pedagogy, the curricula allow students to develop fact-based opinions about the issue. However, curricula that address socioscientific issues without the inclusion of these skills minimize the significance of the issue and normalize the hegemonic worldview promoted by the curricula’s authors. Based on these findings, additional research is necessary to confirm the connection between the way curricula address a socioscientific issue and develop or suppress scientific literacy. Additionally, further analysis is necessary to confirm the connection between corporate-sponsored curricula and the suppression of socioscientific issues, scientific literacy, and critical pedagogy. Finally, this study addressed only the intended results of the curricula. Further research is necessary to measure the actual impacts of these curricula on students.
    • Secondary Special Education Teachers' Perceptions Of The Georgia Alternate Assessment (gaa) / By Misty Salter.

      Salter, Misty
      The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine secondary special education teachers’ perceptions of the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) as an assessment measure for high school students with cognitive disabilities. The GAA was created in an effort to ensure accountability of teachers, schools, and states by assessing students with severe cognitive disabilities on grade level content and standards to ensure these students are being provided access to the same general curriculum as their same aged peers. Georgia’s special education teachers assess students using the portfolio approach, as mandated by the state. The participants in this study were six Georgia public high school teachers who have worked with the GAA for a number of years and have administered the GAA to high school students with cognitive disabilities. Consequently, these teachers were able to share their perceptions of the GAA’s ability to effectively measure student progress and growth. Findings revealed that the secondary special education teachers in this study do not perceive the GAA to be an appropriate assessment for high school students with significant cognitive disabilities. All six of the research participants expressed their dissatisfaction with the GAA’s portrayal of their students’ progress and individual growth. The participants unanimously agreed that the GAA was not a recommended approach for assessing their students. While participants did not have a unified response about a specific assessment tool to replace the GAA, all participants agreed that for an assessment of this population of students to be appropriate, the assessment would need to focus on individual student goals that are more functional in nature. Participants unanimously agreed that assessment for high school students with significant cognitive disabilities should include functional skills, focus on IEP goals, and be individualized for each student.