• Formative Assessment: Documenting Motor Vehicle Crashes and Local Perceptions with the Hualapai Tribe to Inform Injury Prevention Recommendations

      Mahal, Zeenat (The University of Arizona., 2020)
      Background: This research was designed to understand factors influencing Motor Vehicle Crashes (MVCs) on or near the Hualapai Tribe’s reservation in northwestern Arizona. The goal is to enable the Tribe to develop and implement a locally relevant MVC intervention program. The specific aims were to: i) compile and analyze 2010-2016 MVC data from Hualapai and federal sources to assess distributions of frequency, rates, high risk-locales, causes, days, times, age and sex of the drivers, in addition to assessing related conditions; ii) document local perceptions of environmental, social, and behavioral barriers to safe driving practices, and knowledge of MVC risk factors and existing tribal laws; and iii) provide evidence-based recommendations using the results from quantitative and qualitative data analyses. Approach/Methods: The research process applied a Community-Based Participatory Research approach and mixed methods using: a) secondary data analyses of records from six tribal programs and Indian Health Service (IHS), and b) qualitative analyses of data from two focus groups and field documents. Sensitivity analyses were conducted of IHS and Tribal Driving Under the Influence (DUI) data, using the 2010 U.S. Census as the denominator after adjusting for an undercount of up to 25%. Descriptive statistics, Fisher’s Exact Test, and linear and logistic regressions were used to examine significance. MVCs per 10 miles per year were estimated for State Route 66 and Diamond Bar Road/Grand Canyon West on or near the reservation due to higher numbers of crashes. Statistical process control charts, especially g-charts monitoring time between events, were plotted to examine the stability in the number of MVCs over time for each road. NVivo11Pro© was used to code and analyze the focus group data, guided by both inductive and deductive theories. Results: Driver’s seatbelt use in the Hualapai community increased from 2010 to 2012 (p < .0005), and reported DUIs decreased from 2010 to 2016 (p = .027). Similarly, car/booster seat use improved from 2014 to 2015 (p < .0005). Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) MVC-related injuries were registered at IHS facilities for Hualapai community members between 2006 and 2015. The highest rate, 22.4%, was observed in 15- to 24-year-olds, followed by 21.6% in 55- to 64-year-olds. For several combinations of numerators and denominators, sensitivity analysis of the IHS data shows a clear disparity between the Tribe’s MVC rate compared to the 2008 U.S. rate of 771.4 nonfatal injuries per 100,000 persons and the national goal for Healthy People 2020 (694.3 nonfatal injuries/100,000 persons). The major themes emerged from qualitative analyses of the focus groups were: i) unsafe traffic infrastructures, ii) DUI, iii) repeated DUI offenders driving on the reservation, and iv) a perception of lenient tribal traffic laws and enforcement on the reservation. Using study results, five Public Service Announcements were co-developed to inspire community-members to continue the trends noted from 2010-2016 and be aware of continued risks. Conclusions: MVCs are a multidimensional issue needing communitywide awareness of the range of risk factors. An intervention that addresses human and structural risks requires an alliance of tribal programs and external partners (e.g., IHS, university, federal, and state). Recommendations: Local recommendations include providing school- and institution-based education about alcohol/alcoholism and DUI consequences, and ongoing culturally and locally relevant communitywide education through the local newsletter and radio station.
    • A Study of Otar Taktakishvili’s Piano Suite: The Influence of the Georgian National Instruments Salamuri, Chonguri, Panduri, Duduki, and Doli

      Bakradze, Nino (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Georgian composer, teacher, conductor, and musicologist Otar Taktakishvili (1924–1989) played a leading role in the revival of Georgian art music in the second half of the 20th century. Despite his multiple duties and close relationship with the USSR regime, Taktakishvili consistently wrote music based on Georgian traditional folk music, hence imprinting and preserving the national Georgian identity through his compositions. These nationalistic influences appear prominently in several of his piano suites and are ubiquitous in the Piano Suite written in 1973. In the Piano Suite (1973), Taktakishvili adapts and recreates the sonorities, registers, coloristic effects through textural layering and articulations, rhythmic patterns and performance practices of selected Georgian folk instruments at the piano. He creates a unified suite by evoking the sound characteristics of his national instruments. The Piano Suite is unique and likely the only suite in the piano literature based on the imitation of a group of folk instruments, and as such deserves a place in the scholarly literature on world piano music. An analysis of the pianistic resources used by Taktakishvili to imitate the unique musical qualities and performance practices of five popular Georgian folk instruments reveals a reliance on repetitive rhythmic figures, textural layering, imaginative articulation, and deft use of the registers of the piano. The composer also distinctively implements characteristic modes and harmonic language to evoke the flavor of Georgian folk music.
    • Transition of Care: The Evaluation of Hand-off Communication Between Emergency Department and Medical/Surgical Nursing Units

      Naour, Michelle G. (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Hand-off communication from the emergency department (ED) to inpatient nurses is an important process for transfer of safe and quality patient care from one department to another. Annually, there are130.4 million ED visits with 12.2 million of those visits resulting in hospital admission, providing ample opportunities for poor communication (Rui, Kang, & Albert, 2013). Miscommunications during patient hand-off are estimated to contribute to 80% of adverse events (The Joint Commission, 2012). This theory-driven, quality improvement project sought to evaluate the hand-off communication process between nurses from the ED and nurses in the inpatient Medical/Surgical units using human factors System Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) approach, originally created by Pasqual Carayon in 2006. An online survey was created using an adapted SEIPS Model evaluating the interactive concepts of person, tools and technologies, tasks, organization, and environment and their impact on staff and patient outcomes. The survey was distributed to both the ED and Medical/Surgical nurses to gain their perspective on the interdepartmental hand-off communication process and how it impacts the staff and patient outcomes. There as an included option for the bedside nurses to provide recommendations on how to improve the hand-off communication process. Data was collected, anonymously, through an online database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. The quality improvement project found that majority of nurses prefer verbal hand-off communication with a structured standard format of delivery in conjunction with the electronic health record. The project found that nurses perceive that the nurse-to-patient ratio and surrounding tasks impact the effectiveness and quality of hand-off communication. The most common suggested hand-off communication improvements were to not allow hand-off communication or transfer of the patient from the ED to the Medical/Surgical unit during peak times, such as shift change, and to follow up on tools and technology compliance. Overall, the person, the tools and technologies, the tasks, and the environment are contributing to ineffective hand-off, while the organization has adequately provided the resources the staff needs to perform an effective hand-off communication. All of which were concluded to have an impact on the staff and patient outcomes.
    • Benzodiazepine Taper Guidelines for Older Adults in an Inpatient Geiatric/Psychiatric Unit

