• A Critical Examination Of Senior Executive Leadership Succession Planning And Management With Implications For Underrepresented Minorities / By Lekeisha D. Jackson

      Jackson, LeKeisha D.
      Guided by the research questions, this study utilized a sequential explanatory mixed methods research design to examine senior executive leadership succession planning at four-year, predominately white, doctoral universities in the state of Georgia. Utilizing the Representative Bureaucracy theory and the Mateso SPM conceptual model, this study employed a pragmatic epistemology coupled with the critical inquiry to collect and analyze data. The purpose of this study was to explore succession planning and management of senior executive leadership by examining the SPM practices and processes surrounding the nomination of successors, with implications for diversifying senior executive leadership. Included in this study is an extensive literature review including the following: Leadership crisis in higher education, historical perspectives, diversity in higher education, diversity management, succession planning, succession planning and management, ending with succession planning and management theoretical consideration. This research study explored the effectiveness of SPM practices at the institutional and divisional levels at four subject universities. Associated factors and perceptions were examined to identify patterns that facilitate an inclusive leadership environment. The study employed an explanatory mixed methods research design as suggested by Creswell (2015). Data findings are summarized in the following categories:Unit Driven Informal Practices (SPM Practices), Professional Development (leadership commitment), Decentralized organization (organizational culture), and Diversity management and various factors.
    • A Curriculum Evaluation Of Matesol Degrees And Tesol Graduate Certificates In The United States

      Miller, Alicia Joy
      The field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is the culmination of the fields of applied linguistics, education, and second language acquisition. Due to the influence of so many fields' ideologies, no standard for TESOL curriculum exists in higher education. Palmer (1995) suggested that without a standard curriculum, prospective employers of TESOL graduates are left to accept without question what higher education institutions deem acceptable. However, TESOL Inc.’s (2007) stance on graduate studies is that master’s degrees and graduate certificates are equally terminal for the profession. Researchers for the past 20 years (Bagwell, 2013; Govardhan, Nayar, & Sheorey, 1999; Palmer, 1995; Stapleton & Shao, 2018) have attempted to create a baseline curriculum using the frequency of TESOL course titles and programmatic elements, such as instructional methods. Yet, none of these researchers looked for relationships within the data. Thus, this study used TwoStep Cluster Analysis along with descriptive statistics to evaluate master's degree TESOL (MATESOL) curriculum and TESOL graduate certificate curriculum in the United States to determine what relationships existed among the course titles and descriptions (required and elective) as well as the programmatic elements of departmental location, degree type (MA, MAT, MEd, certificate), student population, method of instruction (brick and mortar, online, hybrid) and accreditation type. Additionally, the researcher used the data to examine the curriculum for links to pedagogy because Govardhan et al. (1999) asserted that they could not “identify any [MATESOL] program that is quintessentially geared toward preparing ESL/EFL [English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language] teachers for teaching�? (p. 122). This study resulted in two main findings. First, MATESOL degrees and TESOL graduate certificates may share some similarities, but are quite different in actuality. Second, within both the master’s degrees and the graduate certificates that education-based coursework was the most common type of coursework. Thus, the researcher suggested implications for (a) building TESOL curriculum with intersectionality between education and other TESOL-related skills as well as for (b) creating a baseline of current MATESOL curriculum and TESOL graduate certificate curriculum.
    • A Disrupting Word: Preaching A Theology Of "god As Event" To Engage Theological Reflection

