Now showing items 5760-5779 of 15426

    • An exploratory study of theory of mind in aphasia, Alzheimer disease and normal aging

      Holland, Audrey L.; Lowe, Christina Rachael (The University of Arizona., 2001)
      Theory of mind has seldom been studied in normal elders (NE) or people with aphasia (APH), and has never been studied in people with Alzheimer Disease (AD). This study, based on Miller (2001), investigated false belief attribution in 10 APH, 10 AD, and 10 NE subjects. Three conditions of the false belief task varied syntactically to probe for an interaction between linguistic demand and false belief performance. Relative to normal elders, AD subjects showed impairment in false belief attribution (p < 0.001); APH subjects did not (p = 1.0). There was no effect of linguistic demand for any group. Potential confounding variables (e.g. immediate memory) were nonsignificant. The data suggest a possible nonlinear relationship between false belief attribution and measures of dementia severity and frontal lobe function. The results also suggest methods for comparing theories of theory of mind in future research.
    • An exploratory survey of the experimental determination of the activity of jadeite component in binary (jadeite-hedenbergite) pyroxene: Implications for geothermo-barometry of eclogites

      Ganguly, Jibamitra; Kerry, Kristopher Edwin, 1973- (The University of Arizona., 1999)
      The study of jadeite-hedenbergite binary pyroxenes has profound implications for interpreting the P/T history of eclogites and, in particular, ultra high pressure metamorphic rocks. Because binary pyroxenes are extremely rare in nature, a synthesis method was developed, and various compositions along the jadeite-hedenbergite join were produced. Synthesis products were analyzed using an X-ray diffractometer and microprobe to verify purity and homogeneity. Synthesized binary pyroxene was then mixed with quartz and albite and subjected to eclogitic conditions in order to determine the equilibrium reaction Ab <=> Jd + Qtz as a function of pressure, temperature, and X(jd). Two methods of reaction have been developed; one employs a graphite sample cup, and the other requires the use of welded gold sample cups, which reduce the temperature of reaction and allow for better pyroxene growth. All experiments were performed in a 1/2" or 3/4" piston cylinder apparatus at pressures from 15-39 kbar and temperatures from 650-1300°C.
    • Exploring Black and White Differences in Cardiovascular Health in Pre- and Post-Spousal Bereavement

      O'Connor, Mary- Frances; Wilson, Damere Tianna; Allen, John J.B; Ruiz, John (The University of Arizona., 2020)
      Research has shown that bereavement is associated with excess risk of mortality, especially in the early weeks and months after loss. However, the lack of representation of Black people in bereavement and grief research has led to a lack of understanding of how the effects of grief may be different in this population. The current study assesses whether the cardiovascular effects of grief differ for Black individuals versus non-Hispanic Whites, using archival data from a national prospective study of widowhood. The current study analyzes data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study is a multi-wave prospective study of 1,532 married individuals from the Detroit metropolitan area recruited using two-stage area probability sampling. The study included self-reported measures of hypertension and heart disease. Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure was also measured for a subset of the study participants. Time-points included for the current study include baseline and W1(6- months post spousal loss). We failed to confirm the hypothesis that Black participants would have higher pre-loss (i.e., baseline) incidence of hypertension and heart disease. Analysis of longitudinal data revealed that systolic BP at wave 1 was only significantly predicted by average systolic BP at baseline The present study provided some evidence that Black people are at increased risk of developing hypertension and heart disease following the loss of a loved one. However, further research is needed to understand the potential role of race in accounting for post-loss risk of poor cardiovascular health.
    • Exploring Chemistry and Physics at the Nanoscale Using Mechanically Controlled Break Junctions