      Amanti, Cecilia (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Benzodiazepine dependence is a significant national problem. Although benzodiazepines — a class of drugs that includes drugs such as alprazolam, lorazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, and diazepam—have a wide range of uses including the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and seizures; they are addictive. Individuals taking these drugs can quickly develop dangerous tolerances. Therefore, these drugs should not be selected as first choice nor used for more than short periods, yet a significant portion of the population uses benzodiazepines for long periods. This problem is significantly more pronounced in the elderly, a population that scholars have agreed should not use these drugs outside of extreme circumstances. Because benzodiazepines may be wrongfully perceived as an easy treatment for so many common afflictions, providers continue to prescribe them, and patients may be reluctant to discontinue use due to the symptoms associated with withdrawal (i.e., insomnia and anxiety). To avoid these symptoms, the standard discontinuation approach seen in an outpatient setting is a long-term taper that may take eight to 12 weeks of gradual reduction. However, in an inpatient setting, this long-term approach is unfeasible due to the short length of patient stays. The literature has given little consideration to this problem. Thus, it was necessary to review evidence and develop a guideline for benzodiazepine tapering in elderly patients receiving inpatient psychiatric care. The purpose of this project was to develop a guideline to taper benzodiazepines in the elderly using the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Model (JHNEBP). The guideline was validated by expert peer reviewers using the AGREE II instrument. The completed guidelines offer recommendations on the tapering of benzodiazepines in an inpatient geropsych unit and best practices for interventions to increase the success rate of discontinuation.
    • Interactions Between Atmospheric Aerosols and Marine Boundary Layer Clouds on Regional and Global Scales

      Wang, Zhen (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Airborne aerosols are crucial atmospheric constituents that are involved in global climate change and human life qualities. Understanding the nature and magnitude of aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions is critical in model predictions for atmospheric radiation budget and the water cycle. The interactions depend on a variety of factors including aerosol physicochemical complexity, cloud types, meteorological and thermodynamic regimes and data processing techniques. This PhD work is an effort to quantify the relationships among aerosol, clouds, and precipitation on both global and regional scales by using satellite retrievals and aircraft measurements. The first study examines spatial distributions of conversion rate of cloud water to rainwater in warm maritime clouds over the globe by using NASA A-Train satellite data. This study compares the time scale of the onset of precipitation with different aerosol categories defined by values of aerosol optical depth, fine mode fraction, and Ångstrom Exponent. The results indicate that conversion time scales are actually quite sensitive to lower tropospheric static stability (LTSS) and cloud liquid water path (LWP), in addition to aerosol type. Analysis shows that tropical Pacific Ocean is dominated by the highest average conversion rate while subtropical warm cloud regions (far northeastern Pacific Ocean, far southeastern Pacific Ocean, Western Africa coastal area) exhibit the opposite result. Conversion times are mostly shorter for lower LTSS regimes. When LTSS condition is fixed, higher conversion rates coincide with higher LWP and lower aerosol index categories. After a general global view of physical property quantifications, the rest of the presented PhD studies is focused on regional airborne observations, especially bulk cloud water chemistry and aerosol aqueous-phase reactions during the summertime off the California coast. Local air mass origins are categorized into three distinct types (ocean, ships, and land) with their influences on cloud water composition examined and implications of wet deposition discussed. Chemical analysis of cloud water samples indicates a wide pH range between 2.92 and 7.58, with an average as 4.46. The highest pH values were observed north of San Francisco, coincident with the strongest land mass influence (e.g. Si, B, and Cs). Conversely, the lowest pH values were observed south of San Francisco where there is heavy ship traffic, resulting in the highest concentrations of sulfate, nitrate, V, Fe, Al, P, Cd, Ti, Sb, P, and Mn. The acidic cloud environment with influences from various air mass types can affect the California coastal aquatic ecosystem since it can promote the conversion of micronutrients to more soluble forms. Beyond characterization of how regional air mass sources affect cloud water composition, aircraft cloud water collection provides precious information on tracking cloud processing with specific species such as oxalic acid, which is the most abundant dicarboxylic acid in tropospheric aerosols. Particular attention is given to explore relationship between detected metals with oxalate aqueous-phase production mechanisms. A number of case flights show that oxalate concentrations drop by nearly an order of magnitude relative to samples in the same vicinity with similar environmental and cloud physical conditions. Such a unique feature was consistent with an inverse relationship between oxalate and Fe. In order to examine the hypothesis that oxalate decreasing is potentially related to existing of Fe, chemistry box model simulations were conducted. The prediction results show that the loss of oxalate due to the photolysis of iron oxalato complexes is likely a significant oxalate sink in the study region due to the ubiquity of oxalate precursors, clouds, and metal emissions from ships, the ocean, and continental sources.
    • Mutation-Specific Calcium Dysregulation in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

