2021 Faculty Research Poster Session and Research Fair

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 34
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    Cross-Cultural Adaptation in the Discourse of Education and Teaching: An Autoethnography of a Female Colombian Immigrant in Academia in the United States
    (2021-03-04) Albarran, Paola
    Immigrants, refugees, and visitors face cross-cultural boundaries when they move to a new “host culture” and strive to build a new life in an unfamiliar place. Recent studies indicated that every year, the population of the United States becomes increasingly ethnically diverse and the number of female graduate immigrants has been increasing as well (Guramatunhu-Mudiwa, 2015). Yet, knowledge about female graduate students who are international immigrants and have become college teachers is limited. Given this trend, the purpose of this research is to examine the cross-cultural adaptation experience of myself as a female Colombian immigrant in academia, as well as the way I have undergone throughout the process of my integration to adjust and feel comfortable in a new culture. I hope my story offers institutions, local community members, and other international students who want to become college teachers, a unique perception of the characteristics of a teacher of color’s lived experiences and a drive to change the culture toward diversity. I am optimistic that my cross-cultural teaching experience could contribute to the general understanding of adaptation in the context of a diverse society in the United States.
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    Biosaline Agriculture: Tomato Production in Egypt and Its Export Potential
    (2021-03-04) Almas, Lal; Usman, M.; Hazman, M.; El-Sayed, M.; Shams El-Din, A.
    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), an important vegetable, has the highest area under cultivation among vegetables at the global level. Egypt is one of the major tomato producing and exporting country. With a population of over 102 million and annual population growth at 2.27%, Egypt is considered one of the fastest-growing nations in the African continent. Egypt’s total land area is 1,000,450 sq. km and the population covers only the 10 percent while rest of the country is desert. The agriculture sector plays significant role in the Egyptian economy, contributing 14.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The agricultural sector accounts for 28 percent of all jobs, and over 55 percent of employment in Upper Egypt is agriculture-related. Egypt’s agriculture sector is dominated by small farms using traditional practices. Field crops contribute about 75 % of the total value of Egypt’s agricultural production, while the rest comes from livestock products, fruits and vegetables, and other specialty crops. Major field crops include corn (maize), rice, wheat, sorghum, and fava (broad) beans. Despite a considerable output, the cereal production in Egypt falls short of the country’s total consumption. A substantial amount of foreign exchange is spent annually on the import of cereals and milling products. Egypt is one the major producer of wheat in Africa, with 8.9 million tons in 2020 against its consumption of 21.7 million tonnes. Hence, Egypt is the second-largest importer in the world with more than 12.8 million tonnes in 2020. One of the the main challenges of wheat production in Egypt is available land area. The total arable area is 3.3 million hectares. It is extremely productive and can be cropped two or even three times per year. Most land is cropped at least twice a year, but agricultural productivity is limited by salinity, which afflicts an estimated 35% of cultivated land, and drainage problems. Another challenge to Egypt’s agriculture is shortage of water. Water is a very scarce resource in the region, the major source of this essential commodity is the Nile River. The second threat and the most imminent is the growth of the population. By 2050, Africa’s population is expected to grow by an additional 1.3 billion people, the equivalent of today’s China. For the case of Egypt, the population is expected to reach over 111 million in 2025, lowering the per capita water availability from 1123 m3 in 1990 to 630 m3 in 2025. This shows that the challenge now for Egypt is to look for perennial solutions to lower its dependency on the Nile water supply and to find sustainable alternatives like desalination and biosaline agriculture. This study focuses on the production profitability of tomato by using data from 1961 through 2019 and to identify strategies to increase its production and enhance its export in future in order to earn foreign echange to cover expenses for its imported wheat. The statistical procedures has been applied to analyze and predict the production and consumption of tomato given the estimated population growth of the country up until 2050. The study also provides an overview of all the available opportunities and challenges facing tomato production and its significance in Egypt’s export contribution and potential.
