• Walking With The Spirit: A Phenomenological Study Of Charismatic Renewal In The Global South

      Geeslin, Matthew Turner
      This thesis is a phenomenological study of charismatic Christianity in the global south as it pertains to the spread of charismatic Christianity in the country of Brazil. The purpose of this study is to determine the reasons for the rapid spread of Pentecostalism in Brazil in the last hundred years. Additionally, it seeks to identify any major theological and social trends through an overview of the country’s religious, social, and political history. Extensive census data from the PEW Research Institute’s study on globalized religion in Latin America will be used as a tool and reference point for this study and will also help frame Brazil in its modern context. The results of this research will conclude that there is a direct tie between Brazil’s social, political, and religious history, and the growth of charismatic expressions of Christianity. Additionally, the conclusion will offer theoretical patterns of growth, history, and religious advancement, in an attempt demonstrate their intertwined nature. These patterns will be suggestive for future research in terms of identifying similar patterns or social behaviors in other areas of the global south.
    • Water Purification And Antibacterial Effects Of Metallic Nanoparticles Deposited Using Dc High Vacuum Magnetron Sputtering On Filtering Materials

      Le, Khang Nguyen
      Water and water purification is an important problem that is confronting our generation at a global level. Our research tested the antibacterial effects of Silver, Copper, Titanium, Zirconium and Aluminum metallic nanoparticles deposited on microsize filtration materials. The DC High Vacuum Magnetron Sputtering Equipment was used for the deposition of metallic nanoparticles. The thickness of the coatings was in-situ monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance and ex-situ evaluated using a profilometer. The chemical composition of the structures was characterized using the X-Ray diffraction analysis and their surface morphology was investigated using digital optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Each metallic material was deposited on 3M filter paper with different thicknesses. The antibacterial effect was tested were using mBlue-E.coli 24 media, the membrane filtering technique, and an incubator which was set at 35 Celsius degrees, according to standardized methods for the examination of water and wastewater. The testing media containing the bacterial samples was contaminated water collected from the wastewater basins. The water was initially tested for the bacterial content as collected and then exposed to metallic deposited filtering materials; the remaining targeted bacteria was quantified. The antibacterial effects of metallic nanoparticles were observed and analyzed. Deactivation rates for fecal coliform and Escherichia coli were measured for different metals with varying metallic thickness coatings. All metallic nanoparticles showed a good adhesion at microscopic level to water filter paper as observed by digital microscopy and scanning electron microscopy examination. Titanium nanoparticles did not have antibacterial effect showing no change in time evolution of E. Coli and Total Coliforms as well as control samples. Zirconium and Aluminum nanoparticles had some antibacterial effect showing a small change in time evolution of E. Coli and Total Coliforms for the control and coated samples. Silver and copper nanoparticles coated filters gradually removed both E. Coli and Total Coliforms. Various thickness of silver and copper nanoparticles coated filters were investigated, and it was observed that the thickness of coatings does not have significant impact on their antibacterial activity. Additionally, this research is investigating the synergistic antibacterial effect obtained by using silver and copper thin films deposited on water filter paper and the effect of the potential applied to the electrically conductive structures. It was observed that silver nanoparticles had high antibacterial effects when a high power is applied to its conductive structures.
    • Water Quality At Mountain Springs Used For Drinking Water In The El Cercado Area, Dominican Republic

      Resto-Fernandez, Monica Cristina
      Globally, many hundreds of millions of people living in developing rural mountainous areas are believed to lack access to a safely managed drinking water source. Typically, this population subset is sustained by groundwater emerging at mountain springs, which previous studies in three different world regions have found to be commonly contaminated with E. coli. The presented research focuses on water quality of mountain springs in a rural area of western Dominican Republic. Initial preliminary investigations established understanding of study-area-wide topography and geography. Thirty-seven mountain springs throughout the study area were assessed qualitatively (for land use, geology, infrastructure, and biota) and quantitatively (for pH, temperature, electrical conductance [EC], total dissolved solids [TDS], nitrate, alkalinity, and E. coli) at 109 sampling points during three field research trips in 2017 and 2018. The study area is comprised of a high percentage of developed and agropastoral land. The mountains which surround the study area are underlain by highly fractured carbonate rock. A majority of springs were located near or in a river/streambed and had up-slope agropastoral land. Generally, a decrease in elevation of mountain springs was related to a decrease in water pH, and an increase in temperature, EC, TDS, and alkalinity for springs in the same general mountain area. E. coli concentrations of emerging groundwater were compared to water collected from the likely points of user collection (LPUC; e.g., spring box, spring pool, pipes) and results show that a higher percentage of LPUC samples were considered Unsafe, while a higher percentage of groundwater upwelling samples were considered Low Risk/Safe: 35% for upwelling and 40% for LPUCs. Water at springs was commonly contaminated with Intermediate to Unsafe levels of E. coli: >70% and >65% of springs sampled at the upwelling and spring box, respectively. E. coli was present even at springs “protected�? by spring boxes, indicating that this infrastructure does not prevent contamination of spring water. Recommended future work includes using relatively low-cost, portable rock-coring machines to drill wells at mountain springs for studying the extent of bacterial and nitrate contamination by accessing safe groundwater tens of meters below ground for community water supply.
    • We Are All Thomas Now: Millennial Christians And The Need For New Theological Worlds At The First Baptist Church Of Augusta, Georgia