      Lehman, Sarah (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      As the genetic causes of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) have become widely recognized, considerable lag in the development of targeted therapeutics has limited interventions to symptom palliation. This is in part due to an oft-noted finding that similar point mutations within myofilament proteins are known to cause differential disease severity, highlighting the need to understand disease progression at the molecular level. One commonly described pathway in HCM progression is calcium homeostasis dysregulation, albeit little is understood about disruption of the pathway. This dissertation investigated the calcium homeostasis of two clinically relevant murine models of HCM expressing similar point mutations within myofilament proteins. A mutation-specific alteration in the calcium dissociation rate from the cardiac myofilament is proposed to as a primary mechanism of down-stream calcium disruption. Two modes of intervention in down-stream calcium homeostasis were tested to as a means of improving directed therapies in HCM progression. The clinically-utilized diltiazem hydrochloride, an L-type calcium channel blocker, revealed mutation-specific symptom palliation but an inability to target within the disease mechanism itself. Due to this insufficient response to diltiazem, we investigated the role of the calcium-dependent kinase, CaMKII, and its persistent (autonomous) activation resulting from calcium dysregulation. Partial inhibition of the autonomous activation of the kinase was shown to improve functional and morphological indices of failure in calcium-dependent HCM progression. Thus, we conclude a myofilament-linked derangement in calcium homeostasis that potentiates aberrant activation of CaMKII. Moreover, we position the kinase as a nodal point in disease progression and a potential therapeutic target for early, robust management of HCM in the clinical population.
    • The Estimation of Selected Physicochemical Properties of Organic Compounds

      Al-Antary, Doaa Tawfiq (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Thermodynamic relationships are used to predict several physicochemical properties of organic compounds. As described in chapter one, the UPPER model (Unified Physicochemical Property Estimation Relationships) has been used to predict nine essential physicochemical properties of pure compounds. It was developed almost 25 years ago and has been validated by the Yalkowsky group for almost 2000 aliphatic, aromatic, and polyhalogenated hydrocarbons. UPPER is based on a group of additive and nonadditive descriptors along with a series of well-accepted thermodynamic relationships. In this model, the two-dimensional chemical structure is the only input needed. Chapter (1) extends the applicability of UPPER to hydrogen bonding and non-hydrogen bonding aromatic compounds with several functional groups such as alcohol, aldehyde, ketone, carboxylic acid, carbonate, carbamate, amine, amide, nitrile as well as aceto, and nitro compounds. The total data set includes almost 3000 compounds. Aside from the enthalpies and entropies of melting and boiling, no training set is used for the calculation of the properties. The results show that UPPER enables a reasonable estimation of all the considered properties. Chapter (2) uses modification of the van't Hoff equation to predict the solubility of organic compounds in dry octanol as explained in chapter two. The equation represents a linear relationship between the logarithm of the solubility of a solute in octanol to its melting temperature. More than 620 experimentally measured octanol solubilities, collected from the literature, are used to validate the equation without using any regression or fitting. The average absolute error of the prediction is 0.66 log units. Chapter (3) compares the use of a statistic based model for the prediction of aqueous solubility to the existing general solubility equation (GSE).
    • Barriers to Practice: Understanding Phsyician and Hospital Administrator Knowledge, Beliefs, and Attitudes of the Role and Scope of Practice of Acute Care Nurse Practitioners in the Acute Care Setting in Rural Montana

      Krogue, Paul Anthony (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Purpose: to describe the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of physicians and hospital administrators regarding the role and scope of practice of acute care nurse practitioners in rural Montana. Background: Nurse practitioners have been increasingly called upon to provide high quality and cost-effective healthcare in variety of settings and have consistently shown to provide a high-level of patient care in both the primary and acute care settings. The acute care nurse practitioner specialty is relatively new, and with very few licensed acute care nurse practitioners in the state of Montana, the role and scope of practice is not well understood by physicians and hospital administrators who are often tasked with hiring and recruiting providers in the hospital setting. The Consensus Model, which served as the conceptual framework for this project, advocates that nurses provide care for the population that is specific to their licensure, accreditation, certification, and education. Method: Some 28 physicians and hospital administrators completed a survey that included 21 Likert scale statements that were divided into the subscales of Knowledge, Belief, and Attitude. Results included: 1) An existing gap in knowledge regarding the role and scope of practice of acute care nurse practitioners, 2) acute care nurse practitioners should always have some form of physician oversite, and 3) there is disparity in patient outcomes when patient care is provided by nurse practitioners. Conclusion: Attitudes of survey respondents were overwhelmingly positive for the future of acute care nurse practitioners filling various provider roles in the hospital setting. These results can provide a foundation for future inquiry and can assist in the development of education and collaborative efforts to further advance the utilization of acute care nurse practitioners in Montana.
    • Improving Stress-Induced Hyperglycemia Management in the Intensive Care Setting

      Elgrably, Alonya (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Background: Uncontrolled stress-induced hyperglycemia has been shown to increase mortality, prolong ICU length of stay, increase complications, and prolong ICU length of stay. The inadequate management of stress-induced hyperglycemia in the intensive care setting is a persistent gap in quality care. Objective: To implement an evidence-based Stress-induced hyperglycemia protocol in the ICU at NorthBay Medical Center. Design: Descriptive design with pre-and post-intervention measurement. Setting: The Intensive Care Unit at NorthBay Medical Center. Patients: 22 patients with stress-induced hyperglycemia. Eligible patients had a blood glucose level great than or equal to 150 mg/dL. Intervention: Patients with a blood glucose level greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL were started on sliding scale insulin therapy. Patients with a blood glucose level greater than 180 mg/dl the patient were started on an insulin infusion. If the blood glucose levels were <100 mg/dl, insulin therapy was discontinued to prevent hypoglycemia. Blood glucose levels were integrated into ICU multidisciplinary rounds to ensure all patients with stress-induced hyperglycemia were identified. Measurements: ICU length of stay, hospital length of stay, average high blood glucose levels, and number of patients who met criteria but were not started on insulin therapy were measured. Results: The average ICU length of stay pre-protocol implementation (M=4.18, SD=2.48) was greater than the average ICU length of stay post-protocol implementation (M=2.18, SD=1.83). This difference is statistically significant t (20) =2.15, p=0.044; d 0.95. There was no significant 8 difference between pre-protocol implementation hospital length of stay (M=9.27, SD=9.50) and post-protocol implementation hospital length of stay (M=6.27, SD=3.82); t (20) =0.97, p=0.343. There was no significant difference in average blood glucose levels pre-implementation (M=197, SD=69) and post-protocol implementation (M=189, SD=40); t (20) =0.31, p=0.76. Over half (55%) of the patients in the pre-implementation group met criteria for stress-induced hyperglycemia, however, insulin therapy was not initiated by the ICU healthcare provider. Postimplementation, there was 100% compliance with initiating therapy on those patients that met criteria.
    • Toddler Mental Health Screening for the Nurse Family Partnership Program

