• Transdermal And Dermatological Formulations For Delivery Of Pharma- And Cosmeceuticals Into Healthy And Diseased Skin

      Dasht Bozorg, Behnam
      Matrix type Transdermal Delivery systems (TDS) are comprised of the drug dissolved or dispersed in a pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) matrix and are designed to provide a controlled delivery through the skin and into systemic circulation. In this research, we investigated the effect of different PSAs (acrylate, polyisobutylene, and silicone) on drug permeation, release and adhesive properties of TDSs formulated with a model drug (lidocaine) at its saturation point. Results showed the choice of PSA affected the drug release and permeation profile. The acrylate systems contained ten times higher drug amount than silicone systems, but the permeation flux was only two folds higher. Results also showed that the drug release does not linearly correlate to saturation, as the silicone TDS with the lowest amount of drug loading, showed the highest release percentage. Apart from passive delivery, iontophoresis has been proven to be an effective active technique using low-level currents for delivery of active molecules. Hence, we investigated whether a microcurrent-generating device can enhance the delivery of a cosmetic agent (niacinamide) using different types of current waveforms. Results indicated that DC and pulsatile DC waveforms effectively enhanced the in vitro permeation of niacinamide, suggesting the feasibility of iontophoretic delivery of actives. In another aim, we investigated three types of excised human skin tissues, including healthy, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis, and evaluated the effect of health status on skin characteristics and in vitro permeation and skin retention of hydrocortisone, upon topical administration. Transepidermal water loss and electrical resistance values, as well as drug amount retained in psoriatic skin, showed a significant difference compared to healthy skin, indicating that barrier dysfunction and structural changes in afflicted skin can have a substantial effect on drug permeation profile into/across diseased skin. In the last aim, we evaluated an activated carbon-based drug disposal system for its efficiency in deactivating prescription psychoactive medications (alprazolam, temazepam, zolpidem, and ketamine). The deactivation system efficiently adsorbed and deactivated approximately 94% of the tested medications within 8 hours and over 99% by 28 days showing that it provides a simple, safe and an efficient method for disposal of unused medications.
    • Transfer Receptivity: An Examination of Factors that Influence Transfer Student Retention at a Four-Year Public University

      Joseph, Daurette Lavon; Tift College of Education
      While eighty percent of students enrolled in community colleges express the intent to transfer to a 4-year institution and earn a bachelor’s degree, only seventeen percent actually reach that goal within 6 years of transferring. This study addressed the problem using case study methodology to identify, understand, and describe factors at a four-year public university that influence community college transfer students’ successful degree completion. The setting for the study is a four-year public university with a consistently competitive degree completion rate for community college transfer students. In their most recent report, seventy nine percent of transfer students who entered the university from community college settings received a bachelor's degree within 6 years. The study was guided by three research questions related to the institution’s culture, strategies, policies, and procedures in academic and financial aid advisement. Multiple data collection methods were used, including document analyses and staff interviews. Eight critical university documents were reviewed inductively before interviews were conducted with eleven staff of the institution. The researcher gathered their reflections and insights using open-ended interviews. Data analyses revealed four themes that addressed the research question: Validating Experience and Evaluating Needs, Collaborating Internally and Externally, Creating Advising Opportunities, and Supporting Engagement and Resource Connections. The findings strongly indicate a critical need for transfer student institutional support. Further, the findings suggest that universities should evaluate transfer students' needs based on their experiences, form strategic internal and external partnerships to anticipate and address transfer student transition issues, and support and facilitate transfer student engagement. The study adds to the emerging literature on transfer receptivity by focusing on the four-year institution and its role in supporting transfer students through their transition and degree completion. The classroom provides a unique opportunity for transfer students to engage socially and academically. Future research should consider the faculty’s role and influence on transfer students’ engagement.
    • Transformative School Counseling: An Examination Of The Interaction Between Professional Identity And Leadership Skills

      Bryant, Necole C.
      School counselors have a responsibility to attend to the numerous social, psychological, and environmental factors in which students encounter on a daily basis. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) (2012) and the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) (2016) stated professional identify and leadership are encompassed into the roles and responsibilities of the school counselor. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the interaction between leadership skills and professional identity among school counselors in training, practicing school counselors, and counselor educators. An informed consent, a demographic survey, the Professional Identity Scale in Counseling (PISC), and the School Counselor Leadership Survey (SCLS) were administered to participants in the study. This study utilized purposive sampling technique. Participants were recruited via email from within four southeastern region school counseling associations and the Counselor Education and Supervision Network (CESNET). Instruments were administered using an online platform and a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used as the statistical analysis test. Results of the study revealed there was no statistical difference between professional identity and leadership skills among school counselors in training, practicing school counselors, and counselor educators. In addition, no interaction effect was found between the two variables. Implications and possibilities for futures research are discussed. Keywords: school counselor, counselor educator, professional identity, leadership skills
    • Transgender Student Perceptions of Institutional Approaches that Facilitate Persistence and Graduation

      Mooring, Stephanie Ann; Tift College of Education
      The increased visibility of transgender students in higher education institutions highlights the need for institutions to recognize the types of barriers encountered by this student population in order to implement institutional approaches to help retain these students. As such, this study sought to understand the impact of institutional approaches on transgender students’ decisions to persist in college as well as how these students conceptualize their successful progression in their institutions. To explore the perceptions of transgender college students regarding their higher education experiences, the researcher conducted qualitative research using Tinto’s (1975, 1988) theory of student departure as the theoretical framework. The interviews of 13 participants were analyzed using thematic analysis methods, which resulted in two themes: Barriers Encountered by Students and Ability to Persist. Findings show that participants came to their institutions expecting to find an accepting and supportive environment; however, most participants were disappointed by the lack of adequate support resources provided by their institutions. To compensate for this lack of institutional support, participants took a do-it-yourself approach to constructing their own support systems. The findings of this study identify improper pronoun usage, the attitudes and lack of trans competency of faculty and staff, inadequate counseling centers, trans incompetent LGBT groups, and a lack of transgender programming events as barriers that participants encountered at their higher education institutions. The findings also indicate that institutions can better serve this student population by hiring transgender faculty and staff, making the campus community more trans competent through educational programming, and providing safe access to physical spaces and adequate support. Recommendations for future research include examining how institutions evaluate their transgender student supports, exploring the thoughts and attitudes of professors toward sexual minority students, comparing different pronoun use protocols as well as faculty and student perceptions of each method, and exploring the attitudes of cisgender college students toward their transgender peers.