The UA Dissertations Collection provides open access to dissertations produced at the University of Arizona, including dissertations submitted online from 2005-present, and dissertations from 1924-2006 that were digitized from paper and microfilm holdings.

We have digitized the entire backfile of master's theses and doctoral dissertations that have been submitted to the University of Arizona Libraries - since 1895! If you can't find the item you want in the repository and would like to check its digitization status, please contact us.


Please refer to the Dissertations and Theses in the UA Libraries guide for more details about UA Theses and Dissertations, and to find materials that are not available online. Email repository@u.library.arizona.edu with your questions about UA Theses and Dissertations.

Recent Submissions

  • Breaks, Samples, and Sites for Cyphers: Remixing the Administration of Writing

    Troutman, Stephanie; House, Eric; Miller-Cochran, Susan; Cardenas, Maritza; Petchauer, Emery (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    This dissertation forwards a DJ-based hip-hop methodology as an intervention within the discourses of Writing Program Administration (WPA). It is a response to calls from the larger field of rhetoric and composition as well as the sub field of WPA for work that theorizes through disciplinary issues of whiteness, suggesting that hip-hop as a culture founded within the same western discourse of the academy has the capacity to interrogate the practices that reproduce and uphold hegemony. I argue that hip-hop can only accomplish this when it is first theorized through a synthesis of hip-hop feminism and critical theory since its proximity to dominant discourse must be unpacked and theorized rather than abandoned. This project also centers on hip-hop’s remixing capabilities as it argues that critiques should include an element of extension and creation as a willful ignorance or removal from the effects of dominant culture might be theoretically impossible. Instead, it argues that the critiques of WPA discourse offers occasions for compositions that are sensitive to differences in cultural location. The central argument in Breaks, Samples, and Sites for Cyphers is that the methodologies that guide practice and production within WPA must consider the intricacies of cultural location. The discourse of WPA is often presented as a neutral endeavor with practices that discipline administrators, students, teachers, and staff so that they might uphold middle-class, white norms. A hip-hop methodology has the potential to disrupt this practice by offering remixes of writing and identity that are sensitive to a variety of social and political contexts. The DJ is then specifically utilized as an image of a critical writing administrator due to their ability to invite spacious compositions from a variety of identities, packaging and presenting those compositions in ways that might speak back towards legacies of whiteness within the field. In chapter two, I begin the discussion by defining my hip-hop methodology through a synthesis of hip-hop feminism and critical theory in order to explore hip-hop’s potential to call out and speak back towards a dominating discourse. I then center on the hip-hop DJ, recognizing that while they share hip-hop as a guiding epistemology, the practices within the culture all have their own guiding logics. I emphasize the DJ as they closely parallel the writing administrator through their emphasis on administering and inviting writing occasions. Chapter three focuses on composition curriculum realized through the WPA Outcomes Statement, a document created by the Council of Writing Program Administrators that focuses on naming and normalizing expectations for the first-year writing class. Through a hip-hop discourse analysis of the document, I argue for remixed definitions for writing and rhetoric within the class that are more sensitive of difference. I continue the dialogue of difference and identity in chapter four, arguing for cypher logics to impact the ways in which identity is handled within the field. I end the discussion in chapter five by pointing out that while hip-hop offers a generative intervention that can help in the critiquing of whiteness in WPA, it alone cannot be the chosen culture to do so. What is needed are continual theories and methodologies that come from various cultural locations that can all aid in the work of challenging and critiquing problematic discourses in rhetoric and composition.
  • Advances in Microbiome Analysis: From the Variance Component Model to Deep Learning