      Monti Masel, Oliver; Johnson, Tyler; Monti Masel, Oliver; Brown, Michael; Huxter, Vanessa; Stafford, Charles; McGrath, Dominic (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      The use of single molecules as circuit elements represents the ultimate in device miniaturization. The mechanically controlled break junction (MCBJ) technique is a commonly used method for the formation of metal-molecule-metal junctions. Using MCBJs, the electrical properties of single molecules can be investigated. In this thesis, an MCBJ experimental setup for the study of charge transport is described. Early investigations began with gold wire break junctions, eventually progressing to lithographically fabricated break junctions. In particular, the measurement electronics, LabVIEW programming and mechanical setup underwent significant revisions, leading to improvements in noise floor, sensitivity, and speed. The resulting setup is capable of measuring the charge transport properties of single molecule junctions accurately and at a high rate.
    • Exploring Connections Between Idealized Watershed Properties and Signal Filtering Using Spectral Analysis

      Condon, Laura; Farley, Abram; Ferre, Ty; Guo, Bo (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      Watersheds act as low-pass filters, damping and attenuating climatic signals as they propagate through a watershed. This is a well observed phenomenon; however, the ways in which watershed properties control the nature of this filtering are less well understood, especially with respect to groundwaters surface water interactions. Here, we use a physically based groundwater surface water model to simulate idealized hillslope ensembles with varying watershed properties (hillslope slope, hydraulic conductivity, and precipitation magnitude) to quantitively explore the impact of watershed configuration on temporal filtering. Multi-decadal simulations (95 years) were run with a daily timestep using synthetically generated climatic forcing. Spectral methods were used to quantify the temporal dynamics and damping of each simulation. We find positive correlations between slope and hydraulic conductivity and the degree of high frequency filtering and negative correlations with precipitation. However, the most predictive control of high frequency filtering was water table depth. Additionally, we find that hydraulic memory (calculated as precipitation fraction) to be largely unrelated to the watershed variables considered.
    • Exploring feminist pedagogies

      Temple, Judy Nolte; Golo, Erica Maria, 1951- (The University of Arizona., 1998)
      Feminist pedagogical aims and strategies have been discussed in a variety of articles and essays and in a few recent books. This thesis explores feminist discourse on pedagogies and attempts to reconstruct the development of these discourses historically. Early writings on feminist pedagogies were the product of the action-oriented feminism of the 1970s and focused on classroom practices, while recent works, rooted in the larger framework of poststructuralist feminism, engage in a complex theoretical dialogue with the philosophical narratives and counternarratives that oriented emancipatory pedagogies and problematized the boundaries between feminist and other emancipatory pedagogies. The thesis comprises an analysis of the historical and theoretical implications of the literature on feminist pedagogies, and an ethnographic part based on six interviews with Professors of Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, who were asked to discuss the meanings, possibilities and predicaments of feminist teaching in a large research University.
    • Exploring Firescape: Staff and Stakeholder Attitudes Toward Fire Restoration Practices and Managing Change on the Coronado National Forest

      Falk, Don; Ruyle, George; Schram von Haupt, Lea; Baldwin, Elizabeth (The University of Arizona., 2022)
      Changing climates and anthropogenic disturbances have caused ecosystems to begin to shift across the US. In response, land management agencies are increasingly examining their role in managing their resources in the context of rapid change and potentially widespread ecosystem transformations. Climate change, land-use changes, and historic fire suppression have led to greater size and severity of wildfires, leading to negative high-severity fire effects on the landscape. Planning landscape level actions to respond to these conditions through the National Environmental Policy Act and other Federal guidance requires a deep understanding of how staff and stakeholders view ecosystem change and resilience. To assess these views, we administered an electronic survey to 182 stakeholders of Coronado National Forest; semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 staff.Although there has been increasing recognition of the importance of fire for different ecosystems, land managers still face challenges in both planning requirements and implementation of landscape scale fire restoration plans. On the Coronado National Forest, our research showed a growing acceptance of ecosystem change among stakeholders and general agreement between the general public and land managers on management priorities. However, there is still room for improvement when it comes to communication and public engagement, monitoring metrics, and alignment between research and practice.
    • Exploring G-Protein-Coupled Receptors Regulation, Specificity and Controllability of Exosomes Release in the Neuronal Cell Line SH-SY5Y