      Dyer, Junior, Thomas William
      ABSTRACT THOMAS WILLIAM DYER, JUNIOR WE ARE ALL THOMAS NOW: MILLENNIAL CHRISTIANS THE NEED FOR NEW THEOLOGICAL WORLDS AT THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF AUGUSTA, GEORGIA Under the direction of Graham B. Walker, Jr., Ph.D., Supervisor According to the Pew Research Group, the fastest growing religious identification in the United States is “None.�? This trend is particularly strong with the generation known as “Millennials,�? where more than thirty-five percent reported that their religious affiliation is “None.�? This report has been widely reported on and has generated incredible anxiety in churches. While many in the church blame culture for a rapid decline of religious faith, it is the purpose of this thesis to show that one reason for the precipitous drop in religious identification in the United States is that the church has ceased to speak about God in a way that connects to the lived-experience of Millennials. If the gospel is going to spread in a post-Christian culture, then the church must learn to use variegated language to speak about how God is to be found in the world. This thesis uses the Five Theological Worlds from W. Paul Jones as a launching point to offer a better way to connect the lived-experience of Millennials to the way they understand how God is at work in the world. Six Millennials were chosen to participate in this project, which began with each individual taking the Theological Worlds Inventory. After completing the Inventory, participants took part in one-hour long experiences of each of the five Theological Worlds. After the completion of the experiences, they were invited to take the Theological Worlds Inventory for the second time, with the hope that any change in Theological World could be measured by their responses. Follow up interviews were done with each of the six participants with questions geared to measure how each of the experiences impacted their lived-experience and their theological understanding of how God is at work in their lives. It is important to note that there were also four people who acted as a control group. They were invited to take the Theological Worlds Inventory on two separate occasions, but they did not take part in the experiences of each Theological World. The intent of the control group was to see the power of experience in offering a variegated understanding of Theological Worlds. After introducing the background problem in detail, this thesis traces the biblical, theological, philosophical, and historical foundations for why new understandings of how God is at work in the world are often times necessary in the life of the church. It then details the central findings of the project, which concern how Theological Worlds are formed and shaped in the lives of individuals. The three primary themes that emerged are the centrality of childhood experience in shaping Theological Worlds, the role of trauma/experiences of loss in changing Theological Worlds, and the importance of experience, and not cognition, in helping people align their lived-experience with their understanding of how God is at work in the world. Finally, this thesis concludes with ideas for future development, which includes how liturgy can shape Theological Worlds and how preaching is best practiced as a theatrical experience.
    • We Did It! Examining how First-Generation College Students Graduated from a Four-Year College or University through a Positive Psychology Lens

      Johnson, Joleesa Adriana; Tift College of Education
      More and more first-generation college students have been enrolling in colleges across the United States; however, enrollment does not mean graduation. Research has shown that first-generation college students are less likely to graduate than their non-first-generation college peers. A gap exists between first-generation college students’ enrollment rates and their graduation rates, as well as their graduation rates and the graduation rates of their non-first-generation college peers. This qualitative study was conducted to understand the lived experiences of first-generation college students. It explored how first-generation college students graduated from a four-year higher education institution by examining their positive characteristics, specifically their character strengths (Norrish et al., 2013). The researcher employed a phenomenological approach to help understand the lived experiences of first-generation college students as they relate to the character strengths they utilized to graduate from college. The researcher used purposeful and snowball sampling to recruit participants for this study. This studied included 10 first-generation college graduates who attained their bachelor’s degree within the past 10 years. To collect the data, the researcher conducted one semi-structured, virtual interview with each participant. The researcher also followed verification procedures to mitigate researcher bias and increase the trustworthiness of this study. The results of this study showed that the participants faced many challenges while in college; however, giving up was not an option as the six themes emerged: Agency, Supportive Circle, Future-mindedness, Stick-to-it-iveness, External Motivation, and Positive Emotions illustrated their persistence toward graduation and the desire to attain their degree. The participants employed the following character strengths: perseverance, self-regulation, love, hope, gratitude, bravery, and leadership to graduate from college. According to the definitions of these character strengths, they were found to demonstrate the six themes and the six themes gave context to the realization and utilization of these seven character strengths. The results of this study demonstrate the possibility of higher education institutions creating an environment that includes interventions that encourage and empower their students, especially first-generation college students, to identify and use character strengths to assist in the persistence and graduation of this population. Recommendations for future research include conducting more qualitative studies to explore how first-generation college students graduated from college. Also, conducting mixed-method studies that use the Values in Action (VIA) Survey to increase the accuracy of identifying first-generation college students’ character strengths.
    • What Factors Influence A Teacher's Decision To Renew National Board Certification? / By Kelly Lynne Teague.