    Zhou, Jin; Zhai, Jing; Roe, Denise J.; Hu, Chengcheng (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Evidence linking microbiome to human health is rapidly growing, suggesting that the human microbiome may serve as novel biomarkers for disease. In microbiome profiling, the direct sequencing outputs are counts or compositions of bacterial taxa at different taxonomic levels. The key research questions in microbiome analysis are to identify the bacterial taxa associated with a clinical outcome and to leverage microbiome aiming to make an accurate prediction on host phenotypes. Although the next generation sequencing has produced extensive microbiome data, data analyses are hindered by several statistical challenges due to the unique characteristics of microbiome profile which includes that 1) the number of taxa greatly exceeds the sample size, 2) most taxa are in extremely low abundance and absent in many samples, and 3) the taxa are related to one another by an evolutionary tree. In this dissertation, three papers are presented to address these challenges. In the first paper, a regularized variance component model is developed for selecting important microbiome taxa. We consider regression analysis by treating bacterial taxa at different levels as multiple random effects. For each taxon, a kernel matrix is calculated based on distance measures in the phylogenetic tree and it acts as one variance component in the joint model. Then, taxonomic selection is achieved by the lasso (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) penalty on variance components. Our method integrates biological information into the variable selection problem and greatly improves selection accuracies. Simulation studies demonstrate the superiority of our methods versus existing ones, for example, the group-lasso. This method is then applied to a longitudinal microbiome study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients. We implement our method using the high performance computing language Julia. Software and detailed documentation are freely available at https://github.com/JingZhai63/VCselection. In the second paper, we thoroughly investigate the link between lung microbiome composition, pulmonary inflammation, and early lung dysfunction. First, the genus-level taxa are labeled as two pneumotypes: supraglottic and background predominant taxa (i.e., SPT and BPT as previously described by others). Next, multiple statistical approaches are used to characterize these two pneumotype taxa, including dissimilarity-overlap curve (DOC) microbiome dynamics analysis, weighted Spearman correlation analysis, network analysis, etc. We find that previously defined microbial taxa have different effect on inflammation markers and lung function in an HIV positive population. The dynamics of post-ART pneumotype SPT was host-dependent, indicating that the microbiome variability among individuals not only originates from the difference in microbiome species assemblage, but also stems from host specific factors, such as lifestyles. The complex lung function-microbiome-inflammatory network and microbiome dynamics pattern suggest that a healthy lung microbiome may play a critical role in preventing lung function decline of HIV infected individuals. The findings in the second paper suggest that, in addition to identify taxa related to disease, it is also important to uncover the microbiome-phenotype network by understanding microbiome as a whole. In the third paper, we present DeepBiome, a deep learning model, to uncover the network of microbiome and visualize its path to disease. The proposed DeepBiome takes microbiome abundance data as input and uses the phylogenetic tree as a prior knowledge to decide the optimal number of layers and neurons on each of it. By doing so, we are able to relieve the computation burden of tuning DNN hyperparameters. In addition, DeepBiome provides phylogeny regularized weight decay to improve prediction on host phenotypes during training. This deep learning framework not only can analyze a microbiome as a whole to provide a comprehensive network view and but also can identify taxa associate with outcome at each taxonomic level. DeepBiome is designed for both regression and classification problems to support a broader application in microbiome analysis. The simulation studies and real data application show that DeepBiome is a cutting-edge tool in the area of complex microbiome data analysis.
  • Biopolitics, Female Choice, and First Wave Feminism: English and American Fiction, 1871-1916

    Hogle, Jerrold E.; Kasper, Daniel Thomas; Zwinger, Lynda; Hurh, Paul; Lempert, Manya (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    “Biopolitics, Female Choice, and First Wave Feminism” argues that the shift allowing women to enter the public sphere hinged on integrating Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection into political discourse. Authors writing in genres as diverse as science fiction, psychological realism, the Gothic, and the imaginary journey deployed the logic of female choice in arguing for the emancipation of women, demonstrating that the circumscribed roles for women in Britain and the US were non-natural, cultural constructions. Moreover, basing their suffrage arguments on female sexuality and procreation meant embracing and explicating a line of political thought which reified nineteenth century notions of race hierarchy, which were themselves bolstered elsewhere by Darwin. Appropriating the power within sexual dynamics afforded to non-human species by scientific theory, white women characters adopted the assumptions of racial superiority that undergirded the popular understanding of evolutionary progress, using techniques of government revealed by Michel Foucault’s late work in order to persuade the men around them to support women’s suffrage. Plotting the arc of this persuasion—in novels from Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Henry James, Bram Stoker, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman—demonstrates the increasing freedom afforded to white women at the expense of reinforcing nonscientific Victorian notions of race and eugenics, justifying the adoption of biopolitics by twentieth century governments through a seemingly feminist political shift.
  • Reconstructing Late Holocene Climate and Coastal Evolution for the Northeastern United States

    Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Pearl, Jessie Kathleen; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Meko, David M.; Pearson, Charlotte L.; Tierney, Jessica E. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Paleoclimate data provide the opportunity to understand the Earth's climate system on timescales from decades to millennia, as well as quantify the frequency and magnitude of global change. This information cannot be concretely determined from relatively short instrumental observations alone. Long, annually resolved climate and paleoclimate records help evaluate the impacts of global change and characterize internal variability of the Earth system. Paleoclimate reconstructions in the northeastern United States have pervasive uncertainties due to the deficiency of high-resolution temperature-sensitive proxy records in the region. Tree-ring chronologies in the Northeast, in particular, typically exhibit mixed moisture and temperature sensitivity, convoluting the climate signal for reconstructions. Here, I develop an extensive network of precisely dated and annually-resolved late Holocene tree-ring chronologies from living and preserved (subfossil) forests of Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic White cedar, `AWC'), throughout the northeastern United States. I demonstrate the utility of AWC as a novel, high-precision, paleotemperature and coastal paleohydroclimate proxy. The data presented in this dissertation are used to generate the first spatial temperature reconstruction for the Northeast and provide crucial information about extreme hydrologic events affecting the heavily populated Boston to New York metropolitan coastal corridor. The coastal location of the AWC network provides a unique opportunity for multiproxy studies of both low-frequency coastal climate trends and punctuated events, including large storms, along the New England coastline. I use a combination of subfossil wood, radiocarbon, and sediment cores of near-shore environments to develop precisely dated tree-ring chronologies that reach back beyond the Common Era and examine the impacts of hurricanes on coastal ecosystems. These paleoclimate data fill a critical data gap, are used to improve and extend the climate history of New England, and identify the occurrence, frequency, of broad-scale climate phenomena and the impacts of extreme events.
  • Modeling the Impact of Chronic Disease on Work Life