      Falk, Torsten; Sadideen, Doraid; Sherman, Scott J.; McKay, Brian S. (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the buildup of aggregated and spread of misfolded alpha-synuclein. How the misfolded alpha-synuclein contributing to the toxicity and death of neuronal cells has been the focal point of research. The spread of alpha-synuclein has been attributed to many mechanisms, one of which is via cell-derived vesicles called exosomes. This project aims to examine the controllability of exosome release. SH-SY5Y, MCF-7 and CHO-K1 cells were transfected with dopamine receptor 3-green fluorescent protein, G-protein receptor 143 or green fluorescent protein and treated with either dopamine or L-DOPA. Medium was harvested and subjected to ultracentrifugation and a silver stain and western blot were performed. There was no significant difference in the total protein in the exosome fraction lanes between the treatment groups or within them. Another aim was to test the specificity of exosomes. Exosomes isolated from SH-SY5Y or MCF-7 were labeled with Exo-Red dye and introduced to wells containing SH-SY5Y, MCF-7 and CHO-K1 cells at room temperature and -4C. At room temperature, exosomes were observed intercellular in all of the cell lines, however, they did not deliver their content. At -4C exosome uptake was halted and they remained on the surface of the cells. Exo-Red labeled SH-SY5Y exosomes were treated with proteinase K and were introduced to CHO-K1 cells at -4C and room temperature. CHO-K1 did not take up exosomes, suggesting exosomes contain one or more necessary proteins needed to interact with the cellular membrane to initiate internalization. CHO-K1 cells were treated with versene to examine the involvement of integrin proteins. Exo-Red labeled SH-SY5Y exosomes were trapped on the surface of CHO-K1 after versene treatment. Lastly, Exo-Red labeled SH-SY5Y exosomes were biotinylated and magnetically captured then introduced to SH-SY5Y and MCF-7 cells and a silver stain and a biotinylated blot were performed. MCF-7 bound more Exo-Red labeled SH-SY5Y exosomes.
    • Exploring sculptural ceramics

      Krouser, David James, 1931- (The University of Arizona., 1967)
    • Exploring Techniques to Investigate Mule Deer Diet Composition on the Navajo Nation

      Culver, Melanie; Voirin, Chase R.; Christianson, Dave; Koprowski, John; Heffelfinger, Jim (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      Knowledge of the diet of wildlife can aid wildlife biologists to better understand how a species functions within a given ecosystem. Numerous studies have identified various avenues to examine diet for species throughout the world. Wildlife biologists have used diet composition variables as a means to better understand habitat use and aid in the management and conservation of mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus. The complexity of deer diet is still unknown, and local wildlife management agencies could improve conservation strategies with more information regarding the breadth of plant selection in deer diet. Researchers have used non-invasive methods, such as microhistology via fecal analyses, to assess diet composition for mule deer. However, microhistology has several drawbacks that include accuracy in identification and differentiation of plant species, and even genus, as well as determination of accurate proportions of taxa ingested. Genetic techniques, such as next-generation sequencing (NGS), present new avenues for analyzing herbivore diets, especially through the amplification and analyses of specific regions of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA). Additionally, few studies have directly compared microhistological and NGS diet analyses results for any wildlife species. My objectives were to compare diet composition results of both microhistological and NGS diet analyses through estimating diet richness, taxonomic resolution, percent diet, and frequency of occurrence of plant taxa across samples. Mule deer fecal samples were collected on the Navajo Nation from summer and winter ranges of two distinct mule deer populations, Chuska and Carrizo. I found far greater richness and resolution from NGS of plant taxa through the identification of a greater number of species and genera among all populations, within seasons. Upon testing both methods for both populations, no significant agreement was identified for percent of families identified in the diet with both methods, across all samples. I found trends of positive correlation in the occurrence of families between both methods for Carrizo summer diet, as well as among genera and families in Carrizo winter diet. Upon further statistical analyses, I found no significant positive correlation in the occurrence of genera and families identified with both methods among all samples. Genetic techniques may present innovative methods for determining mule deer diet in various ecosystems, and may also be applied to a broad range of herbivore diet studies.
    • Exploring the bisexual alternative: A view from another closet