      Diaz de Leon, Cassandra (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Background: Research has shown that attachment has a powerful impact on the developing brain of a child (Lieberman, 2004). Prevention focusing on the earliest signs of mental illness has the greatest potential for decreasing the risk of mental issues in later life (Ammitzbell et al., 2016). Purpose: The purpose of this project was to train nurses working at the Easter Seals Blake Foundation Nurse Family Partnership Program on the Child Behavior Checklist. The study focused on identification of children who are at risk of mental health problems, largely based on attachment problems, and provide early interventions. Design: The initial step of this study consisted of training home visiting Nurses working at a Nurse Family Partnership Program site in Pima County on the Child Behavior Checklist. The Child Behavior Checklist was meant to be implemented into the program as a secondary mental health screening tool if a child who was 18- or 24-months old was found to be “at-risk” using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-Social and Emotional Tool. The Child Behavior Checklist, served as a more detailed screening tool if a child was found “at-risk.” Results: During this project, a training on the Child Behavior Checklist was performed. Seven nurses participated in the initial survey, which assessed their thoughts on the current protocols at the Nurse Family Partnership Program. Then their client charts were reviewed to determine if the Child Behavior Checklist was utilized. Lastly, a post survey was sent out to inquire about their thoughts and potential for implementing the Child Behavior Checklist. Implications: From the post survey, it was determined that most nurses thought the Child Behavior Checklist is a great, detailed tool to use if a child is found to be “at-risk.” However, most nurses also stated they did not need to use it due to lack of children having an “at-risk” score using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-Social and Emotional tool.
    • Pragmatics Instruction in Korean as a Foreign Language Programs in the U.S.: Overview of the Programs, Instructors' Beliefs, and Pedagogical Application

      Ryu, Jieun (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      In the field of Korean as a foreign language (KFL) pragmatics, current scholarship documents a need for change in regards to speech styles as dynamic features (Byon, 2007; Chang, 2014; Cook, 2011; Jung, 2015; Park, 2012; Strauss & Eun, 2005; Yoon, 2010). However, speech styles are often taught at a pragmalinguistic level as a grammar point and in a textbook or in a classroom sociopragmatics presentation is limited to static contextual features such as one’s social status and/or age. Moreover, even though the honorifics system and speech styles are perceived as daunting by even the most advanced KFL learners (Brown, 2010, 2013; Byon, 2004, 2007; Choo, 1999; Shon, 1999; Yoon, 2010), the majority of KFL pragmatics research on speech styles focuses on students’ use and production of pragmatics features rather than focusing on the pedagogical application (see Byon, 2015; Song & Pyun, 2011). Instructors’ beliefs on teaching pragmatics and the background to their beliefs are also overlooked. This study is composed of three interrelated projects and grounded in pragmatics instructional studies, Pragmatic Consciousness Raising (PCR) (Rose 1994, 1999), multiliteracies pedagogy framework, and teachers’ beliefs research. The purpose of this mixed-method study is to understand KFL educators’ views on pragmatics instruction and the current state of pragmatics instruction in KFL programs at tertiary level institutions; the next step is to design and implement pragmatics lesson plans that are more practical and adaptable to current KFL programs. To this end, the research questions are 1) What is the current state of pragmatics instruction in KFL?; 2) What is KFL instructors’ cognition (Borg, 2006) of pragmatics instruction?; 3) Is speech styles instruction based on a multiliteracies pedagogy framework effective and what are the students’ perception toward the lessons? The research questions were answered through a survey and interviews of KFL educators as well as KFL students’ in-class and homework assignments and surveys before, during, and after the implementation of new lesson plans. The findings showed that the KFL field experienced positive changes such as collaboration with other instructors and curriculum development endeavors based on current theories and approaches in the field. However, similar issues and challenges to other less commonly taught language (LCTL) programs as well as their own unique challenges such as (over-)qualified teaching staff and an absence of equity and advocacy for instructors and programs still remained. The survey responses and interviews showed that both the administrators and instructors in KFL programs believe that pragmatics competence is crucial to developing proficiency in a foreign language and that pragmatics should be taught in class. The teachers’ own personal foreign language learning experiences were very influential in shaping their stated beliefs. However, it was also found that the teachers’ practices were based on their working definition of pragmatics rather than their espoused theories. In the classroom, textbooks provided the core element of curriculum and classroom practice, which the teachers thought contributed to persistently unsatisfactory approaches to pragmatics teaching. Drawing upon the survey and interview results, a series of instructional units, informed by PCR and multiliteracies pedagogy, was designed to be integrated into current textbook-oriented curricula and implemented in an upper elementary level Korean course. Contrary to the concerns of the interviewed KFL instructors, beginner-level students successfully participated and interacted meaningfully using authentic materials. The students showed development in metapragmatic awareness and in both pragmalinguistics and sociopragmatics knowledge. In addition, the students exhibited positive attitudes toward the instructional units. Based on this evidence, this dissertation concludes with implications and future research recommendations for teacher professional development training design, KFL curriculum, teaching material design, and teacher cognition research.
    • What Lies Beneath: The Revelatory Power of Metonymy in Discourse, Language Planning, and Higher Education