    Davis, Mary Patricia; Allman, Violeta Suzara; Abraham, Ivo L.; Carlisle, Healther (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    This study utilizes historic chronic disease and employment data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to specify a multivariate regression model for forecasting the impact of specific chronic diseases on work life. The purpose of the study is to create a new model for forecasting chronic disease-adjusted work life years, which is a measure of disease burden due to chronic disease. The ability to work may be considered a proxy for quality of life, as it is a means by which a person preserves their financial independence and maintains their financial capacity for self-care. This forecasting model is germane to advanced nursing practice, as it provides practitioners a tool to measure patients’ ability to work given various scenarios of chronic disease – many of which, are preventable. This tool may be useful for motivating patients to adopt healthy lifxestyle behaviors such as smoking cessation, weight loss, exercise, and adopting healthy eating habits so they may change chronic disease trajectories and preserve their ability to work and financially provide for themselves and their families. This advocacy and promotion of patient health through self-care is a cornerstone of advanced nursing practice (Thrasher, 2002). Furthermore, this tool may also be useful for calculating or forecasting disease burden in terms of an individual’s attenuated work years or lost productivity. On a larger scale, this tool may be used to calculate lost labor force participation of a population or group of individuals. These statistics may be used as quality improvement measures, economic forecasting data, or for justifying healthcare policy changes or for the allocation of healthcare resources.
  • Memory Interventions to Enhance Long-Term Memory with Atypical and Typical Development

    Edgin, Jamie O.; Sakhon, Stella; Gomez, Rebecca L.; Grilli, Matthew D. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic form of intellectual disability. Individuals with DS present memory and learning difficulties associated with hippocampal impairments. The studies presented in this dissertation investigated different ways of encoding that may rely less on the hippocampus and therefore support better long-term retention for individuals with DS compared to typically developing (TD) mental age-match children. Study 1 investigated two learning conditions where participants learned novel arbitrary picture word associations using fast mapping (FM), an incidental, exclusion-based learning procedure and an explicit encoding learning procedure (Coutanche & Thompson-Schill, 2014). Both DS and TD participants performed similarly for the two conditions across immediate, 5-minute, and 1-week delay. The DS group was not impaired compared to the TD group and maintained what they had learned over the 1-week delay. These findings could have been due to receiving multiple test opportunities at each delay test. Therefore, Study 2 investigated three learning conditions where participants either learned a series of action sequences from two demonstrations and a pause, three demonstrations, or from two demonstrations and a test. The DS group benefited from the test condition at the 1-month delay test. Further comparisons between sequences tested vs. not tested at the 5-minute delay test revealed a testing benefit in both groups. The benefit seen with testing could be influence by a self-bias benefit when given the opportunity to model the action sequences themselves vs. watching another person model the action sequences. Therefore, Study 3 investigated the self-reference effect (SRE), which is a memory advantage for information encoded in reference to one’s self compared to another person or a lower level processing condition. This study consisted of three learning conditions where participants sorted toys and made toy evaluations in reference to themselves, an experimenter, or based on the size of the toy. There was an overall benefit of the size evaluation condition and no difference between the DS and TD group for the self and other condition at immediate or 1-week recognition and source test. Task difficulty could have inhibited SRE in this study. These findings suggest that retrieval practice could be an alternative method of learning that could be beneficial for individuals with DS. Future studies can investigate the benefit of expanded retrieval practice (i.e., combination of spacing and testing). Additionally, more work is needed to better determine the outcome of other ways of learning (i.e., FM and SR) for young children and individuals with DS. Memory interventions and learning strategies can incorporate retrieval practice to support memory difficulties that individuals with DS display.
  • Strange Sight in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel

    Zwinger, Lynda; Coons, Jayda; Lempert, Manya; Mason, Lauren (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Two technologies in the nineteenth-century drastically altered how the English saw and conceptualized reality: photography and the realist novel. Both pretended to capture an unmediated, totalizing representation, yet both were also heavily manipulated to produce particular effects and interrogate the idea of objectivity. This dissertation tracks the development of the nineteenth-century realist novel in England not through its claims to representational mimesis, but rather through its ubiquitous visual strangeness. I examine puzzling visual encounters in touchstone English novels to argue that rather than representing the world in its putative social, psychological, and historical completeness, realist novelists integrate visual strangeness into their fictions to mark the rupture and illogic existent within perceptual reality. Using psychoanalytic theories of intersubjectivity with visual culture studies, I suggest these moments are not aberrations within realism, but are essential to the development of the form. They reveal the English novel is largely about how empirical approaches to knowledge come up against the problem of subjectivity. These unassimilable, eruptive textual moments of “strange sight” reckon with difference, stage encounter, and express disillusionment with the notion that the visual can fully and cogently signify; however, they also liberate realism from merely descriptive accounts of “things as they are” and generate alternative, imaginative forms of being and knowing that are not beholden to normative epistemologies.
  • Stuck in the Middle: Dative Arguments and Middle-Passive Constructions in Spanish