      Lauver, Philip J.; Morse, Connie, 1952- (The University of Arizona., 1989)
      Research on bisexuality has been relatively nonexistent. In the recent past bisexuality has been viewed as pathological or as a means of denying either homosexuality or heterosexuality. Sexuality is looked at and studied as a dichotomy, polarizing the sexual experience as either "gay" or "straight". Where is the gray area accounted for in this continuum? In this study, 16 female respondents completed questions pertaining to sexual behavior, fantasy and emotional experience. They were also given the Bem Sex Role Inventory to ascertain the relationship between gender identity and sexual orientation. Other issues addressed concerned demographics, AIDS, counseling, and self-esteem.
    • Exploring the Community of University Indian Ruin

      Fish, Paul R.; Kingston, Lauren M.; Fish, Suzanne K.; Elson, Mark D. (The University of Arizona., 2013)
      University Indian Ruin is a Classic Period Hohokam platform mound village located in the eastern Tucson Basin. Although portions of the site are well understand, the spatial and social community of the village has not been thoroughly documented. This report seeks to define the community of UIR through archival research, public outreach, and spatial analysis using geographic information systems. The result is a conception of a dynamic community with considerable time depth, which was reliant on certain environmental features, and one that also conforms to the phenomenon of pan-Southwestern abandonment and aggregation in late prehistory.
    • Exploring the Impact of TiO2 Surface Chemistry on Nucleation and Growth of Perovskite Active Layers for Photovoltaic Applications

      Armstrong, Neal R.; Saunders, Kara C.; Saavedra, S. Scott; Pemberton, Jeanne E. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      We introduce lead ions adsorbed to TiO2 as a surface modification, which serves as a model system to begin understanding how the chemistry at the TiO2/perovskite interface influences nucleation and growth of mixed-halide cesium perovskites. The surface chemistry of TiO2 was incrementally changed by subjecting the thin films to both oxygen and argon plasma treatment and lead adsorption thereafter. A combination of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), x-ray diffraction (XRD), grazing-incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering (GIWAXS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to evaluate the surface chemistry, crystallinity, and morphology of both the modified TiO2 and the perovskite active layer on TiO2 with the hypothesis that lead adsorption on TiO2 would aid in the initial nucleation of the perovskite film by decreasing interfacial disorder by titrating away the reactive hydroxyl sites on the surface. By photoemission spectroscopy, we show that lead adsorbed from PbI2 preferentially binds to TiO2 at surface hydroxyl sites with a surface coverage ranging from 26-68% of a monolayer depending on the initial surface treatment. GIWAXS data reveals that perovskites on TiO2 exhibit crystal growth with greater preferential orientation of the (100) axis perpendicular to the surface normal and that the degree of preferential orientation depends on the availability of surface hydroxyl sites for the perovskite precursor materials to bind to. Moreover, perovskite films exhibited greater crystallinity and coherence lengths on substrates that have more available hydroxyl groups, such as as-deposited TiO2. AFM images evaluating the morphology of the perovskite films are consistent with findings acquired by XPS, XRD, and GIWAXS, demonstrating that atomic-scale changes to the interfacial region of this system result in changes visible at the top surface of the perovskite film. Although the data does not support the initial hypothesis, this work highlights the critical importance that adjacent hydroxyl groups have in the nucleation and growth of perovskite films. Passivation of these reactive sites by lead adsorption inhibits the initial crystal growth. Ultimately, understanding the importance of the reactive sites on TiO2 paves the way for future work on controlling hydroxyl density with the intent of controlling the nucleation and growth of perovskite active layers on TiO2 for photovoltaic applications.
    • Exploring the Molecular Mechanisms by which AID Recombinase Interacts with DNA Secondary Structures involved in Cancer