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    On the Existence of Stable Equilibria in Monotone Games
    (2021-03-04) Barthel, Anne; Hoffman, Eric
    This paper shows that under very general conditions, there exists a locally stable Nash equilibrium in games of strategic complements (GSC), as well as in the more general case of games with non-decreasing best response correspondences. While it is well known that in such cases a unique equilibrium is globally stable, no equilibrium can be globally stable when multiple equilibria exist. However, the existence of a locally stable equilibrium remains an open question, as we give examples of GSC in which no stable equilibrium exists. One main advantage of our approach is that our results can be derived simply by exploiting the monotonicity properties of the game, and do not require any differentiability assumptions. Results on equilibrium refinement follow as a corollary under slightly stronger assumptions, in the sense that games with two equilibria possess exactly one locally stable equilibrium.
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    Dyslexia and The School Counselor
    (2021-03-04) Behl, Malvika; Denton, Kenneth; Simmons, Michelle; Coneway, Betty; Shin, Mikyung
    Dyslexia affects about 15 to 20 percent of people within the United States. Most of the time dyslexia is diagnosed within the school system. The researchers reviewed the parent perspective of the diagnosis of young people before, during, and after the diagnosis. Analysis of the collected data helped identify the different emotional and mental health concerns parents have for children either diagnosed with or suspected to have dyslexia. Since there are limited studies that review the school counselor’s experience working with children suspected or diagnosed with dyslexia, the findings from this study help understand the different problems school counselors can focus on to help the mental health concerns of children suspected or diagnosed with dyslexia. Using the research data, the poster will address the different concomitant mental health needs of children suspected or diagnosed with dyslexia in schools and suggest ways in which school counselors can help them with the challenges.
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    Top 10 things I’ve learned while advising a team of students focused on community engagement each year
    (2021-03-04) Bruce, Kim
    Link to presentation: https://ensemble.wtamu.edu/Watch/Be63Jkm9 Recruit early and intentionally. Alumni and returning team members are ideal resources. Clarify vocally and publicly why they were selected. Keep meetings timely and flexible. Stay in touch with one primary communication mode. Save everything. Help them reach out to employers, community members and introduced them to others. Involve established community and campus groups. Help them see forums in multiple media options for their messaging. Set an overall goal and help them measure that they accomplished.
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    Is All Prejudice Created Equal? Emotions, Power, and Position in the Russian Federation
    (2021-03-04) Butkovich Kraus, Nicole M.
    This article argues for conceptualizing prejudice in terms of emotional-types rather than a monolithic feeling of ‘antipathy’ as in paradigmatic work on the subject (Allport 1954). I propose two distinct emotional-types of prejudice: fear-prejudice and hostility-prejudice. I demonstrate how relative group and subgroup positions may predict each type of prejudice. I support this distinction empirically using survey data from approximately 10,000 individuals in the Russian Federation collected in 2003-2004. Results indicate that non-significant predictors of a monolithic conception of prejudice are in fact quite important for predicting different emotional types of prejudice. Within the dominant ethnic Russian group, relative sub-group positions affect the emotional-type of prejudice expressed toward outgroups. I find that individuals within the dominant ethnic group (non-Muslim, ethnic Russians) who possess arguably less social power (women, youth, and those with very low income) are more likely to express fear-prejudice; those with broader anti-racist socialization (the elderly and those with higher levels of education) are more likely to express tolerance, and those with greatest social power (men and those with high incomes) are more likely to express hostility-prejudice.
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    More “likes” or no “likes”? An Online Experiment Evaluating the Effects of Secondary Cues on the Perceived Source Credibility of Corrective Messages
    (2021-03-04) Chen, Li
    Adopting an experimental design, this study examined the combined effects of tweet popularity data, profile image type, and need for cognition (NFC) on individuals’ perceived source credibility (PSC) of corrective messages. Three major findings were identified. First, PSC is positively associated with perceived message effectiveness and intentions to retweet a corrective message. Second, NFC moderates the effects of popularity data on PSC, such that high NFC individuals perceived tweets without popularity data to be most credible while low NFC individuals considered tweets with high popularity data most credible. Finally, in the high NFC group, a combination of a medical logo profile image and no tweet popularity data resulted in the highest PSC, and in the low NFC group, a combination of a real person profile image and high popularity data condition resulted in the highest PSC.