    Olarrea, Antxon; Harley, Heidi; Suarez-Palma, Imanol; Simonet, Miquel (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    This dissertation presents novel data from Spanish middle-passive constructions and their interaction with non-selected dative arguments. Middle-passive constructions are characterized by the presence of the reflexive clitic se, imperfective tenses, and agreement between the verb and the definite DP Theme in preverbal position; moreover, any transitive verb can occur in these structures and the possibility of introducing an agent by means of a por-phrase is banned. While traditional classifications of middle constructions (Mendikoetxea 1999) catalogue middle-passive structures as a single homogeneous category, this dissertation shows that these constructions in Spanish, unlike in other Romance languages, show different behaviors with respect to the possibility of inserting an unselected dative argument depending on the type of predicate contained in them. Thus, (i) predicates expressing a change of state or location in middle-passive configurations freely allow the insertion of a dative clitic, optionally reduplicated by a dative DP, which is interpreted as the accidental causer or affected by the event; (ii) predicates of perception can subcategorize for a dative DP interpreted as the inalienable possessor of the DP Theme; and (iii) agentive activity predicates in middle-passive contexts automatically block the insertion of a dative argument of any sort. Therefore, attending to these contrasts, a more detailed classification of middle-passive constructions is provided. Assuming dative objects in Spanish are instances of applied arguments, in line with the current theory of Applicatives (Marantz 1984; Baker 1988; Pylkkänen 2002, 2008; Cuervo 2003; Harley et al. 2009), I show that unselected dative arguments in (i) are Affected Applicatives relating the dative entity to a change-of-state/location event; the possibility of introducing this phrase in these contexts is due to the fact that, being generic unaccusatives, these predicates do not project an implicit argument in VoiceP that could come into conflict with the dative entity. Additionally, the dative arguments in (ii) are Low Applicatives of possession, which relate a possessor (the dative DP) with a possessee (the DP Theme). Moreover, I show that the relationship of inalienable possession does not arise by means of the applicative; instead, it originates inside the DP Theme itself. Finally, dative arguments in middle-passive contexts with fully agentive activity verbs are banned due to the fact that these constructions do project an expletive VoiceP whose implicit argument clashes with the applicative head.
  • Agricultural Producers' Decision-Making and Preferences In Relation To Economic Incentives, Climate and Weather Conditions

    Marsh, Stuart; Tronstad, Russell E.; Sall, Ibrahima; Frisvold, George B; Guertin, D. Phillip; Wissler, Craig A. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    This dissertation consists of three essays that analyze the decision-making and preferences of agricultural producers within the United States in relation to economic incentives, climate, weather and drought conditions. The first essay focuses on exploring Arizona beef producers’ willingness to join an alliance and preferences for vertical integration through alliances. The second essay aims to quantify the percent of cropland acreage in a county planted to cotton as a result of subsidized crop insurance. The last essay proposes to quantify the combined effect of insurance incentives, price change expectations, irrigation, climate, weather and drought conditions leading to the farmer’s decision to abandon all or part of their planted acres.
  • Assessment Literacy: A Study of EFL Teachers’ Assessment Knowledge, Perspectives, and Classroom Behaviors

    Ecke, Peter; Al Bahlani, Sara Mohammed; Warner, Chantelle; White, Eddy; Czerkawski, Betul (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Teacher assessment literacy is essential to the success of teaching (T. H. Wang et al., 2008), the quality of student learning (DeLuca, Klinger, Searle, & Shulha, 2010; Mertler, 2004; White, 2009) and student learning motivation (Alkharusi, 2013; Dorman & Knightley, 2006). However, studies have consistently shown inadequate levels of assessment literacy for both pre-service and in-service teachers in language teaching and general education (Alkharusi, 2011; Malone, 2013; Mertler & Campbel1, 2005; Plake & Impara, 1992). This dissertation research aims to understand the current state of EFL teacher assessment literacy in six colleges of applied sciences in Oman by investigating teacher self-perceived language assessment literacy (competence and frequency of practice) as well as assessment knowledge and practice in the classroom. Its theoretical framework are Brookhart’s (2011) contemporary conceptualizations of formative assessment, Eyal’s (2012) discussion of digital assessment literacy as an important component in measuring teacher assessment literacy and Alkharusi’s (2009; 2010) methodological approach to investigating assessment literacy. This study implements a mixed-method approach using a triangulation of five data sources including self-assessment surveys, a language assessment knowledge test, an assessment evaluation task, classroom observations with a focus on teacher-produced assessment tasks, and teacher interviews. Multivariate analyses were used to examine relations between assessment literacy and participant background characteristics, such as gender, academic preparation, teaching experience, experience as coordinators, pre-service training, and in-service training. Research findings point to strengths and weaknesses in EFL teacher assessment literacy as well as matches and mismatches between teachers’ self-perceived assessment literacy and demonstrated assessment knowledge. Overall EFL teachers view themselves as moderately competent in language assessment. The variable with the strongest effect on teacher’s assessment literacy was pre-service training in assessment. The study discusses implications of research findings and offers suggestions for EFL teacher preparation programs, teaching institutions, and future research.
  • Households, Ritual, and the Origins of Social Complexity: Excavations at the Karinel Group, Ceibal, Guatemala