      Kendrick, Samantha; Hurley, Laurence; Kalarn, Salil; Kendrick, Samantha; Hurley, Laurence; Krieg, Paul (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      Genomic complexity in non-Hodgkin’s Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) leads to a treatment failure in ~40% of patients. Activation-Induced Cytosine Deaminase (AID), one of the enzymes involved in generating antibody diversity via class switching recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM) of immunoglobulin (Ig) genes in activated B-cells is one mechanism for the introduction of genomic lesions. In previous studies, AID was shown to preferentially bind to super-enhancer (SE) regions within the genome, but 26% of AID targets were not within the SE regions. The mechanism by which AID interacts with SE elements and its off-target interactions still remains a mystery. Recent evidence suggests that AID may cause genomic lesions in DLBCL via interaction with oncogenes such as MYC and BCL2 resulting in mutations and translocations. Sequences within the MYC promoter contain the four-nucleotide AID target sequence (WRCY) and highly G-rich sequences known to form G-quadruplex DNA secondary structures. We hypothesize that key DNA secondary structures act as recruiting elements for aberrant AID activity at promoters and SEs of key genes involved in the development of DLBCL. Here, we first sought to determine whether known AID DNA targets have the potential to form G-quadruplex DNA secondary structures. The data collected from activated mouse B-cells showed 90% of the AID targets contained sequences that could potentially form G-quadruplexes and the data collected from the human Ramos cell line showed 100% of the sequences had the potential to form G-quadruplexes. To further study our hypothesis we used the techniques circular dichroism (CD) and the electrophoresis motility shift assay (EMSA) to explore the potential interaction between AID and the BCL2 and MYC G-quadruplexes. We observed no significant interactions between AID and these two G-quadruplexes, however further experimentation with different conditions and molecular techniques may show interaction. Additional studies will not only provide key insight into the genomic instability within DLBCL, but will also provide a potential mechanism by which AID is recruited to its DNA targets.
    • Exploring the Relationship Between Accreditation and For-Profit Higher Education Institutions

      Rhoades, Gary; Jaquette, Ozan; Parkman, Amanda Lee; Kraus, Amanda; Deil-Amen, Regina (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      This paper explores the relationship between for-profit higher education institutions and accreditation. Two sets of research questions are examined. The first set of research questions looks at the characteristics of for-profits regionally accredited versus nationally accredited. The second set of research questions looks at the characteristics of for-profits that keep accreditation versus those who lose accreditation. Analysis is conducted using panel longitudinal data that has been merged together from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the Office of Federal Student Aid, and the Postsecondary Education Participation System (PEPS). Both descriptive statistics and logistic regressions are used to explore the hypotheses in this paper. The findings contribute to the field’s understanding of for-profits and accreditation. This paper found in general for-profits are not losing accreditation. Regionally accreditors in particular are not revoking accreditation. Larger for-profits are more likely to be regionally accredited. Revenue, enrollment, and number of campuses, in particular seem to keep institutions from losing accreditation. Policy continues to be created (or reversed) to address concerns over for-profits but it has done so without enough statistical analysis to backup those decisions. The relationship between for-profits and accreditation is mutually beneficial and therefore needs to be further researched and addressed.
    • Exploring the Role and Targeting of Nuclear EGFR in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

