"Teaching Poetry to Children: Shakespeare"
This semester I've brought the poems and sonnets of Shakespeare to elementary school students in order to inspire their own poetry. Teaching first graders and fifth graders, I've watched their writing skills and appreciation of Shakespeare develop over a six week period.
"Sustainability Through Ecosystem Services"
This presentation gives insight to the enormous benefits provided by the natural ecosystems in which all humans live. These benefits go beyond the scope of energy and truly encompass life sustaining regulations. The importance here is to find ways to create and promote a sustainable world where human decisions promote diversity and adaptations through the entire biological spectrum. Additionally, services rendered by the natural world and their global economic impacts.
In exploring these aspects of ecosystem services, it would be impossible for nations to reproduce natural services like pollination, purification of air and water, waste decomposition, climate regulation, etc. Due to their seamless processes and natural flow of functions, these services rendered are usually not credited, but rather they are taken for granted. Research findings include the deterioration of natural resources due to the overwhelming demand of fish, timber, oil, etc.
Methods for evaluating our complex system requires huge amounts of monetary and intellectual contributions. How can we, or should we, place values on the natural world? How can we find sustainability while allowing for economic growth? Basis for the presentation will include data research done by more than 13,600 scientists who participated in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Additionally, research contributions will come strictly from an economist’s perspective through interviews.
"Hair as a Glory: An Analysis of the Perceptions of Hair in St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church"
In early Christianity, Biblical authors and early Church Fathers mandated that a woman should cover her head while in church or prayer, if not also in daily, public life. Compared to the age in which the New Testament was composed, significantly fewer Christian churches today require female parishioners to wear head coverings during prayer and worship. Many women have embraced this shift in norms, but some continue to veil themselves in church. This thesis will discuss how hair was viewed in early Christianity and transfer to an investigation conducted on how members of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Christian community, both those that veil themselves in worship and those that don’t, perceive hair within their religion. As a complement to this research, five personal narratives have been created based the questionnaire results and my personal interactions with five parishioners representing the diverse opinions within this Greek Orthodox community. In juxtaposing the opinions of the subjects studied, this thesis will show the various perceptions of Biblical stories and the Christian experience of hair among members of this religion.
"Predictors of College Students' Attitudes Towards Privacy on Social Networks"
The daily use of Social Networking Sites (SNS) such as Facebook has become a routine for millions of Internet users. As a result, SNS’s are becoming more than just a phenomenon; they are a type of technology that is being massively adopted by societies around the world (Gross & Acquisti 2005). In particular, Facebook provides a place where users can personalize a profile with their information, pictures, and videos that can be shared with other users. Sometimes this information can be used in ways that may violate a users privacy with and without their knowledge. This research addresses issues of privacy on SNS’s as well as attitudes towards violations of one’s privacy. By surveying college students, this research will attempt to answer whether users’ Facebook use, Facebook self-efficacy, & attitudes towards Facebook privacy are significant predictors of privacy concerns about Facebook's use of personal information. It also addresses students' sex and leisure time as significant correlates of privacy concerns about Facebook's use of personal information.
"The Effects of a Guided Relaxation Exercise on Perceived Stress and Physiological Stress Indicators in Medical-Surgical Nurses"
Nursing is known to be a high-stress profession, and as such, nurses are susceptible to employee absenteeism, reduced job satisfaction, and job burnout. Furthermore, the ability for such workers to think clearly and be able to demonstrate empathy is a key factor in the deliverance of quality patient care. A number of stress management programs, such as hypnosis, meditation, and mindfulness-based stress reduction, have been introduced into workplace settings with the intent to reduce the effects of stress on employees. This study implemented a short relaxation exercise to determine whether a brief intervention, compared to a long intervention, would affect perceived stress and physiological stress indicators in nurses. A total of 10 nurses were recruited, 9 of which were female and 1 of which was male. Subjects participated in a 3-week study consisting of 6 total sessions. The first and third week involved collecting only baseline data, such a s heart rate and blood pressure, in addition to subjects filling out surveys that measured stress levels. The second week consisted of the behavioral intervention and involved listening to two short relaxation scripts. Physiological and self-report measures were collected pre- and post-intervention. We expect the results to indicate no major change in stress levels. These results may be a result of the limited sample size and further studies should be conducted that utilize a greater number of nurses.