      Kohler, Alan Thomas (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Metonymic and metaphoric language are thoroughly present in everyday language, so much so that they hold in themselves strong explanatory capacity to uncover and even influence underlying individual or social/cultural ideological systems and beliefs about the world around us (Catalano & Waugh, 2013; 2014; Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). The mapping systems involved in both metonymy and metaphor provide access to conceptual and social heuristics that help us make inferential and referential shortcuts (Littlemore, 2015), and thus these figurative constructs are directly implicated as “natural inference schemas” that we engage in the construction of meaning through written discourse (Panther & Thornburg, 2003). Further, these heuristics are environmental, social, and cognitively appointed forces that shape how we understand things and how we work out abstract concepts and how we reason and shape the world around us. Because of this, metonymy and metaphor are crucial foci for any inquiry into how our individual or systemic perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and thought processes (Catalano & Waugh, 2014, p. 407) are revealed through the written discourses in our world. But, while conceptual metaphor has enjoyed a great deal of attention over the last several decades, research into what metonymy can reveal as a potent participant in social and cognitive meaning-making has been comparatively scarce—a notion that is especially disconcerting given strong recent evidence to suggest that metonymy conceptually “leads the way” to metaphor (Mittelberg & Waugh, 2009). Inspired by this, this dissertation project seeks reparation for metonymy’s relative neglect as an effective tool for critical discourse analysts. Through an exploration of metonymy’s critical relationship to online discourse, internationalization in higher education, and language policy and planning, the three studies that comprise this project seek to engage the “explanatory and practical aims” of critical discourse analysis and to support the tireless work of such analysis that attempts “to uncover, reveal or disclose what is implicit, hidden or otherwise not immediately obvious in relationships of discursively enacted dominance [and] their underlying ideologies” (van Dijk, 1995).
    • Robust Intelligent Agents for Wireless Communications: Design and Development of Metacognitive Radio Engines

      Asadi, Hamed (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Improving the efficiency of spectrum access and utilization under the umbrella of cognitive radio (CR) is one of the most crucial research areas for nearly two decades. The results have been algorithms called cognitive radio engines which use machine learning (ML) to learn and adapt the communication's link based on the operating scenarios. While a number of algorithms for cognitive engine design have been identified, it is widely understood that significant room remains to grow the capabilities of the cognitive engines, and substantially better spectrum utilization and higher throughput can be achieved if cognitive engines are improved. This requires working through some difficult challenges and takes an innovative look at the problem. A tenet of the existing cognitive engine designs is that they are usually designed around one primary ML algorithm or framework. In this dissertation, we discover that it is entirely possible for an algorithm to perform better in one operating scenario (combination of channel conditions, available energy, and operational objectives such as max throughput, and max energy efficiency) while performing less effectively in other operating scenarios. This arises due to the unique behavior of an individual ML algorithm regardless of its operating conditions. Therefore, there is no individual algorithm or parameter sets that have superiority in performance over all other algorithms or parameter sets in all operating scenarios. Using the same algorithm at all times may present a performance that is acceptable, yet may not be the best possible performance under all operating scenarios we are faced with over time. Ideally, the system should be able to adapt its behavior by switching between various ML algorithms or adjusting the operating ML algorithm for the prevailing operating conditions and goal. In this dissertation, we introduce a novel architecture for cognitive radio engines, with the goal of better cognitive engines for improved link adaptation in order to enhance spectrum utilization. This architecture is capable of meta-reasoning and metacognition and the algorithms developed based on this architecture are called metacognitive engines (meta-CE). Meta-reasoning and metacognitive abilities provide for self-assessment, self-awareness, and inherent use and adaptation of multiple methods for link adaptation and utilization. In this work, we provide four different implementation instances of the proposed meta-CE architecture. First, a meta-CE which is equipped with a classification algorithm to find the most appropriate individual cognitive engine algorithm for each operating scenario. The meta-CE switches between the individual cognitive engine algorithms to decrease the training period of the learning algorithms and not only find the most optimal communication configuration in the fastest possible time but also provide the acceptable performance during its training period. Second, we provide different knowledge indicators for estimating the experience level of cognitive engine algorithms. We introduce a meta-CE equipped with these knowledge indicators extracted from metacognitive knowledge component. This meta-CE adjusts the exploration factors of learning algorithms to gain higher performance and decrease training time. The third implementation of meta-CE is based on the robust training algorithm (RoTA) which switches and adjusts the individual cognitive engine algorithms to guarantee a minimum performance level during the training phase. This meta-CE is also equipped with forgetting factor to deal with non-stationary channel scenarios. The last implementation of meta-CE enables the individual cognitive engine algorithms to handle delayed feedback scenarios. We analyze the impact of delayed feedback on cognitive radio engines' performances in two cases of constant and varying delay. Then we propose two meta-CEs to address the delayed feedback problem in cognitive engine algorithms. Our experimental results show that the meta-CE approach, when utilized for a CRS engine performed about 20 percent better (total throughput) than the second best performing algorithm, because of its ability to learn about its own learning and adaptation. In effect, the meta-CE is able to deliver about 70% more data than the CE with the fixed exploration rate in the 1000 decision steps. Moreover, the knowledge indicator (KI) autocorrelation plots show that the proposed KIs can predict the performance of the CEs as early as 100 time steps in advance. In non-stationary environments, the proposed RoTA based meta-CE guarantees the minimum required performance of a CRS while it’s searching for the optimal communication configurations. The RoTA based meta-CE delivers at least about 45% more data than the other algorithms in non-stationary scenarios when the channel conditions are often fluctuating. Furthermore, in delayed feedback scenarios, our results show that the proposed meta-CE algorithms are able to mitigate the adverse impact of delay in low latency scenarios and relieve the effects in high latency situations. The proposed algorithms show a minimum of 15% improvement in their performance compared to the other available delayed feedback strategies in literature. We also empirically tested the algorithms introduced in this dissertation and verified the results therein by designing an over the air (OTA) radio setup. For our experiments, we used GNU Radio and LiquidDSP as free software development toolkits that provide signal processing blocks to implement software-defined radios and signal-processing systems such as modulation, pulse-shaping, frame detection, equalization, and others. We also used two USRP N200 with WBX daughterboards, one as a transmitter and the other as a receiver. In these experiments, we monitored the packet success rate (PSR), throughput, and total data transferred as our key performance indicators (KPI). Then, we tested different proposed meta-CE algorithms in this dissertation to verify the productivity of the proposed algorithms in an OTA real-time radio setup. We showed that the experiments’ outputs support our simulations results as well.
    • The Evolution and Comparative Genomics of the Reproductive Manipulator Cardinium hertigii