      Schroeder, Joyce; Vallecillo, Tissiana; Wilson, Justin; Weinert, Ted (The University of Arizona., 2022)
      Among breast cancer subtypes, triple-negative breast cancers overexpressing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have some of the most aggressive phenotypes and poorest prognoses. EGFR contributes to oncogenic signaling and in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has been observed to traffic to the nucleus where it acts as a co-regulator of transcription among other activities. Targeting of EGFR via inhibition of its receptor tyrosine kinase activity or antibody therapies have proven ineffective in treating triple-negative breast cancers. An alternative method to target EGFR is by inhibiting its retrograde trafficking. Sorting nexin 1 (SNX1) binds to EGFR at the early endosome and is implicated in retrograde trafficking given its membrane bending functions and its homologue in yeast’s role in the retromer complex. Our lab has developed a peptide that inhibits this interaction called cSNX1.3. Treatment with cSNX1.3 results in a regression of EGFR-driven tumors in mice and a loss of viability in TNBC cells. However, it also causes an induction of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and causes changes in the expression of keratin 14. I have performed chromatin immunoprecipitations to determine if EGFR is binding to the promoters of keratin 14 and IL-6 in response to ligand activation, and if this is inhibited following cSNX1.3 treatment. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and 5 (STAT3 and STAT5) binding were also evaluated, given that they are known to bind to EGFR and allow for its regulation of gene expression. These experiments have revealed an alternative pattern of STAT5 and EGFR binding. They also reveal that cSNX1.3 may act independently of ligand-activation of EGFR to regulate gene expression. Ultimately, however these findings confirmed that EGFR is binding to the promoters of keratin 14 and IL-6 following ligand-activation and retrograde trafficking to the nucleus. cSNX1.3 is able to decrease this binding substantially. Given that nuclear EGFR is related to poor prognoses, this reduction of nuclear EGFR activity following cSNX1.3 treatment points to targeting nuclear EGFR localization via inhibition of the SNX1-EGFR interaction as a novel and promising potential therapeutic considering its in vivo and in vitro effects.
    • Exploring the Success and Defeat of Ronda Rousey: A Content Analysis of Twitter and Newspaper Coverage from 2014-2016

      Relly, Jeannine E.; Mikelonis, Ashley; Relly, Jeannine E.; Lumsden, Linda J.; Wimmer, Terry (The University of Arizona., 2017)
      Scholarly research has analyzed how female athletes use their social media platforms and how they are represented in news media coverage. However, no scholarly literature has specifically looked at Ronda Rousey, an American mixed martial artist. The current study used a quantitative content analysis to examine how Rousey has utilized her Twitter account as well as how local and national newspapers in the United States framed coverage of Rousey between 2014 to 2016. For the tweets, content, referring to pictures that Rousey posted, was the most popular category; the second most prevalent category was promotional, referring to tweets that promoted upcoming events or sponsorships. Rousey mainly used her Twitter to post pictures of herself and promote her personal brand. For the newspaper articles, the most frequently used frames were agency, powerless, and goals and ambitions. Two new frames emerged from the current study – fame, referring to Rousey’s film career, and relations, referring to Rousey’s personal life and relationships. The newspapers were predominantly neutral in their coverage of Rousey throughout the three-year study period. This case study is important because it found that Rousey was framed in a way that differed from previous research. The findings in this study demonstrate that Rousey was not marginalized in newspaper coverage or portrayed in a negative manner, as other female athletes have been in the past. Rather than focusing on her appearance or sexuality, the news coverage highlighted Rousey’s success and athletic achievements.
    • Exploring the Treatability of 1,4-dioxane and PFAS in Marana, Arizona Groundwater

      Ogden, Kim; Tan, maggie; Hickenbottom, Kerri; Karanikola, Vicky (The University of Arizona., 2022)
      Despite phasing out production decades ago, toxic pollutants such as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and 1,4-dioxane persist in the environment and contaminate drinking water supplies across the United States. Tucson Water’s (TW) isolated Silverbell West water system has been shut down due to the increasing public health risk from the migrating groundwater plumes of these compounds. The groundwater wells were shut down due to violation of Tucson Water’s self-imposed regulatory limits for PFAS and 1,4-dioxane: 18 ppt and 0.35 ppb, respectively. To guide the decision-making process, rapid small scale column tests (RSSCT), point of use (POU) device bench studies, and ultra-violet/advanced oxidation process (UV/AOP) testing were conducted to determine the appropriate treatment solution for this site. The RSSCT experiments revealed that ion exchange (IX) media, Evoqua and Purofine, reduced contaminant concentrations below TW operations targets until nearly 100k bed volumes (BVs) of spiked groundwater passed through the column. When granulated activated carbon (GAC) was the adsorption media, PFAS broke through above TW’s target at nearly 50k BVs. POU bench tests supported commercial devices' claims in removing PFAS to at least their filtration cartridge life. However, the POU device selected for 1,4-dioxane removal failed to remove the compound past 10% of its expected cartridge life. For UV/AOP, it was determined that using chlorine as an oxidant may be a possible solution for degrading 1,4-dioxane to regulatory levels. Two treatment trains have been designed: 1) UV/AOP and GAC and 2) IX, UV/AOP, and GAC to remove the two compounds. The two treatment train costs were normalized to three years of operation or 21 million gallons of treated water produced. Treatment option 1 is the more suitable choice for Silverbell West remediation site, due to lower construction and operation and maintenance costs.
    • Exploring the University Support Networks of First-Generation Undergraduate Students