"The Student Body: The Effect of Backpack Wear on Center of Mass Displacement in College Students During Walking and Static Standing"
To investigate center of mass (COM) displacement during static standing and walking as well as forward flexion of the trunk during walking in college students in loaded and unloaded conditions. Design and Setting: All data were collected in Jowers Biomechanics Laboratory, Texas State University-San Marcos. Subjects: Subjects included 20 college students (ages = 22.85 + 5.58 years, mass = 72.11 + 11.28 kg, height = 169.89 + 10.01 cm) with no reports of injuries to lower extremities in the last two years Measurements: Participants stood on the Biodex Balance System on a static platform and performed postural stability tests. Subjects were then recorded walking for 5 meters. In both portions of the study, 3 trials were conducted in unloaded conditions, followed by 3 trials while carrying a backpack loaded to roughly 10% of subjects’ weight. Results: One tailed and two tailed T tests were performed. A significant difference was found in the angle of trunk flexion. Average angle of inclination at the trunk in unloaded walking was 165.56 degrees + 6.75 and 158.29 degrees + 6.87 during loaded walking. No significant difference was found in vertical COM displacement during walking or static standing between loaded and unloaded trials. Conclusions: Based on these findings, this data indicates that trunk forward flexion while wearing a loaded backpack occurs in consistent correlation regardless of weight, height, weekly exercise frequency or velocity during ambulation in college students. It is also indicated based on these results that a backpack loaded at 10% of an individuals’ body weight does not affect the COM location compared to unloaded trials during static standing, or vertical COM displacement during ambulation.
"The perfect wedding for the perfect bride: An industry marketing strategy"
Every bride has their own idea of the perfect wedding. This idea could be extravagant and over the top or it could be small and simple. Whatever type of wedding the bride desires, she is able to consult with industry professionals to make her idea come to life. But the question remains whether or not the wedding industry is the sole contributor to a bride’s idea of a perfect wedding. This question is explored through an examination of the wedding industry, interviews with wedding vendors and recently married couples and the creation of a public relations plan for a catering company based out of San Antonio, Texas.
"The Effects of Weather on the Cattle Industry in Texas Since 1970"
As we have now begun to experience current global climate change, assessing its potential impact on agriculture crop and livestock production is becoming increasingly important. Global climate trends affect agriculture in many ways, but most importantly it affects (i) the price and availability of hay and feed grain for livestock (ii) the quality of livestock produced (iii) beef cattle production rates (iv) and beef demand on a global basis. All these factors are affected by climate change, but just how significantly does each of the above factors affect the other is one of the questions we seek to answer in this paper. The objective of this research is to investigate the extent of the relationship between weather conditions and their impact on feed and grain availability, quality of beef cattle production, the size and scope of beef cattle production, and price We have chosen to examine Texas as it consistently ranks as one of the highest producing beef cattle states in the US. This research will be able to show the impact and correlation that weather has on such a valuable, and important, livestock product. To conduct the analysis we will compute a series of coefficient of correlations between key variables. We will also develop regression models to analyze the impact of climate change on key variables listed above.
"Going Green, Turning Red: The Real Business Cost of Eco-Friendly Decisions"
The 21st century created a new accounting practice, which is geared towards helping companies practice and report their costs in a systematic way, in accordance with the environment. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and analyze the incremental costs of businesses becoming “green.” The overarching question underlying this project is: are businesses becoming eco-friendly or is this eco-frenzy? Sustainability has been around since the start of commercial business. From 1956 to 2011 there has been sustainable laws and bills implemented. With the increase of popularity, more businesses have incorporated sustainability into their Corporate Social Responsibility. The link between social accounting and sustainability is that businesses need to move away from traditional practices and venture out of their scope. At the start of the 21st century a disclosure framework for sustainability was created and the guidelines of Global Reporting Ini tiative were put into practice. For every implementation there is a cost-benefit that must be taken into consideration.