      Stouthamer, Corinne Marie (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Many insects and other arthropods have symbiotic microorganisms that may influence key facets of their biology. Cardinium hertigii is an intracellular bacterial symbiont, (phylum Bacteroidetes) of arthropods and nematodes. This versatile symbiont has been shown to cause three of four reproductive manipulations of their arthropod hosts known to be caused by symbionts: parthenogenesis induction (PI), where genetic males are converted into genetic females; feminization, where genetic males become functional females; and cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), the symbiont-induced death of offspring from matings of infected males and uninfected females. Here, I explored the evolution of this symbiont and its reproductive manipulations, and found that closely related Cardinium strains have a tendency to associate with closely related hosts and the reproductive manipulations do not display a clear phylogenetic signal. To further understand the possible genes underlying these reproductive manipulations, I sequenced four Cardinium genomes and compared these with the two genomes analyzed in the literature. In these comparisons, I found that, although closely related Cardinium strains tend to reside in closely related hosts, there is no evidence for a suite of genes associated with host specificity, as few differences separate two strains residing in different host orders, suggesting that ecological opportunity for horizontal transmission may be more limiting to Cardinium than genomic capability. I additionally identify some genes that may be associated with the Cardinium’s ability to induce PI and CI in its wasp host. Overall, this dissertation has led to a better understanding of Cardinium and its effects on its hosts.
    • The Meckhart Confession: Moderate Religion in an Age of Militancy

      Hough, Adam Glen (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      This dissertation explores the formation and evolution of religious identities in the latter half of the sixteenth century, particularly as they developed in the bi-confessional imperial free city of Augsburg. Taking as its primary focus the city’s evangelical ministers, it argues that the agency of these local clerics—in both promoting and resisting the social, political, and cultural effects of confessionalization—has been underappreciated. By exploring manuscript city chronicles, interrogation transcripts, contemporary public histories, and, above all, these clerics’ own written works, this dissertation will shed light on the systemic “adversarialism” of early modern confessional identities and ideologies, as well as on those local clergy who recognized the inherent danger of allowing their society to by riven by two competing identities. The proponents of “moderation” referenced in the title of this work were those clerics who tried to keep their religion nominally ambiguous, eschewing polarizing confessional identities. In contrast, the “militants” were those who reduced complex theological and liturgical systems to the level of identity-politics. They took tragedies like war, famine, and plague, and redirected blame for these tribulations on rhetorically-constructed enemies of the faith. Principally, I have elected to focus this analysis on a family of preachers whose service to the city over three generations spans a period of nearly six decades (1528-1586)—the Meckharts. Insofar as my sources allow, I use these three men—Johann, Georg, and Johann Baptist—to provide a narrative anchor for my analysis of developments within the city respecting religious culture, community, and identity. Within this one family, we see clearly the push and pull of conflict and concord as both communities and individuals struggled to reconcile the Reformation with the emergence of confessions. In short, I argue that the real drama of confessionalization was not simply that which played out between princes and theologians, or even, for that matter, between religions; rather, it lay in the daily struggle of clerics in the proverbial trenches of their ministry, who were increasingly pressured to choose for themselves and for their congregations between doctrinal purity and civil peace.
    • Oceanic Controls of North American East Coast Sea Level Rise and Ocean Warming of the Antarctic Shelf