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    Not for the Faint of Heart: A Content Analysis of FEMA's Use of Twitter During the 2017 Hurricane Season
    (2021-03-04) Chen, Li; Kinsky, Emily; Drumheller, Kristina
    Link to digital presentation: https://youtu.be/WaTXpXvUYhU | Applying semantic and content analysis research methodologies, this study examined posts by 13 of FEMA’s Twitter accounts during the 2017 hurricane season comparing messaging content across time between FEMA and its regional counterparts during Harvey, Maria, Irma, and Nate. Results showed FEMA provided information to affected publics and bolstered its work using various Twitter features. Differences were identified in tweets published by FEMA’s national and regional accounts. From hashtags to visual elements, FEMA's tweet content changed as the season progressed: more tweets included information about the impact of the storms. More tweets shared factual information from hurricane to hurricane, and the tweets tended to use more hashtags and account tags, which should broaden their audience.
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    Planting the Seeds of College and Career Readiness in Preschool
    (2021-03-04) Coneway, Betty; Hwang, Sang; Goodrich, Jill; Kim, Lyounghee; Egbert, Emilee
    Many jobs require some type of post-secondary degree or specialized training beyond high school, therefore addressing college and career readiness concepts at an early age may influence young children’s future success. This mixed-methods authentic case study explores the implementation and challenges of introducing a structured framework to enhance the culture of universal achievement at one non-profit preschool in a rural hub city. The research site is non-profit preschool accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) which serves predominantly low-income families. The purpose of the study was to discover how the core beliefs of the No Excuses University (NEU) program have influenced awareness of post-secondary opportunities and prospects for educational achievement. Participants included 18 preschool faculty/staff members, 37 parents of preschool students, and 31 preschool students. Adult participants answered online survey questions, while preschool students responded to face-to-face interview questions. Analysis of the collected data revealed that fostering a culture of universal achievement in a preschool setting can enhance young students’ and their families’ awareness of future educational opportunities, increase communication regarding long-term post-secondary goals, and support the development of a positive future story. Conclusions drawn from this study indicate that implementing a structured framework that addresses a variety of educational opportunities can positively influence the child, their parents, members of the school faculty, and the local community. Strategies and effective approaches executed by the preschool include the use of powerful symbolism and multi-faceted collaboration. Some untold challenges to program implementation are discussed. The implications from this research study on early exposure to college and career readiness concepts are applicable to many fields of study.
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    West Texas A&M Atmospheric Profiling System
    (2021-03-04) Crosman, Erik
    An atmospheric profiling system (APS) was funded by the Kilgore Faculty Research program at West Texas A&M University. Also known as a type of “weather balloon” system, the APS is a cornerstone of atmospheric science research that will support many studies going into the future at WTAMU, including extreme heat, severe weather, fire weather, and air pollution. Applications and results from preliminary system testing are presented. This system will be used this summer in a project involving ~10 WTAMU students working with the National Weather Service to map extreme heat variations in Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
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    Parent Perspectives of the Dyslexia Diagnosis Process
    (2021-03-04) Denton, Kenneth; Coneway, Betty; Simmons, Michelle; Shin, Mikyung; Behl, Malvika
    A child who experiences difficulty learning how to read goes through many struggles and exhibits a myriad of symptoms and emotions. This response affects not only the individual child, but greatly impacts the entire family. Watching as your child struggles to learn how to read and not being able to help them can be a devastating feeling. Receiving the news that your child has dyslexia may trigger feelings of frustration, fear, sadness, or helplessness. Additionally, ongoing needs for advocacy, support, effective interventions, and appropriate accommodations for a child with dyslexia can cause continued family stress. A multidisciplinary team of researchers with a shared interest in this issue, representing the fields of school psychology, literacy education, educational diagnostics, special education, and counseling came together to investigate parents’ experiences and perspectives regarding their child’s diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia. The findings from this research study provide insights into the lived experiences of the children and their families with dyslexia; including those who suspect a reading problem, those who are currently going through the assessment process, or those who have already received a diagnosis of dyslexia. From preliminary data analyses, we will present some significant findings gleaned from data collected from this under-researched population. Far-reaching outcomes from this research study include providing valuable information to the fields of education, special education, and dyslexia intervention.