    Inomata, Takeshi; Triadan, Daniela; MacLellan, Jessica; Fogelin, Lars (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    In this dissertation, I investigate the role of household ritual in the development of complex society at the Maya site of Ceibal, in Guatemala. My approach to ritual – and its role in both uniting communities and fostering hierarchies – is grounded in practice theory, particularly the work of Catherine Bell. Ceibal was the ideal location at which to explore the relationship between domestic and public ritual during the development of Maya civilization, because the site was founded as a ceremonial center around the transition to sedentism and intensive agriculture. My dissertation research consisted of four seasons of extensive excavations at the Karinel Group, an early residential area at Ceibal, along with laboratory analyses in Guatemala City and bibliographic research into other early Maya sites. The Karinel Group was selected based on the presence of early ceramics, proximity to the site center, and relatively shallow overburden. It was important to develop a precise chronology of the Karinel Group, in order to learn 1) when people began to live in permanent patio groups, occupied over generations; 2) when household rituals and public plaza rituals were similar, and when they differed; and 3) when ancestor veneration rituals, as documented in northern Belize, began to play a role in the development of social inequality. The chronology was based on careful analyses of stratigraphy, ceramics, and radiocarbon dates. I found that while the Karinel Group was occupied around 850-775 BC, the earliest permanent structures date to after 775 BC and the earliest patio group dates to after 700 BC. These results support other research at Ceibal that indicates the transition from a more mobile lifestyle to a more sedentary one was gradual and piecemeal. I also found that domestic and public rituals at Ceibal had little in common until about 350 BC. Contrary to a common assumption, public rituals do not necessarily develop out of domestic predecessors. At Ceibal, separate household rituals centered on low circular platforms and involving ceramic figurines may have existed in tension with increasingly hierarchical rituals involving greenstone axe caches and restricted platforms in the public plaza. Interestingly, early ancestor veneration rituals seen in northern Belize were absent at Ceibal and in reports from other parts of the Maya lowlands, suggesting that the social processes that shaped early Maya society differed across regions. Around 350 BC, a major shift occurred across the lowlands, when household rituals became more centralized and similar to public rituals. This transformation in ritual practices requires further investigation, but it may have paved the way for the emergence of rulers.
  • Written Variation among Speakers of Spanish as their First, Second and Heritage Language: The Case of the Subject Pronoun Expression

    Carvalho, Ana; Fernandez Florez, Carmen; Gorman, Lillian; Fernández, Julieta; Shin, Naomi (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    This dissertation revisits the variable subject pronoun expression (SPE) in Spanish from an understudied perspective: written narratives. Based on data collected among monolingual speakers (L1), second language learners (L2), and heritage language learners (HL) of Spanish, the present study aims to further our understanding of SPE’s behaviour in written language. As the breadth of the existent research indicates, the variability of subject pronoun expression (SPE) in spoken Spanish (overt vs. null) is of great interest. Recently, the span of this research has moved beyond the expression of subjects among native speakers (e.g. Lastra & Martín Butragueño, 2015; Michnowicz, 2015) to explore its behaviour among L2 learners (Geeslin et al., 2013, 2015; Linford, 2016), and HL (Bessett, 2017; Cacoullos & Travis, 2015). While SPE varies in terms of overall rates of expression across Spanish dialects, a similar underlying grammar has been found to predict its behavior. Variationist research on SPE among L1 speakers of Spanish has identified factors such as tense, mood, and aspect (TMA) of the verb, TMA continuity, switch reference, as well as person and number of the referent as key predictors of its realization (Carvalho et al., 2015, p. x-xi). The current study explores whether these underlying patterns are also found in written narratives, a register that is different from spoken language (Biber & Conrad, 2009). A total of 216 essays narrating past events were collected among L1, L2, and HL participants (45 compositions in each group), resulting in a total of 5,075 tokens of 1st person SPE. Due to the heterogeneity in proficiency levels that is usually found in L2 and HL classrooms, the compositions were analyzed based on accuracy levels represented by three parameters: morphological, syntactical, and lexical accuracy. Each participant was then regrouped and classified as beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The analysis revealed that written and spoken SPE behave similarly in terms of the linguistic predictors that impact pronominal usage among L1 speakers. In addition, it was possible to identify a gradual acquisition of this variable among L2 and HL learners across accuracy levels. Finally, the results clearly show that written production triggers fewer overt subject pronouns and experiences a desensitization to switch-reference contexts when compared to spoken language. By bridging the fields of second language acquisition and sociolinguistic variation, this research deepens our understanding about L1 variation in written language and sheds light on the differences among L2 and HL learners across accuracy levels.
  • Development of Oxidative Dearomatization Enabled Methods to Synthesize Various Heterocycles

    Njardarson, Jon T.; Smith, David Townsend; Glass, Richard; Jewett, John; Cordes, Matthew (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    The structures of FDA approved small-molecule pharmaceuticals are discussed in detail in Chapter 1. Chapter 1.1 focuses on nitrogen-heterocycle containing drugs and Chapter 1.2 focuses on oxygen-heterocycle containing drugs, highlighting the importance and prevalence of these heterocyclic structures. In Chapter 1.3 the structures of molecules utilized in combination drugs are analyzed and discussed. Chapter 2 describes a novel metal-free route to synthesize fluorinated indoles from anilines and hfacac, using a hypervalent iodine oxidant. Chapter 3 shows how the strategy in Chapter 2 was built upon and optimized to create a new synthesis of fluorinated benzofurans. In Chapter 4, a new method to form indoles from 2-allenylanilines is presented, showcasing how lead tetraacetate can be leveraged to achieve cyclization and simultaneous formation of a carbon-nitrogen and carbonoxygen bond. Chapter 5 gives a detailed literature review of how oxirane and oxetane starting materials have been used in ring expansion reactions.
  • Ironing Out Roles and Regulation of NRF2 in a Hereditary Cancer Syndrome