      Goddard, Paul Brent (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Sea level rise (SLR) threatens coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Worldwide, stakeholders critically depend on SLR projections with the associated uncertainty for risk assessments, decision-making and coastal planning. Recent research suggests that the Antarctic ice sheet mass loss during the 21st century may contribute up to an additional one meter of global SLR by year 2100. While uncertainty still exists, this value would double the ‘likely’ (> 66% probability) range of global SLR (0.52-0.98 m) by the year 2100, as found by Chapter 13 on Sea Level Change in the Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here, we present three studies that assess mechanisms relevant to 21st century local, regional, and global SLR. Appendix A examines the effect of large-scale oceanic and atmospheric circulation variability on extreme sea levels along the East Coast of North America. Appendices B and C analyze ocean warming on the Antarctic shelf and its implications for future ice shelf basal melt and Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss. These studies will contribute to more accurate projections of local, regional, and global SLR. In Appendix A, we analyze long-term tide gauge records from the North American eastern seaboard and find an extreme SLR event during 2009-2010. Within this two-year period, coastal sea levels spiked between Montauk, New York and Southern Canada by up to 128 mm. This two-year spike is unprecedented in the tide gauge record and found to be a 1-in-850 year event. We show that a 30% reduction in strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and a strong negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index caused the extreme SLR event. Climate models project that the AMOC will weaken and NAO variability will remain high over the 21st century. Consequently, extreme SLR events on the Northeast Coast could become more frequent during the 21st century in response to climate change and SLR. In Appendix B, we use a fine-resolution global climate model (GFDL CM2.6) that resolves an eddying ocean. With this state-of-the-art coupled model, we quantify the mechanisms contributing to ocean warming on the Antarctic continental shelf in an idealized experiment of doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The results show that the CO2 forcing leads to the shelf region warming both in the upper 100 m ocean and at depths near the sea floor. These warming patterns are controlled by different mechanisms. In the upper 100 m, the heat anomalies are primarily controlled by increased heat transport into the shelf region associated with the warmer near-surface waters from lower latitudes. Below 100 m, the heat anomalies develop due to increased onshore intrusions of relatively warm Circumpolar Deep Water and reduced vertical mixing of heat in the water column. A complete heat budget analysis is performed for the Antarctic shelf region as well as for six subdomains and three depth ranges (0-100 m, 100-700 m, and 700-1000 m). The results show that certain regions of the Antarctic shelf are more susceptible to large CO2-forced warming. These findings have implications for future Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss and SLR, and can provide more detailed and accurate ocean boundary conditions for dynamical ice sheet models. In Appendix C, we use CM2.6 to examine the connections among ocean freshening and the magnitude and location of ocean warming on the Antarctic shelf. We find that CO2 forcing freshens the Antarctic shelf seas via increases in local precipitation, sea ice loss, liquid runoff, and iceberg calving. The freshening induces three heat budget-relevant responses: (1) reduced vertical mixing; (2) strengthening of the Antarctic Slope Front (ASF); and (3) increased eddy kinetic energy (EKE) near the ASF. First, heat can accumulate at depth (100-1000 m) as freshening increases the vertical stratification on the shelf and reduces upward mixing of heat associated with diffusion and convective processes. Second, freshening near the shelf break strengthens the ASF by increasing the lateral density gradient and by steepening and deepening the associated isopycnals. This response limits cross-ASF onshore heat transport at many locations around Antarctica. Third, EKE increases near the ASF may contribute to shelf warming by increasing cross-ASF onshore eddy heat transport. These results demonstrate the importance of shelf freshening to the development of positive heat anomalies on the Antarctic shelf. The findings provide new insight to the location of future shelf warming and ice shelf basal melting as well as provide significant information for projecting regional and global SLR.
    • Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Neurologically-Relevant Molecules

      Smith, Catherine L. (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The analysis and quantitation of neurologically-relevant molecules requires detection methods that are sensitive, selective, and applicable to a wide range of molecules. Targeted analysis using tandem mass spectrometry allows for the detection of molecules from complex matrices with an added level of selectivity. Mass spectrometry is on the leading edge of technological advances and improvements in our understanding of the intricate workings of the brain, allowing us to develop better models and better therapeutic approaches. In this thesis, I use tandem mass spectrometry to investigate two classes of neurochemicals: classical neurotransmitters, and potential therapeutic drugs based on endogenous neuropeptides. Chapter 1 will introduce existing sampling techniques and detection schemes for small molecule neurotransmitters and small peptides. We will also introduce two key concepts: insect models for understanding human neurotransmission, and the role of the blood-brain barrier in developing CNS-active pharmaceuticals. In Chapter 2 we develop a method to quantify small molecule neurotransmitters in tissue homogenate for the purpose of understanding how the bulk content of an insect brain can change under differing circumstances. Our approach allows for the analysis of a wider range of compounds with improved throughput compared to existing methods. Chapter 3 expands this method for the quantitation of five biogenic amines in Apis mellifera, to investigate the effect of infection by the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Chapter 4 explores the role of glycosylation on the stability and blood-brain barrier permeability of peptide-based drugs. Chapter 5 expands this work to a series of Angiotensin 1-7 derivatives, for a study of the effect of different structural modifications to peptide-based drugs, with the goal of driving drug development toward more effective pharmaceuticals. Chapter 6 concludes this work and outlines the future directions of the research.
    • Identification of Gene Regulatory Networks Controlling Cell Differentiation in Maize Endosperm

      Zhan, Junpeng (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The endosperm of cereal grains accumulates large amounts of storage compounds such as carbohydrates and proteins that are essential for seed germination. These compounds also constitute a principal source of human food, animal feed, and industrial raw material globally. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling the cell differentiation of cereal endosperm remain largely unknown. This dissertation has been focused on identification of the gene regulatory networks associated with the differentiation of basal endosperm transfer layer (BETL), the starchy endosperm (SE), and the aleurone (AL) of the maize (Zea mays) endosperm, which are the main cell types involved in nutrient uptake from the maternal tissue and the synthesis and deposition of storage compounds. As a first step toward characterizing the gene networks associated with cell differentiation of the maize endosperm, the mRNAs in five major cell types of the differentiating endosperm and in the embryo and four maternal compartments of the maize kernel were profiled using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). Comparisons of these mRNA populations revealed the diverged gene expression programs between filial and maternal compartments. Gene coexpression network analysis identified coexpression modules associated with single or multiple kernel compartments including modules for the endosperm cell types. Detailed analyses of a coexpression module strongly associated with BETL identified a regulatory module activated by the MYB-Related Protein-1 (MRP-1), a previously reported regulator of BETL differentiation. To understand the interplay between the endosperm cell differentiation programs and the storage program which is activated immediately after the main cell types become distinguishable, direct and indirect target genes of Opaque-2 (O2), which is a bZIP family transcription factor (TF) that has been known as a major regulator of the endosperm storage program, were identified using a chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) coupled with RNA-Seq. The analysis identified 1,863 O2-modulated genes, including 186 putative direct targets and 1,677 indirect targets, whose known/putative gene functions suggest a broad role for O2 in the regulation of cell differentiation, storage product deposition, maturation, and stress response of maize endosperm. Temporal examination of the expression patterns of O2 targets in the developing endosperm of an o2 mutant vs. wild type revealed at least two distinct modes of O2-mediated gene activation. Target-gene co-activation and protein-protein interaction studies identified two transcription factors—bZIP17 and NAKED ENDOSPERM2 (NKD2)—that are encoded by O2-activated genes, which can in turn co-activate other O2-network genes with O2. An ultrastructural analysis of AL cells of an o2 mutant showed that the mutant differs from the wild type in cell wall thickness and in the abundance and size distribution of lipid bodies and protein storage vacuoles, suggesting that O2 is required for proper differentiation of AL. The NKD1 and NKD2 genes encode paralogous INDETERMINATE DOMAIN (IDD) family TFs that have previously been shown to play critical roles in regulating many endosperm developmental processes, including the differentiation of AL and SE. To understand the individual functions of each NKD gene and to gain insights to the gene networks regulating endosperm development, a time-course transcriptome analysis of endosperm isolated from the single mutants and a double mutant of NKD1 and NKD2 was performed with comparison to a wild type using RNA-Seq. The analysis identified 11,554 genes differentially expressed between the mutants and the wild type. Comparison of genes dysregulated in the single and double mutants revealed that NKD1 and NKD2 regulate partially overlapping downstream gene sets. A detailed analysis of the NKD-regulated genes associated with the nkd mutant phenotype suggested that the double mutant phenotype is primarily associated with the loss of NKD1 function. Nonetheless, the analysis also uncovered a unique role for NKD2 in regulation of a subset of the mutant-phenotype-associated genes. An analysis of gene coexpression networks identified gene sets that are regulated by the NKDs in a highly coordinated manner, possibly in combination with or through regulation of other TFs. Together, the analyses of the MRP-1, O2, and NKD-regulated gene networks provided significant insights into the gene regulatory mechanisms underlying differentiation of the maize endosperm cell types. Because some components of the gene networks identified here are conserved across certain cereal species as well as eudicots, the resulting data sets have the potential to guide future improvement of grain yield and quality in maize and other economically important seed crops.
    • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Alters Phase I Drug Metabolism