      Teague, Kelly Lynne
      Building on the research of National Board Certification and its effect on teacher quality, student achievement, and professional development, this dissertation seeks to explore the factors that influence teachers when it is time to renew their National Board Certification. Using a qualitative methodology, this study seeks to describe the process of National Board Certification, the process of renewal of National Board Certification, and the individual stories of nine Nationally Board Certified teachers and the factors that influenced them when it was time to renew their National Board Certification. A case study approach was utilized to address the research question. Data were collected through an online survey, individual interviews with nine participants, and two focus group interviews, one with five participants and one with three participants. Data analysis employed open coding and a priori coding of the individual interviews and the focus group interviews through the use of QDA Miner. QDA Miner is a qualitative data analysis software program that assists researchers in managing, coding and analyzing qualitative data. Interviews were transcribed within 48 hours and uploaded into the software and examined by the researcher to identify patterns and themes related to the factors that influence teachers when it is time to renew their National Board Certification. Excerpts from participant responses in individual interviews and focus group interviews are included. Identification of conceptual categories and sub-categories were identified. The main reasons for non-renewal of National Board Certification were: 1) lack of financial assistance to offset the cost of the renewal process, 2) no financial supplement offered, and 3) lack of prestige surrounding National Board Certification. Recommendations for further study include additional research regarding the National Board Certification process, the process of renewal in other states, and teacher prestige. It would be advantageous to replicate the study in other counties in Georgia and in other states in which incentives are offered for achievement of National Board Certification.
    • When Y = Mx + B Can Not Be Applied To Change: Exploring Teacher Concerns About A History Of Rapid Curriculum Change

      Latten, Sajata
      The purpose of this study was to explore levels of concerns that teachers have about implementing and executing rapid curriculum changes. Research on teacher concerns has traditionally targeted technology implementation rather than curriculum reform measures. This research was designed to provide quantitative data in understanding teacher top concerns. For the purpose of this research, rapid curriculum change referred to a different course, edited program offering, or changes in program objectives identified with a teacher’s duties and responsibilities at the classroom level that occur in a short timeframe before ample evaluations are made. The Stages of Concern Questionnaire was used to evaluate secondary mathematics teachers peak concerns regarding a history of rapid curriculum change. This study used a correlational analysis to evaluate significance levels of teacher experience when compared to each stage of concern. Participant data included 114 secondary mathematics teachers from the Atlanta metropolitan school districts. There was no statistically significant difference between teachers’ level of concern and stage of concern, nor was there any statistically difference between teachers’ curriculum experience type and stage of concern. A qualitative analysis of an open-ended question revealed that the peak concern lay within Stage 4: Consequence. Results indicated that Stage 4 teacher concerns focused on the outcome effects of the curriculum change on their classroom students. Suggestions for further research include gathering additional qualitative data from participants to secure themes from concerns.
    • Who is the Woman in Mark 5?

      Samuels, Rochelle; McAfee School of Theology
      This study explores the potential impact the woman in the Mark 5 biblical text weighs on Jesus’s ministry. The research gives texture to a character that is often used as an object lesson of faith in the scope of biblical exegesis. Using redaction criticism and a Womanist discourse the research finds the woman to be a critical element of the inclusion of woman and other marginalized persons in Jesus’s ministry.
    • Women Rising: The Pathway To Becoming A Female Superintendent In A Metropolitan Area Through The Lens Of Assistant Superintendents