    Ooi, Aikseng; Kerins, Michael John; Chen, Qin; Maher, Jonathan; Wondrak, Georg; Zhang, Donna (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    The deadly kidney cancers associated with hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) show activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid 2)-like 2 (NFE2L2, NRF2) transcription factor. NRF2 activation causes chemoresistance and limits therapeutic efficacy. However, clear mechanisms of how NRF2 activation in HLRCC contributes to the progression of the disease are not known, and no treatments have been identified to circumvent the NRF2-mediated chemoresistance in HLRCC. This dissertation explores the roles of NRF2 in cancer, particularly HLRCC. Here, we provide a comprehensive catalog of NRF2 mutations across all tumor types, and characterize underappreciated NRF2-R34 mutations that activate the antioxidant response. We then focus on a particular cancer harboring NRF2 activation, HLRCC, and provide the first evidence of a role for NRF2 in upregulating the iron storage protein, ferritin, to induce a chronic proliferative signal in HLRCC. To circumvent the known therapeutic resistance of HLRCC, we demonstrate that HLRCC is sensitive to an iron-dependent cell death, ferroptosis. Lastly, to further characterize the NRF2 regulatory network, we systematically identify previously-unrecognized negative regulators of NRF2. This dissertation presents mechanistic insight into the iron-dependent role of NRF2 in cancer, particularly HLRCC, while simultaneously identifying new regulators for NRF2 and new treatment modalities for HLRCC.
  • Evidence-Based Research to Inform Diabetes Prevention Policy in Arizona

    Rosales, Cecilia B.; Contreras, Omar A.; Barraza, Leila; Ernst, Kacey; Carter, Heather; Shaibi, Gabriel Q. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Background: Prediabetes and diabetes are major public health problems. Diabetes is one of the ten leading causes of death in Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that at least 84 million U.S. adults (33.9%) ages 18 and older have prediabetes or at risk for type 2 diabetes. The CDC also reports that Medicaid beneficiaries are among the group at greatest risk for prediabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a widely accepted evidence-based program aims at reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes through lifestyle modifications and behavior change. Although the DPP has been proven to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, very few states in the United States have adopted diabetes prevention policies to offer the DPP as a covered benefit for Medicaid beneficiaries. Given the multiplicity of factors that underpin the support and enactment of public health policies, researchers must take an integrated approach to understanding the data-driving decisions of legislators and policymakers. The overall objective of this dissertation is to generate the necessary data to inform diabetes prevention policy in Arizona. We hypothesize that Arizona legislators and key policymakers are likely to support diabetes prevention policies that will reduce the burden of disease, are cost-saving, and align with constituency personal narratives and values. To test this hypothesis, the following four aims will be explored in this dissertation: Aim 1: Estimate the prevalence of prediabetes in the state of Arizona using commercial laboratory diagnostic data from 2012-2017; Aim 2: Project the economic net-cost savings of a diabetes prevention intervention in Arizona; Aim 3: Conduct a case study on the best practices from the states of Vermont, Minnesota, California, and Montana with successful diabetes prevention coverage policies; and Aim 4: Understand high-level processes of decision-making concerning diabetes prevention through the lens of the Arizona State Legislature. Methods: Employing the National Academy of Sciences, Assessing Prevalence and Trends (ATP) framework, prediabetes age-adjusted (2000 U.S. Standard Population) prevalence rates were calculated using 2012-2017 commercial laboratory data from Sonora Quest Laboratories, LLC. (SQL). Prediabetes cases were selected if they met one of the clinical criteria for prediabetes as defined by the American Diabetes Association 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes: HbA1C = 5.7-6.4%, fasting glucose = 100-125 mg/dl; or oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) = 140-199 mg/dl. To eliminate prediabetes cases with multiple laboratory screenings, cases were selected based on patient’s most recent laboratory test. Chi-square (χ2) tests were performed to test for statistically significant differences in age-adjusted prevalence of prediabetes by sex. Data were managed and analyzed in SAS 9.4. Applying a theoretical cost model, the economic cost-savings for the DPP were estimated using the prediabetes age-adjusted prevalence estimates, net-costs of the DPP and the total medical expenditures for those with and without a DPP intervention in Arizona as input indicators. James E. Anderson five-stage conceptual policymaking framework (1. Policy identification, 2. Policy formulation, 3. Policy adoption, 4. Policy implementation, and 5. Policy evaluation) guided the case study methodology of this dissertation. Key informants (N=10) from the Diabetes Prevention and Control and Medicaid programs from the states of Vermont (n=2), Minnesota (n=4), California (n=2), and Montana (n=2) were recruited via email and telephone for qualitative in-depth interviews. Interviews were transcribed and coded for thematic policy analysis and analyzed in NVivo-10. A 10-item mixed-survey was constructed in Qualtrics® and administered to members of the Arizona State Legislators (N=90; 30 Senators and 60 House of Representatives) via email and in-person. Survey responses were analyzed in Qualtrics®. Results: For those referred for prediabetes testing to SQL, the aggregate 2012-2017 age-adjusted prediabetes prevalence in Arizona was 19.7% (95% CI 19.6-19.8), 21.8% (95% CI 21.7-21.9) for men, and 18.2% (95% CI 18.2-18.3) for women. Analysis using χ2 test determined a statistically significant difference in age-adjusted prediabetes prevalence by sex (p<0.001). Out of 380,702 individuals that would benefit from a DPP intervention, a theoretical cost model estimated approximately $4.3 billion in medical costs-savings, and $3.6 billion net cost-savings at year 1 of the DPP compared to those with no DPP intervention. Over a ten-year period, the net cost-savings were estimated at $4.2 billion. Based on Anderson’s framework for policy process, four themes emerged through the key-informants: 1. Strategic partnerships, 2. Federal and state financial support for DPP implementation, 3. Institutional leadership support by Health and Medicaid Departments, and 4. Health care and reimbursement payment models of the DPP. The Arizona State Legislature sought advocacy groups, certified diabetes educators, and legislature leadership as integral to supporting evidence-based diabetes prevention policies. Advocacy groups were identified as an ‘extremely influential’ factor, while fiscal impact was deemed as a ‘very important’ factor whether a diabetes related bill passes or fails within a given legislative session. Conclusions: The mining of commercial diagnostic laboratory data may be powerful to enhancing existing surveillance systems that estimate the prevalence of prediabetes. The DPP in Arizona is shown to produce medical-savings and overall net-costs savings to the economy of Arizona. The enactment of diabetes prevention policies at the state level are complexed and multifaceted. Policymakers may generate informed decisions concerning diabetes prevention policies in Arizona through an array of stakeholders comprised of advocacy groups and coalitions, while also supporting evidence-based policies that are fiscally conservative and that address the social determinants of public health in relation to diabetes. Policy recommendations: Evidence-based public health policies are key in preventing the rise of type 2 diabetes in Arizona and warrants attention from policymakers as well as diabetes advocacy groups and coalitions. It is imperative that Arizona’s Medicaid system supports the implementation of a reimbursement/coverage policy for the DPP to ensure the sustainability of evidence-based prevention programs to help curb the incidence of type 2 diabetes, in addition to utilizing large commercial laboratory diagnostic data to estimate the burden of prediabetes in Arizona.
  • Health Monitoring Using Wearable Sensors