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    Torque Magnetometry Studies of Topological Nodal-Line Semimetal ZrSiS
    (2021-03-04) Dye, Cody J.; Shrestha, Keshav
    Topological materials have attracted enormous attention in recent days because of their potential applications in optoelectronics, quantum computing, and green energy harvesting, etc. Recent theoretical and experimental studies have proved that ZrSiS is a nodal-line semimetal with the Dirac band crossings along a line. In this talk, I will present our recent torque magnetometry studies to investigate the Fermi surface topology of ZrSiS under the applied fields up to 14 T. The magnetic torque shows clear oscillations at higher fields with several distinct frequencies. The number of frequency peaks changes depending on the tilt angle between the applied field and the sample surface. The obtained results are compared with other published data, and possible origins of these frequencies will be discussed.
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    Walk WT - A Mission for Workplace Wellness
    (2021-03-04) Friemel, Alee; Phillips, Angela; Smoot, Teresa
    Walk WT – A Mission for Workplace Wellness The entire world faces challenges with obesity. An increasing trend in obesity prevalence since the early 1980s has posed a significant population health burden across the globe (Yosuke, Bo, Jennifer, Rebeccah & Larsen Penny, 2018). If current trends continue, 22 percent of people in the workforce will be obese by 2045 (Medical Xpress, 2018). The most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2017-2018 revealed the highest prevalence of obesity among adults aged 40-59 (11.5%). The WT Health and Wellness Clinic was established in 2018 to serve faculty and staff at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) for wellness exams. The main goal of wellness exams is prevention and health promotion. Past medical history, physical exams and diagnostic testing are provided during the visits. Since the majority of patients seen at the clinic are working faculty and staff, the average age of patients is 40-59 years. Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss. Walking is convenient, low-impact, and an easy way for beginners to start exercising. A walking plan was developed in the spring of 2019. The program was designed to benefit the faculty and staff of WTAMU by utilizing the American Heart Association six-week beginner walking plan in an on-campus walking movement. The program was set to meet in early March, 2020 for a weekly active walking session that would take place over five consecutive weeks. The weekly sessions were aimed to promote accountability among participants and establish a joint effort to promote health and change within the campus community. The first session met on March 10, 2020 and using the on-campus walking path approximately 1.35 miles were covered. All participants voiced approval and their interest in the program. The next session was set to convene on March 24, 2020. Due to Covid-19 restrictions set forth in mid-March of 2020, the Walk WT movement was cancelled in terms of in-person meetings and utilization of campus resources. Participants were encouraged to continue walking and were given the opportunity to communicate for accountability via email. A retrospective chart review completed in January of 2021 analyzed visits from 2018 to 2020, and revealed 141 patients in the age range of 40-81. The average Body Mass Index on these patients was 26.8% which is considered overweight (CDC, 2020). Based on this information, the future of the walking program will be restarted once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
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    History, Development and Modification of Photo-Catalytic Oxidation technology to apply to the Air Purification System
    (2021-03-04) Ghosh, Nabarun; Bennert, Jeff; Bennert, Jon; DeLeon, Lyanna; Zavala, Maria; Howard, Aubrey