      Thomas, Christopher Paul
      The project outlined in this thesis examined the role of preaching in engaging members of an established, traditional congregation by using the narrative, inductive style of the New Homiletic, with the theological lens of John Caputo’s “God as Event.�? This project took place over five weeks at the First Baptist Church of Williams, with the primary goals of examining how members of the congregation hear theology in sermons, use what they hear to articulate their own theological beliefs, and how discussing such theology leads to the identification of an emerging, local theology. Eight members of Williams volunteered to participate in five focus group sessions which met the afternoon of each Sunday when the sermons were preached. During these sessions I served as a participant-observer, keeping the focus group sessions on track with guiding questions, while recording each session for data analysis. The data collected from these focus group sessions was analyzed in order to examine how the project met the three goals described. The focus group data demonstrated how members of the congregation had heard the theology present in the sermons, often repeating words, phrases, and specific theological ideas directly from the sermon. The data demonstrated how participants borrowed this language to describe their own beliefs, while also reflecting critically on the theological ideas presented in the sermons. Furthermore, the data showed how these eight members began to identify a local theology in the congregation and surrounding community and how they might critically engage with this emerging, local theology. There is the potential for further study concerning the role of preaching in shaping theology in the postmodern, post-Christian era. There is also potential for studying how preaching itself may make space for deconstruction within the confines of a traditional congregation. This project presents the possibility for wider conversations concerning preaching’s role in the theological development of the postmodern Church.
    • A Heuristic to Reduce the Maximum Work-in-Process for Aircraft Maintenance

      Verhine, Harrison Mikeal; School of Engineering
      Air Logistics Complexes (ALCs) provide depot maintenance for aircraft fleets for the United States Air Force (USAF). The rate at which aircraft are inducted into maintenance is in constant flux. For example, initiation of new modification programs, aging aircraft fleets, and demand for new work all impact future workload requirements and planning. The induction schedule identifies the dates that aircraft arrive at a maintenance depot. A good induction schedule can help minimize flow days (time an aircraft is in maintenance) while a poor induction schedule can result in increased work-in-process (WIP) and long aircraft maintenance queues. Depot maintenance can be modeled as a job shop scheduling problem. Many heuristics and metaheuristics have been proposed to solve variations of job shop problems. This paper utilizes a simulation tool, RAMP, which was developed to simulate the maintenance performed on aircraft and produces results about the utilization, queue lengths, and other performance metrics of the system. This thesis describes a developed heuristic, which is used to alter induction schedules in order to smooth WIP curves and reduce queue times. The algorithm keeps most of the induction schedule un-altered by manipulating induction dates for a relative few aircraft around important times in the simulation, namely around large extrema. The algorithm uses a numerical derivative and an application of the second derivative test to detect important extrema. Once these extrema are identified, it attempts to reduce aircraft WIP around peaks and fill aircraft WIP into valleys. This is performed by shifting the induction dates of aircraft around those extrema. The algorithm was successful in reducing the maximum WIP for 12 out of 16 schedules tested. Of the successful runs, there was an average improvement of 8.7% on maximum WIP. Performance of the heuristic is dependent on the parameters used; however, modifications were made to mitigate this dependence. The algorithm can function well in its current version; however, there is still additional work that can be done to further increase performance.
    • A Mixed Methods Study Of The Symptom Experience Following Endovascular Treatment For Lower Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease

      Gramling, Serena Greenhaw
      Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is one of the most understudied and undertreated diseases affecting three to ten percent of the general population. Patients with lower extremity PAD must manage multiple symptoms including pain in the hips, thighs, and calves during rest and physical activity. However, evidence is limited about patients' experience, especially following treatment. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the symptom experience of individuals with peripheral arterial disease following endovascular treatment including perceptions of treatment benefit and concerns. Using a convergent parallel mixed methods study design, 65 participants (mean age = 56.9 years, 73.8% female, 95.4% white) participated in a web-based survey. Quantitative data were collected utilizing six questionnaires: a researcher developed demographic and clinical history questionnaire, the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), the Walking Impairment Questionnaire (WIQ), the San Diego Claudication Questionnaire (SDCQ), the VascuQOL-25, and the Peripheral Artery Questionnaire (PAQ). Qualitative data were collected using open-ended questions within the web-based survey. The most commonly reported symptom by participants was pain in both legs while walking. Greater age was significantly associated with less symptoms, less pain, being more active, and being more social. Men reported better physical functioning, walking ability, and overall quality of life compared to women. Participants with PHQ-9 scores indicative of depression reported greater difficulty controlling their symptoms. No significant relationships were found between having a diagnosis of diabetes and symptom experience or quality of life. Qualitative data analysis revealed four themes. One theme concerning benefits of treatment was described as continuum of benefit. The three themes related to concerns with treatment were described as outcome, process, and coping. Qualitative data supported the quantitative results related to symptom experience, gender, and depression. Qualitative data diverged with the quantitative results related to age as within the qualitative data younger participants reported more positive treatment outcomes than older participants. The findings from this study have the potential to provide better insight into the experiences of individuals with PAD and guide interventions for improved care and outcomes.
    • A Multiple Case Study Of How Three Lighthouse Middle Schools Meet The Needs Of Gifted And Talented Young Adolescents