    Powers, Linda S.; Chen, Kemeng; Roveda, Janet M.; Tharp, Hal S. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Portable and low power sensors are widely used in long term remote monitoring scenarios such as health and fitness (e.g., heartbeat, body motion), agriculture, (e.g., water, soil, and climate), home environment (e.g., air quality, humidity), etc. Those sensors continuously collect critical information and transmit information to other devices (e.g., computer, cloud) for further processing and storage. For instance, a wearable sensor mobile platform enables great potential for low cost, convenient and effective remote health monitoring. Patients wearing a portable sensor wirelessly connected to their mobile phone can be monitored remotely at their home or during work without professional medical presence. However, wearable sensors suffer from various kinds of noise due to excessive activity, simplified hardware design, etc. Correlating multiple measurements to detect certain human physiological responses or status is still a difficult task. Besides, long term data monitoring requires an efficient data compression or sampling strategy to reduce the amount of data accumulated during monitoring. To address these challenges, this dissertation proposed and implemented a noise tolerant algorithm, a multi-sensor signal fusion model, and a compressive sensing based data acquisition framework aimed at providing potential solutions for the these challenges. We also proposed a framework to track sleep using wearable sensors. In addition, this dissertation also included deep learning and image processing based model to address the challenge of automatic cell nuclei detection and segmentation from microscopy images. Algorithms, models and applications implemented in this dissertation have been tested using real data from public data set repositories.
  • Repertoires of Identities: Language, Intersectionality and Memory in Tunisia (1881-Present)

    Farwaneh, Samira; Clancy-Smith, Julia; Rahmouni, Kamilia; Betteridge, Anne H. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    The aim of this dissertation is to elucidate the links between identity, performative acts, social representations and memories by exploring linguistic and symbolic processes involved in identity construction in Tunisia (1881-present). It brings together historical, cultural and linguistic perspectives in order to explore the intersectional plays of identities among minority groups in Tunisia and abroad. As such, this dissertation takes an integrative approach that analyzes identity construction from various angles (sociolinguistics and cultural studies) and in different settings (Tunisia and diaspora) (Butler 1990, 1993; Crenshaw 1989, 1991; Hymes 1986; Myers-Scotton, 1993). Based on surveys, archival research and ethnographic work, this dissertation is divided into three main sections. The first section introduces and defines a new sociolinguistic construct termed intersectional linguistic repertoire (Benor 2013). This section investigates the mutually performative relationship between this repertoire and intersectional identities in Tunisia through the analysis of various ideological essays and literary productions. The second section discerns and analyzes ways in which diaspora minority groups in Paris construct and perform their complex intersectional identities (focusing on language choice and linguistic attitudes). It analyzes the complex and subtle intra-group differences, while challenging presumptions about intra-group uniformity and homogeneity among minority communities both in Tunisia and the diaspora. The third section examines the history of inter-religious relations and collective memory formation in Tunisia. It historicizes today’s social memories about former religious and national minorities and discusses how these memories are created, retained, and reproduced through social experiences, personal narratives, and archival documents.
  • The Evolution of Surface Roughness on a Stony Hillslope