    The unprecedented situation with COVID-19 has drawn the attention of the world to emphasize the significance of air quality and air purification processes. It is necessary to develop and modify existing air purification technology to destroy airborne pathogens and purify the air completely. The application of innovative technology producing in-demand novel products is the foundation of the new world trade and economy. Global economies are so tightly interconnected that companies, governments, and industries will soon be forced to cooperate in ways we could not have imagined a few years ago. Advancements in technology continue to have massive effects on business and society; emerging markets have become hotbeds of innovation, especially in efforts to reach middle class and low-income consumers around the globe. Collaboration between the corporate worlds with academia has proved auspicious in scientific inventions. This report covers information on how a Nanotechnology research product was developed and marketed in many countries. With increased population growth and industrial expansions, many cities are experiencing poor air quality. Global warming exerts substantial ramifications on flora and fauna all over the world. Increasing greenhouse gasses causes accelerated pollinosis and fungal spore production. Besides pollen and spores, dusts generated from industrial areas, feedlots, and other facilities contribute to excessive air pollution. Recent wildfires also augment air pollution with burnt plant residues, fibers, gums and burnt shoots floating in urban air. All these have been identified as major aeroallergen irritants for asthma, allergy, and other respiratory ailments. We are in need of a more advanced air purifier that works without filters and improves the air quality to a greater extent than existing air purifiers in the market. We have been analyzing daily aeroallergens of the Texas Panhandle area by using the coated Melinex tape collected from the Burkard Volumetric Spore Trap. After exposure to the local air via the Burkard Volumetric Spore Trap, the Melinex tape was stained and observed under a BX-40 Olympus microscope. The twenty-year aeroallergen data of the Texas Panhandle revealed a gradual shift in the aeroallergen index with the warmer climate and subsequent shift in the flowering seasons. A decade of research in aerobiology and biotechnology helped in developing the AHPCO technology, producing an air purification system that uses Advanced Hydrated Photo Catalytic Oxidation (AHPCO) Nanotechnology to reduce indoor aeroallergen to improve air quality and better food preservation. Air Oasis air purifiers utilize a new generation of AHPCO technology that does not rely on filters or air passing through the air purifier. This new technology simply produces a blanket of redundant oxidizers that clean the surrounding air and sanitize surfaces. We have assessed the unique air purifiers that target the particulate matters in the air and on circumferential surfaces. There is ongoing research at the Research and Development Unit of Air Oasis in collaboration with West Texas A&M University to apply the AHPCO Nanotechnology to construct commodities such as air purification systems, food preservation systems, and cell phone sterilizers.
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    Prince-Archbishops and Local Liturgies in Late Seventeenth-Century Salzburg
    (2021-03-04) Hieb, Kimberly
    Situated within the Holy Roman Empire the Archbishopric of Salzburg occupied a unique geopolitical position in the seventeenth century. A prince-archbishop who assumed both sacred and secular power ruled the individual principality, which was sandwiched between two powerful political entities in the early modern era: Bavaria and the Habsburg hereditary lands. Building on the existing scholarship regarding the role of music and governance in the Holy Roman Empire (Saunders 1995, Weaver 2012, Fisher 2014) this poster presents a diachronic overview of music produced under a series of late seventeenth-century prince-archbishops. Tracking the shifting nature of Salzburg’s local sacred traditions under each ruler richly augments our understanding of regional Catholic history, which begs for further exploration (Monson 2002, Ditchfield 1995, Ducreux 2011). Composers Heinrich Biber and Andreas Hofer served Salzburg prince-archbishops Guidobald von Thun (r. 1654–1668), Maximilian Gandolf von Kuenburg (r. 1668–1687) and Johann Ernst von Thun (r. 1687–1709) and left behind a robust repertory of sacred music that reflects local traditions. These compositions are each associated with a particular Catholic feast yet set non-liturgical texts: richly centonized amalgamations of prose, poetry, scripture, and hymn verses. The inventive repertoire cultivated by each patron, therefore, reflects the religious values of each individual prince archbishop, which were inherently political according to his position as both a sacred and secular ruler. These musical sources grant insight into each leader’s approach to negotiating the region’s unique capacity as an individual principality that was a constituent component of both the Holy Roman Empire and the Universal Catholic Church.