      Wetherington, Terry
      The middle school years, grades sixth through eighth, have been identified as a time when gifted and talented young adolescents’ needs have not been met. The Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) agreed that gifted and talented young adolescents have needs which may differ from their peers and should be addressed by educators. There were no research studies of how schools identified as exemplary middle schools by the Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform and designated as Georgia Lighthouse Schools To Watch © met the needs of gifted and talented young adolescents. The purpose of this multiple case study was to describe how the needs of gifted and talented young adolescents were met at three Georgia Lighthouse Schools To Watch ©. The following research question was a guide for this investigation: how are the needs of gifted and talented young adolescents met at three Georgia Lighthouse Schools To Watch © within the middle school philosophy? Three cases were selected using purposeful criterion sampling from designated Georgia Lighthouse Schools To Watch © as identified on the Georgia Middle School Association website. A qualitative multiple case study design was used. Participants included principals and teachers from three Georgia Lighthouse Schools To Watch ©. Data were collected using interviews, focus groups, and documents analyzed. Data were analyzed using single case analyses and a cross-case analysis where categories and subcategories were identified as well as similarities and differences between the findings of each case. The research findings were organized and reported based on the following categories which emerged during data analysis: (a) middle school philosophy and gifted education, (b) identification and grouping of gifted students, (c) services, (d) assessment, and (e) professional learning opportunities. Research findings indicated the needs of gifted and talented young adolescents were met when educators intentionally implemented services with differentiated curriculum and instruction based on individual needs. Future research is needed to better identify, refer, and serve students who are typically underrepresented in gifted programmings such as economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and students from cultural and ethnic minorities.
    • A Narrative Inquiry of Work-Life Balance Among Faculty Mothers in Higher Education

      Riley, Lozarie; Tift College of Education
      Despite women outnumbering men as doctoral degree recipients, women remain underrepresented in higher education leadership roles. Specifically, women at the childbearing age serving as faculty often face challenges such as inadequate maternity leave and family policies that impede pathways for tenure, promotion, and elevation to senior administration. As such, the aim of this study was to explore the work-life balance experiences related to maternity leave and/or family policies of female employees on the path to higher education leadership. To address the research questions of this study, the researcher utilized narrative inquiry to capture the stories of four faculty mothers who gave birth and took a maternity leave period while working to earn tenure. Women’s Ways of Knowing theory served as a framework to understand how participants made sense of their experience. Through core story creation, developed by Polkinghorne (1988) and further extended by Emden (1998), narrative analysis of the stories resulted in a narrative specific to each participant, as well as a narrative of the faculty mother work-life balance culture. Four themes emerged that offer recommendations to advance the faculty mother work-life balance experience: Mentorship, Support to Return to Work After Leave, Advancing Leave Policies, and Work-Life Balance. The findings of this study implied that faculty mothers are disadvantaged by the Family Medical Leave Act, while desiring the creation of university level leave policies specific to pregnancy and motherhood. Recommendations for future studies include qualitative and quantitative study designs.