    Nearing, Mark; Guertin, Phillip; Li, Li; Nichols, Mary; Winter, Larrabee; McGuire, Luke (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    The presented three studies attempted to enhance our understanding of the evolution of stony hillslope in drylands. Multi-temporal terrestrial LiDAR scans were conducted at six positions around stony plots (2 m × 6.1 m) with three slope treatments (5%, 12%, and 20%, two replications for each slope treatment) through 22 simulated rainfall applications. The first study examines the potential use of terrestrial LiDAR scanner to measure erosion on small plots at high resolutions. With the aid of fixed reference controls in the form of concrete target surfaces of varying roughness, registration accuracy was better than 1 mm and the mean level of change detection was less than 2.2 mm. Comparisons between the erosion mass estimated from LiDAR scans and from runoff samples suggest that using the LiDAR to monitor soil erosion at the plot scale is feasible, and provides guidance about the level of accuracy one might expect in doing so, and the number of scan positions could be reduced to three while not significantly impacting the volumetric change estimations. The second study investigates the effects of DEM interpolation and interpolation methods on quantification of soil surface roughness. DEMs errors tended to increase after the surfaces evolved to a rougher state and when a coarser resolution was used. Comparisons between the random roughness calculated from LiDAR point cloud directly and from LiDAR-interpolated DEMs showed that DEMs generated from LiDAR underestimated soil surface roughness and are ineffective for tracking changes in soil surface roughness over time and that LiDAR point cloud data must be used instead on the present scale. The third study tracks the spatiotemporal evolution of soil surface roughness on stony plots. Roughness indices including random roughness (RR), fractal dimension and generalized fractal dimension, were calculated from LiDAR point cloud directly. Surface roughness showed an increasing trend as the rainfall simulation proceeded, and the steeper slope resulted in greater surface roughness. Both the increase of surficial exposed rocks and the formations of erosion features, e.g., rills and depressions, contributed to the spatiotemporal variations of soil surface roughness. Results also showed that the fractal dimension was not a good indicator of soil surface roughness, but rather was an index of the form of the surface. Crossover length was a measure of roughness at a scale of a few millimeters, while random roughness was a measure of elevation variation on the scale of the length of the transect measured, and thus encompassed larger morphological features including rills. We also established a new method for analyzing multiple fractals that characterized the heterogeneity of soil surface roughness. These results improve our understanding of the evolution of semiarid stony hillslopes.
  • Las Amazonas en el Mundo Hispánico: La Persistencia de un Mitro Transatlántico

    Kinkade, Richard P.; Luis Jimenez, Isidro; Harden, Faith S.; Compitello, Malcolm A. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    In Western culture, the myth of the Amazons has embodied the symbolic existence of a gynocracy at the cultural and geographical margins of masculine control. My dissertation explores the origin of the myth in classic sources and how the Amazons appeared recurrently in Medieval Spanish literature through Summae, Historiae, travel books, the Libro de Alexandre, chronicles and chivalric romances, and analyzes how the myth had a significant importance to understand and comprehend the new American space and cultural otherness in Early Modern period. Finally, I approach the ambivalent myth using Structuralist and Feminist theory.
  • Advanced Design and Development of Novel Microparticulate/Nanoparticulate Dry Powder Inhalers for Targeted Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension

    Mansour, Heidi M.; Acosta, Maria Fernanda; Mayersohn, Michael; Cherrington, Nathan; Raghavan, Srini (The University of Arizona., 2019)
    Pulmonary drug delivery is rapidly becoming one of the most important routes for targeting drugs to treat respiratory diseases. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a life-threatening disease characterized by an increase in pulmonary artery pressure. PH is complex and multifactorial making a challenge to researchers for the understanding of molecular mechanisms that are involved in the pathogenesis and the developing of novel pharmacological strategies to treat this disease. The objective of this study was to design targeted dry powder inhalers (DPIs) for the treatment of this fatal disease using new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which trigger novel molecular and cellular mechanisms of the disease. Dry powder inhalable microparticles/nanoparticles of Simvastatin (Sim), L-Carnitine (L-Car), L-Carnitine (HCl), Metformin (Met) and a combination of Sim and L-Car HCl were developed using the advanced spray drying (SD) technique in closed mode. This particle engineering technique offers many advantages such as the ability to tailor particle properties and characteristics for the appropriate deposition of the DPIs into the lungs. Many analytical techniques were utilized in this dissertation to perform the physicochemical characterization of the achieved powders. The Next Generation Impactor (NGI™) and different human FDA approved DPI devices were employed to evaluate the in vitro aerosol dispersion performance of the DPIs. The results were statistically analyzed and correlated with the microscopic and macroscopic properties of the powders. Different in vitro cell models such as 2-D vs. 3-D in liquid covered conditions vs. air-liquid interface conditions were employed to test the drug-response and safety of the powder formulations. Different in vivo models in healthy and diseased animals were used to test our DPIs. After this extensive study, it was concluded that the formulated DPIs showed promising results to treat PH.

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