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    Circadian Rhythms in Peripheral Serotonin in Mice
    (2021-03-04) Karaganis, Stephen
    Most organisms possess biological circadian clocks which control and coordinate numerous physiological processes over each twenty-four hour day. Circadian oscillators play a role in generating biological rhythms and coordinating numerous processes with environmental stimuli (such as timing of a meal or exposure to light). In rodents it has been demonstrated that restricting the availability of food to a short window of time during the day can shift the phase of rhythmic oscillations in some peripheral organs (such as the gut and liver) while not affecting the phase of the light entrainable hypothalamic circadian pacemaker. We hypothesize that this paradigm of restricted feeding (RF) would result in a phase shift in the daily rhythm of the hormone serotonin within the serum and gut of mice compared with mice maintained on an ad libitum diet (AL). We also measured circulating levels of platelets since most of the serotonin in the blood is taken up and transported by platelets. Here we present data demonstrating the daily profile of serotonin and its major metabolite, 5HIAA, in serum and duodenum of AL or RF animals maintained under LD or free running conditions. As expected, motility rhythms entrained to the rhythm of food availability cues, whereas no statistically significant rhythm was detected in serum serotonin levels. In duodenum, serotonin and 5HIAA levels appeared to be rhythmic in AL mice only. Interestingly, a circadian rhythm in circulating platelets levels was detected only under RF conditions, but not in AL animals or in constant darkness. This suggests that food intake, but not light, may drive oscillations in platelet production or serve as a zeitgeber for entrainment. Further investigations of circadian control of serotonin biosynthesis and metabolism is ongoing.
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    Typology of Tweets and User Engagement Generated by US Companies Involved in the Development of COVID-19 Vaccines
    (2021-03-04) Khandelwal, Priyanka; Salazar, Leslie Ramos
    COVID-19 has evoked an unprecedented public health crisis throughout the world. This study conducted a quantitative content analysis of (N=295) Twitter posts generated by four US companies engaged in discovering a vaccine for COVID-19 to understand how their Twitter feed balanced corporate branding, product branding (vaccine, medicines, etc.), and disseminated reliable scientific information relating to COVID-19, in the social media space. Results suggested that these companies were actively embedding technical information in their corporate and product branding in the context of COVID-19. It was also observed that tweets providing technical and scientific information about the progress made towards the development of COVID-19 vaccine garnered high levels of user engagement from target audience. Findings indicate growing importance of technical communication in corporate settings during public health crisis.
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    Emerging Trends in Data Center Management Automation
    (2021-03-04) Levy, Moises; Subburaj, Anitha S.
    New and emerging technologies have consolidated the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era of cyber-physical systems, where the physical and digital worlds are closely connected. While most of the world is being impacted by a pandemic, data centers have managed to keep people connected and keep the economy afloat. As such, they are witnessing an unprecedented need for automation of their monitoring and management processes in order to minimize reliance on human interaction. A growing number of new technologies are transforming mission critical facilities into a highly connected, smart, and more efficient, productive and sustainable industry. Vast amounts of data are being collected in real-time, and processed to predict behavior, to produce actionable recommendations, and to improve decision-making. This paper summarizes the three main emerging technological trends, identified by the authors, which enable these processes in data center management automation: 1) intelligent monitoring and management systems using data science; 2) simulation tools incorporating artificial intelligence and digital twinning; and 3) robotics for process automation.