"Binge Drinking in College-aged Students in the United States and United Kingdom"
Binge drinking is a growing behavioral trend in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Researchers are working to understand why this dangerous activity is on the rise in college-aged students. There are gaps in research to explain why young adults continue to binge drink knowing it is dangerous to their physical health and college career. The research found uses the systems perspective and social network theory to explain binge drinking among college-aged youth, but overlooks the possible use of the developmental and humanistic perspectives. These perspectives are helpful when personally observing the differences and similarities between binge drinking behavior in the United Kingdom and United States. Social workers play a key role in developing and implementing services for college-aged youth that will combat and lower occurrences of binge drinking.
"Shoes: A Collection of Five Allegories"
This is a collection of five short stories that attempt to focus on some of the more intricate aspects of being human. The collection follows five characters as they struggle with issues ranging from religious zealotry to the acceptance of death.
"Alcohol Use Characteristics and Expectancies among “First Generation College Students” of Hispanic/Latino Descent"
Background: Recent research has focused on alcohol use characteristics among Hispanic/Latino college students. However, few studies have examined the potentially differential experience of “first generation college students”, that is, students whose parents did not complete a four-year college degree. The current study examined college drinking and acculturation levels in male and female participants with and without FGCS status.
Methods: Two hundred and eighty-five Hispanic/Latino participants (74 male) were surveyed at two college campuses in the South Central United States near the Texas/Mexico border region. Participants provided general demographic information, in addition to detailed assessments of alcohol use characteristics, expectancies about the consequences of alcohol use, Mexican/Anglo orientation levels, and cognitive referents of acculturation.
Results: Main effects of first generation status and gender were noted, but there were no interactions.
Conclusions: This study is among the first to compare alcohol use characteristics among male and female Hispanic/Latino FGCS’s and their peers. Results suggest that the gender differences in drinking among Hispanic/Latino college students is not significantly moderated by first-generation student status. In fact, first-generation status functioned as a significant and independent grouping factor in this study.
"Un Histoire Culinaire: Careme, the Restaurant and the birth of the first modern culinary movement"
This thesis discusses what the author argues to be the beginning of the first real culinary movement of post-revolutionary France, Haute Cuisine, and argues that the creation of the restaurant and the changing role of the chef, with a focus on a contemporary chef of the period, Antonin Careme, are representative of a paradigm shift in the culinary world. The changes in the gastronomic world occurring as a result of the revolution would evolve into the modern culinary world that we are familiar with today.
"Evaluating Algebra Readiness"
Eighth grade students taking Algebra I has become an increasingly common occurrence in the United States during recent years. Still, math education in America and the placement of algebra in the curriculum differs greatly from other countries. For my thesis, I took a look at the arguments both for and against introducing algebra to students at earlier ages and then analyzed the effectiveness of a curriculum that attempts to do just that. The Math Explorations curriculum created by the Texas Mathworks faculty at Texas State attempts to weave algebra throughout its curriculum which takes students through Algebra I by the end of eighth grade in a three-text series corresponding to state standards for sixth, seventh and eighth grade curriculum. This study examines the effectiveness of the curriculum in terms of both preparing students for algebra and student learning of state-mandated standards as assessed by TAKS testing.
"Sheep, Volcanoes, and International Conflict: Mapping the Twentieth-Century Icelandic Consciousness through Fiction"
Settled over a millennium ago by the Norwegian dissident Ingólfur Arnarson, Iceland boasts an extensive body of literature that remains largely unexplored beyond the island nation’s desolate shores. Recent scholarship in Icelandic literature focuses almost exclusively on the Icelandic sagas. These ancient legends about bloodthirsty Vikings and their irascible gods no doubt provide a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of a pagan European culture. However, focusing solely on Iceland’s medieval works ignores the contribution that contemporary Icelandic fiction makes to the study of the nation’s collective consciousness, the shared opinions and attitudes that unify this Nordic people. The goal of this project is to identify through literature, aspects of the Icelandic consciousness that are universal, in hopes of better understanding the human condition during the early twentieth century.