      Li, Hui (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Variable drug responses (VDRs) are dependent on inter-individual variability in the activity of drug-metabolizing enzymes. As the most common chronic liver disease in children and adults, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has been identified as a source of significant inter-individual variation in hepatic drug metabolism. A previous ex vivo study demonstrated significant changes in hepatic CYP activity in adult human NASH. To evaluate the current model in reflecting the hepatic CYP alterations in humans with NASH, the expression profile and the in vivo activities of multiple CYP isoforms were assessed in the prominent diabetic NASH mouse models. Although significant alterations in the profile of CYP expression and function were shown in the diabetic NASH mouse model, a comparison revealed that this model only partially recapitulates the human ex vivo CYP alteration pattern. Therefore, in vivo determination of the effects of NASH on CYP activity should be conducted in human, and more appropriate models are required for future drug metabolism studies in NASH. Compared to adults, children present age-related differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The following study determined the impact of fatty liver disease severity on the activity of a variety of CYPs in adolescents using the in vivo approach established in the first study. The CYP2C19 enzymatic activity is decreased by 60% in NASH adolescents. A comparison between the in vivo pediatric studies and a previous ex vivo study in adult indicates distinct differences in the activities of CYP1A2 and CYP2C9, which demonstrate that pediatric NASH presents an altered pattern of CYP activity and NASH should be considered as a confounder of drug metabolism for certain CYPs. Furthermore, hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) play critical roles in alcohol metabolism and other cellular metabolism processes, as well as the metabolism of clinical drugs. The alterations in alcohol metabolism processes in response to human NASH progression were investigated using human liver samples. ADH and ALDH expression and function are significantly altered in the progression of NASH, which may have a notable impact on ADH and ALDH associated cellular metabolism processes and lead to significant alterations in drug metabolism mediated by these enzymes. Overall, the major phase I drug metabolizing enzymes are profoundly altered in the progression of human NASH, which may significantly increase the incidence of VDRs. Therefore, the disease state of NASH should be taken into consideration in dosage recommendations and appropriate dose adjustment. Future studies will be needed to translate these findings to guide actual clinical practice.
    • Responding to Refugee Students in K-12 Education: The Role Principals Play in the Integration and Education of Refugee Students

      Bailey-Jones, Tsuru (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The United States has a long history of resettling refuges in the country. Research indicates that refugee students enter the country and ultimately schools with varied educational experiences including little to no formal education, language barriers to learning, and discrimination (Block, Cross, Riggs, & Gibbs, 2014; Dryden-Petersen, 2015; McBrien, 2005; Roxas, 2011a; Rutter, 2006; Taylor & Sidhu, 2012). Couple this with the differences of culture, the classroom can be an intimidating place for students newly arriving in the country and the educational system responsible for meeting the learning, social and emotional needs. This qualitative exploratory case study illustrates how principals in a large urban school district responded to the needs of newly arrived refugee students and the strategies employed by the principals to integrate and successfully educate these students. One of the largest school districts in Arizona was selected because of its high number of refugee students. In depth interviews were conducted with six participants from a purposive sample identified by the school district. Using the constant comparative method to analyze the interview data and public documents, this study detailed what actions are currently occurring within this school district. Using the findings of this study and Taylor and Sidhu’s (2012) model of good practice in refugee education, a responsiveness model for refugee education was created. The principals focused on the learning, social, and emotional needs of refugee students within their schools. They did not foster their own partnerships with outside agencies but used the partnerships established by the district. An important strategy was creating a welcoming, supportive environment with an emphasis on social justice and inclusiveness. Principals concentrated on acclimating students to the school rules and environment, building relationships with students and parents, promoting refugees in a positive light, and trying to find instructional strategies to better meet the learning needs. Clearly, the principal plays a critical role in creating the environment that can be supportive to the social, emotional, as well as academic learning needs of refugee students. An unintended finding of the study revealed principals were not aware of the district supports such as professional development offerings to address refugee needs. One suggestion for practitioners is to address this disconnection in the district with disseminating information as it most likely affects other areas, not just refugee issues. This study adds to the field of research, as there is a dearth of research on K-12 refugee education from the perspective of the principal.