      Rice, Amber; Encinas, Ericka Ruby; Torres, Robert; Mars, Matthew (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      The central research questions that guided this study were: how does the mentor/mentee relationship between academic advisors and first-generation college students develop within an academic success course; how does the mentor/mentee relationship between peer mentors and first-generation college students develop within an academic success course?This research was conducted utilizing a case-study approach with a single academic success course for students on academic probation serving as the case. Three academic advisors teaching the course, four peer mentors meeting with students outside of class, and three students taking the course were interviewed. The case was selected to explore in depth the complex system of support first generation college students receive at the university level. The two overarching themes that emerged from the data were: the process of developing an emotional connection to create a relationship and utilizing a holistic approach to support students. More specifically, finding common ground, being relatable to students, showing that you care for students as individuals, and fostering openness and informality in relationships were the components identified by participants to foster emotional connection. The data also revealed that peer mentors and advisors were initiating accountability with their students, making intentional referrals for students to other campus resources, and the underlying motivation to serve in these two roles came from an intrinsic desire to give back. Recommendations included directors of advising and student retention administrations defining the roles of advisors in regard to student emotional support, compensating them for their work, and increase training for all university staff and faculty on how to create these impactful relationships with students.
    • Exploring the Use of Environmentally Friendly Fertilizers for Desert Vegetable Production

      Sanchez, Charles A.; Uzochukwu, Victor; Walworth, James; Blankinship, Joseph
      Field experiments were conducted from 2011 through 2017 to (1) evaluate the responses of vegetable crops to Crystal Green (CG) in comparison to conventional phosphorus (P) fertilizers and (2) to investigate alternative nitrogen management strategies for desert spinach production. The earlier experiments spanned from 2011 to 2016 and employed a novel P source (struvite), a granule-like based P fertilizer marketed as “Crystal Green®”. Responses of Iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa), carrot (Daucus carota sativus), onions (Allium cepa) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) to struvite (CG), triple super phosphate (TSP), and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) were compared. Our results revealed that CG compared favorably to TSP but not to MAP when applied as a sole P source. However, certain blends or co-granulated formulations of MAP and CG often provided superior yields than MAP alone. The later studies comprised of four experiments performed from 2016 to 2017. These studies employed various nitrogen (N) sources. The N sources included enhanced efficiency N fertilizers and conventional N products applied at 0,150, and 300 kg N/ha in 2015 and 0, 100, and 200 kg N/ha in 2016. We observed that spinach yields were often maximized at N rates less than 200 kg N/ha considerably below standard commercial practices. The data also revealed that the N source fused safe nitrate (FUSN), a product developed as a substitute for dry ammonium nitrate, generally produced favorable spinach responses relative to the other dry N sources such as ammonium sulfate (AS) and urea. The controlled release fertilizer (CRF) products were observed to be effective N sources for spinach production and are viable options for enhanced efficiency. Contrarily, the nitrification inhibitors caused ammonium damage and yield depression. Overall, the experiments proved that environmentally friendly N and P fertilizers are effective nutrient sources for vegetable production on desert soils.