International wars, economic uncertainty, and disillusionment with mankind all dominated the intellectual currents of the early 1900s, and two of Iceland’s foremost authors, Halldór Laxness and Gunnar Gunnarsson, skillfully capture this decadence in their novels Independent People and Seven Days’ Darkness. Independent People enacts the tragedy of Bjartur, an intransigent sheepherder who, after being released from eighteen years of servitude, clings to his autonomous way of life, even as his farm, family, and homeland’s social order crumble around him. Seven Days’ Darkness portrays the philosophical war between pious doctor Grímur Elliðagrímur and cynical philosopher Páll Einarsson, a war after which Einarsson’s bleak modernist worldview ultimately prevails. Besides demonstrating the pessimistic outlook of the time, these and other Icelandic novels also serve as a unique testament to the endurance of the human psyche. By studying depictions of the Icelandic people’s endless struggle against the elements, we learn about survival, how human beings are capable of persisting even in the most forbidding circumstances.
"Home Efficiency in San Marcos, Texas: Is our Rebate Program up to Code?"
The homes in San Marcos are aging. While new tracts pop up to meet the housing demands of the region, many of the homes near the city's core are over 20 years old. Even when adequately maintained, these older homes experience degradation of energy efficiency, particularly in the heating and cooling systems. Heating and cooling make up approximately 43% of the average electricity bill, so improving their efficiency is paramount in lowering energy use and utility bills. The City of San Marcos offers the Energy Efficient Home Rebate Program to reduce the cost of energy efficient home improvements for residential utility customers. In 2010, $42,424 in rebates were given, with 68 households receiving at least one rebate. Still, the program falls short, not reaching or educating enough potential costumers to bring about significant change. This thesis explores and develops potential improvements to community outreach, education, as well as the rebate program itself, with a prospective goal of reducing the cumulative energy use of San Marcos homes by 1% within a 5 year period.
"FastStor: Data-Mining-Based Prefetching for Hybrid Storage Systems"
Many existing parallel storage systems consist of hybrid storage components, including solid-state drives (SSDs), hard disks (HDDs), and tapes. Compared with high-speed storage components (e.g. SSDs and HDDs), tapes inevitably become an I/O performance bottleneck. In this research project, called FastStor, we investigate data-mining-based prefetching techniques to improve the performance and energy-efficiency of hybrid storage systems. This project is motivated by the world’s largest satellite images distribution system operated at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) center of the U.S Geological Survey (USGS). In September 2008, EROS placed its satellite imagery in the public domain for free download, which has resulted in over 4 million global download requests within just two years. Some download orders can be responded within seconds, if requested images are available in the FTP server. However, other orders may need up t o several hours or days to complete, if the requested images have not been cached in the FTP server previously. Unfortunately, the total disk space required to store all images far exceeds 66 TB (current USGS FTP server capacity). Thus, the majority of images must stay on tapes, which might significantly affect user download experience. We propose using data mining methods to predict future requests to minimize processing overhead. The Faststor project is comprised of three phases: visualization, historical data exploration, and data mining based prefetching. We have completed the visualization phase and are currently analyzing historical user download behaviors. Next, we will apply data mining algorithms to predict user download behaviors.
"Presenting Poetry to Children"
Over the course of six weeks during the Fall 2011 semester, I visited two Crockett Elementary classes six times each and presented poetry ideas based on two books authored by Kenneth Koch. The children were asked to write their own poems based on each poetry idea. The goal of this project was to stimulate their interest in poetry and writing in general. While some children responded eagerly, others showed very little interest.