      Brookins, Holly
      HOLLY M. BROOKINS IT WOMEN RISING: THE PATHWAY TO BECOMING A FEMALE SUPERINTENDENT IN A METROPOLITAN AREA THROUGH THE LENS OF ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS Under the direction of CAROL ISAAC, Ph.D. This qualitative study investigated the scarcity of females in the superintendency in the U.S. public school systems through the lens of the little-studied female assistant superintendent. Females remain underrepresented in the superintendency, with very little change in the last century. While 76% of the K-12 educators in the United States are female, only 22.6% of superintendents are female. To understand this issue, the researcher conducted a constructivist, grounded theory study, framed within social role theory and feminist standpoint theory. Through semi-structured interviews, 12 female assistant superintendents in a metropolitan area presented the barriers, motivators, and relationship they have had with power as they climbed the career ladder. After interviewing the participants, the data revealed collective trends. Analysis indicated that these women had to be “okay�? with choices made and how it impacted them, personally and professionally. Motivation and leadership qualities were evident for these women at a young age, and for most, their families encouraged and supported them as they pushed for excellence. These women spoke of influence by others and influence of others. Many had been “tapped by others�? to move into leadership roles; in turn, they were motivated by empowering others. It can be concluded that barriers, including gender bias, stereotypes, cultural norms, social roles and expectations of what a female can and cannot do in terms of leadership, play a large part in the scarcity of women in the superintendency. Further research in the area of gender studies and cultural norms is necessary, along with more research into the superintendency from the male’s perspective. Continued research could lead to more innovative and inclusive leadership and hiring practices, and mentorship programs, which could increase the numbers of females in educational leadership roles, including the superintendency. Although advances have been made for women in the last 30 years, a pervasive problem remains that cannot be ignored as the number of women qualified for the superintendency is well below the number of women achieving this role. This problem is present in other sectors aside from education, as highly qualified women continue to be underrepresented in positions of power.
    • Writing Self-efficacy And Self-regulated Strategy Development Instruction : Perceptions Of Three Sixth-grade Students With Learning Disabilities / By Kathryn Lynn Kinsler.

      Kinsler, Kathryn Lynn
      Kathryn Lynn Kinsler Writing self-efficacy and self-regulated strategy development instruction: perceptions of three sixth-grade students with learning disabilities Under the direction of Sybil A. Keesbury, Ed.D. Students with learning disabilities (LD) continue to fall behind their typical peers in the area of writing (Graham & Harris, 2011; National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, 2008). Studies indicate that self-efficacy influences writing performance and that self-regulation may be an important aspect of both metacognitive and affective aspects of writing (Bruning, Dempsey, Kauffman, McKim, & Zumbrunn, 2013). The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of three sixth-grade students with LD as they participated in explicit self-regulation strategy instruction and to understand how those experiences influenced their writing self-efficacy. The following research question guided this study: How do sixth-grade students with LD describe their writing self-efficacy before and after participation in explicit self-regulation strategy instruction? This study was grounded in the triadic reciprocality of social cognitive theory (Zimmerman, 1998, 2000). In this qualitative case study, three sixth-grade students with a Georgia special education eligibility of Specific Learning Disability were bounded by their shared participation in a five-week writing instructional intervention, utilizing the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) instructional model developed by Harris and Graham (1985). Data collected included participant interviews, perceived self-efficacy questionnaires, observations, and researcher field notes. Data were analyzed and interpreted thematically through the lens of social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997). Interview transcripts were evaluated to identify participants’ affect and judgment of esteem (Martin & White, 2003), students’ responses to the perceived self-efficacy questionnaires were compiled and analyzed, and observation protocols and field notes were analyzed. Results indicated that explicit self-regulation strategy instruction may be beneficial to sixth-grade students with LD in developing writing self-efficacy and knowledge. Additionally, the SRSD instructional model may serve as an effective way to combat the common writing challenges faced by students with LD. Despite the positive findings in this study, continued research is needed to substantiate the direct impact that self-regulation strategy instruction may have on the writing self-efficacy of students with LD. Future research studies should also consider integrating the explicit strategy instruction into the general writing curriculum throughout the school year in order to aid in long-term retention and skill transfer (Harris, Graham, Brindle, & Sandmel, 2011).
    • Writing To Learn In Middle School Mathematics: The Effects On Academic Achievement

      Markert, Laura Payne
      The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the effects of a writing to learn intervention on sixth-grade students. Participants were students enrolled in a sixth-grade class in a Southeastern United States private school. Through random grouping, students were placed into two groups. The control group (N = 18) received skill practice drills and the intervention group (N = 20) received a writing to learn intervention with a word problem. The data collection period was six-weeks. An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to understand the impact of a writing to learn intervention and the impact on student achievement as measured by a posttest. The results indicated there was no statistically significant difference between students who received the intervention and those who did not receive the intervention (p = .133). The results also indicated that the covariates of gender (p = .660), class designation (p = .444), and ethnicity (p = .428) were not statistically significant. Discussed implications and limitations within this study illustrate the need for future research. Suggestions for future research included using different writing interventions, measuring different outcomes, conducting research over a more comprehensive time span, conducting research over different school settings, obtaining participants in a different grade level within the grades 6-8 category, researching the full scope of writing within the K-12 setting, or conducting a qualitative study rather than a quantitative study.