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    Motivators of Pursuing Nursing Education at the Graduate Level
    (2021-03-04) Loftin, Collette; Phillips, Angela
    Motivators of Pursuing Nursing Education at the Graduate Level Abstract Background: As the U.S. nursing shortage continues, there remains a growing need for a highly educated work force. The necessity to pursue a graduate degree in nursing has not been as widely encouraged as the baccalaureate degree. Master’s prepared nurses are essential across a variety of health care settings to serve in leadership, management, and advanced primary provider positions, as well as academic settings as faculty members and researchers. While the percentage of nurses earning a master’s degree has risen gradually, the need for additional highly educated nurses persists as rapid advancements in health care technology including telehealth and informatics occur. Purpose: Having a greater understanding of the motivators to return to school, barriers preventing return, and factors that enable students to persist in a graduate level program will facilitate nursing programs to recruit qualified students and help (facilitate) meet the needs of current and future students. While there is an abundance of literature reporting on these factors for RN-BSN students, there is a dearth of information on the similar considerations for MSN students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to ascertain what the motivators, barriers, and persistence factors are for nurses seeking to earn a graduate nursing degree. Methods: This study utilized a cross-sectional descriptive survey of graduate level nursing students to determine what factors motivated them to return to school, the barriers they had overcome, and what elements allowed them to persist in their studies. Results: The highest level of agreement for motivating factors included: finding personal satisfaction in earning an MSN (M = 4.76), a desire to expand nursing knowledge (M = 4.31), a belief that nurses with an MSN command greater respect as professional (M = 3.76), and the belief that earning an advanced degree would increase confidence at work (M = 3.61). Financial challenges (M = 3.70), inflexible work schedules (M 3.54), and difficult family situations (M = 3.20) were shown to be the main barriers students needed to overcome in order to return to school. The highest agreement among the factors that allowed students to persist in the MSN program included the following: personal reasons encourage me to persist (M = 4.82), confidence in ability to complete the program (M = 4.45), have the necessary family encouragement and support to complete the program (M = 4.45), and have the necessary faculty encouragement and support to complete the program (M = 4.18). Conclusion: A recommendation is made for more robust recruitment, expanded awareness of program/curriculum details for potential students, and encouraging employers to provide tuition reimbursement and loan repayments. Additionally, ensuring that employers who do provide financial support communicate this to their employees as a motivating factor.
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    Dogs and Rape in Coetzee’s _Disgrace_ and Ngugi’s _A Grain of Wheat_
    (2021-03-04) Meljac, Eric
    How do we see justice in lands once colonized and torn by racism and oppression? When does crime, particularly against animals and women, indicate a change in power? How do we punish the criminals when the rules of what is “just” have changed irrevocably? What do crime and justice have to do with decolonization? One of the common threads tying together Coetzee’s Disgrace and Ngugi’s A Grain of Wheat is the representation of rape coupled with the mutilation of dogs. For Coetzee, the rape of Lucy comes along with the splatter of “blood and brains” of the dogs Lucy keeps in kennels outside her South African home. Ngugi’s scene, though rewritten to exclude direct reference to rape after initial publication, sees Dr. Lynd attacked in her home, her dog torn to pieces before her eyes.This essay will examine the broader implications of these shared acts of violence: the coupling of violence against women with violence against dogs, and the coupling of woman/dog violence in two of the African continent’s most famous novels. Part of the conjecture at play is an idea that the indigenous men who commit these acts are not assaulting the weakest links in the colonial chain (women and animals who have accompanied the masculine colonial powers to the African shores), but instead are directing these acts of violence in efforts to recolonize their own land. In other words, the slaughter of dogs, animals used to promote fear, and the rape of women are direct assaults on colonizing power. Destroying fear in the form of dogs, and actually or potentially inseminating colonial women in acts of rape, suggest acts of violent reclamation—though maybe not justice in its purest sense. Perhaps, too, the reactions of the women attacked suggest something about the changing face of decolonization. Ngugi’s Dr. Lynd lives in fear and misery, injured whenever she sees a dog and remembers the day of her attack. Lucy, on the other hand, remains resolute, decides to remain on the land, fall under the family of a neighboring Black man, and carry the child thrust upon her to term. The results from each novel are mixed, but what is clear is that the face of justice changes when colonial power wanes—whether the true sense of justice is obeyed or not.