Lorelei Kuehler Carrillo
"The Difficult Ascension from Common Struggles to an Uncommon Understanding: A Study of the Complex Relationships of Mexicans and Mexican Americans"
The Difficult Ascension from Common Struggles to an Uncommon Understanding: A Study of the Complex Relationships of Mexicans and Mexican Americans grew from my marriage to a Mexicano and from a Chicano/a narrative course. The first contributed because, I, as a fair-haired, blue-eyed Anglo, had not previously been the recipient of racial prejudice until I married a man of color. During the early parts of our relationship, we were the object of disagreeable stares from just about everyone. This first experience caused me to become more observant of interracial relations. This informal study exposed the highly complex relations that existed among Mexicans and Mexican Americans. This newfound awareness only increased when my husband and I decided to have a child that would naturally be Mexican American. But my interest in Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicano writers preceded the birth of our daughter. I had previously taken a Chica no/a narrative class which helped me convert my reflections on racial prejudice into ideas which led to further questions. In an attempt to answer these questions, I have examined many different perspectives, as they relate to the complex relations among Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Each chapter discusses the struggles of the past and today that affect each group. By looking at specific social scientific studies, I discovered how cultural traditions, social and political privilege, the racial order, and economic hardships contribute to these particular struggles. I examine how these factors impact the identity of people from each group and how these identities relate to one another. I also examine Mexicans and Mexican American literary works of identity literature, which enables a better understanding of the challenges in creating a cross-cultural identity.
"Aural Skills Pedagogy: From Academic Research to the Everyday Classroom"
Aural skills are necessary for all musicians and are a staple in all music majors’ education through aural skills/ear training classes. A vast body of research informs how people acquire aural skills and how to teach aural skills. The research covers several different areas of study, including music perception and cognition, music theory, music education, and general learning theories. Taken as a whole, a research-based aural skills pedagogy emerges. This thesis compares research to practice: (1) do textbooks employ research-based pedagogies? (2) do teachers implement these pedagogies in the classroom? The first section of this thesis synthesizes the academic research to present an ideal aural skills pedagogy. Using this ideal, the second section evaluates eight aural skills textbooks, while the third section reports the experiences of six collegiate aural professors. This thesis shows that most aural skills textbooks incorporate a fair amo unt of research-based pedagogies, while aural skills professors are less consistent and purposeful in implementing these pedagogies.
"Planet K's Junked Vehicle and the First Amendment"
Many of the landmark free speech decisions made by the Supreme Court involve proactive expressions made during times of unrest. For example, the high court recognized the right of a citizen to burn a United States flag as symbolic speech and political protest in 1989. It had also protected the right of people to use hate speech, to burn crosses, and to support the violent overthrow of the government as an abstract doctrine. While some free speech issues have been resolved for many years by the court, other topics arise from struggles involving free speech. The purpose of this thesis is to examine one such free speech controversy in San Marcos, Texas. Planet K claimed that a junked car on the lot was under protection of the First Amendment and went as far as the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Under the guidelines of strict scrutiny the car was ultimately removed from the lot.
Cadence is, quite simply, the first part of a novel of the same name. Of course, as a novel of the fantasy genre, this portion of the novel spends the majority of its time establishing key details such as plot, setting, and cast.
This is especially true with Cadence. Because the cast consists of players of a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game—or MMORPG—there are a large number of individuals and organizations who take part in getting the various plots—of which a few are begun in part one—from their initiation to their completion.
In Part I, the government of “the country” has been sponsoring a set of virtual gaming worlds as an alternative to life in the real world. This was done in an effort to stem the ever-growing human population and combat rising unemployment and food shortages.
The server on which this particular cast of players...well, play...has begun experiencing a sequence of strange issues—an administrator disappears from the game after admitting the first new player in months, rumors spread of people dying outside of the game after their deaths in-game, and monsters appearing outside of their spawn zones—resulting in considerable conflict between a world that has become accustomed to disciplining its own citizens and handling its own affairs while those in the normal world try to cope with a virtual world that strains against the regulations placed upon it.