Masters Theses

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    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2024) Jones, Kristi Blake ; Eschenfelder, Christine C ; Cruikshank, Sally Ann ; Woodard, Jennifer
    This qualitative study explores and gives a voice to women in television newsrooms who are more often than their male counterparts subjected to sexual harassment in the field and online. Online trolls have plagued the careers and mental health of many women working in television news. Female news reporters and anchors have found themselves as the targets of that personal criticism, inappropriate, or sometimes violent comments from social media users. The female participants in this qualitative study represent nearly all 50 states and television markets. All participants in this study reported negative interactions with social media and audiences. This research is part of a growing body of knowledge of how negative and sexually explicit viewer messages affect female broadcasters on multiple levels. Results suggest female news reporters and anchors are at the forefront of heavy criticism and inappropriate comments from social media users. This has forced some women out of the industry or created a workplace they deem toxic and unsafe.
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    Correlation of Graphene Defect Density in Saccharide Carbon Dots for Electrochemical Dopamine Detection
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2024) Nepal, Ram Chandra ; Chusuei, Charles C ; Wang, Chengshan ; Ding, Keying
    ABSTRACT A study was conducted to investigate the detection of dopamine levels in urine to diagnose neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. A series of carbon dots (sucrose, palatinose and raffinose) were synthesized in the Leblanc lab at U. Miami-Coral Gables and applied for the electrochemical sensing of dopamine. A cobalt oxide-sucrose carbon dot (Co3O4-SucCD) composite was developed, utilizing a 1:1 mixture (by mass) suspended in absolute anhydrous ethanol, followed by sonication for 30 min. to facilitate the tethering of sucrose carbon dots (SucCDs) onto the Co3O4 nanoparticles. The electrode demonstrated selectivity towards urea, uric acid, glucose, and ascorbic acid, common interferes in urine. With a limit of detection of 1.91 µM in PBS, the electrode exhibited a linear dynamic range of 10-100 µM, R2=0.990, and successfully detected 5 µM dopamine in urine samples, suitable for identifying elevated dopamine levels indicative of neuroblastoma. Calibration curve fitting in simulated urine yielded a quadratic equation with an R2 = 0.997. The diffusion coefficient of the electrode in phosphate buffer was determined to be 5.21 x 10-5 cm2•sec-1. The correlation between graphene defect density within the saccharide carbon dots for dopamine sensing was investigated, revealing that the defect density decreased in the order of SucCDs (0.195) > PalCDs (0.115) > RafCDs (0.0975), while the electrocatalytic sensitivity followed the trend of RafCDs < PalCDs < SucCDs. The composite particles exhibit an average size of 68.47 ± 0.77 nm with a coefficient of determination R2= 0.978. SEM-EDX analysis indicates a presence of 0.6% cobalt within the composite. The data suggests that a multilayer of carbon dots (CDs) surrounds the cobalt oxide particles, rendering low atomic % cobalt as detected by EDX.
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    Contrafact, Country Music, and Challah: An Analysis of the Influence of Nashville’s Popular Music on Liturgical Music of Reform Jewish Temples in Nashville
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2024) Childress, William Philip ; Morgan, Joseph E ; Han, Mei ; Reish, Gregory
    Even within a city as varied in its musical history as Nashville, Tennessee, few religious congregations utilize medieval-style musical techniques, hits from Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen, and songs from Holywood’s Golden Age, all in the same service. In this paper, I will analyze the music of the two Reform Temples in Nashville, Congregation Ohabai Sholom (also known as Temple Nashville), and Congregation Micah. I do this through interviews with Cantor Josh Goldberg from Congregation Micah and Cantor Tracy Fishbein and Rabbi Mackler from the Temple Nashville. I also analyze the use of lyrical contrafaction in the two Temples, as well as an analysis of the history of the cantors in these temples. Through these interviews and analyses of their liturgical practices, I have found a clear connection between the popular music of America and the liturgical music of the Reform congregations of Nashville.
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    Puppets on Invisible Strings: Arkan's Tigers, the Effect of Paramilitaries and Plausible Deniability in the Yugoslav Wars, 1991 - 1999
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2024) Pace, Matthew Ryan ; Baran, Emily B ; Valanzola, Ashley
    Paramilitary organizations have served as a means for governments across the world to avoid blame for atrocities committed during times of war, with Arkan’s Tigers in the former Yugoslavia serving as a perfect example of this attempt to achieve plausible deniability. During their operations which ranged from 1991 to 1996, as well as their organized crime activities which lasted up until Arkan’s death, Arkan and his soldiers regularly worked alongside Yugoslav government and military officials to engage in ethnic cleansing. This study will observe the acts committed by Arkan’s Tigers against the ethnic and religious minorities of the former Yugoslavia, Arkan’s connections with members of the Yugoslav state, as well as the Belgrade regime’s awareness of and complicity in the actions committed by Arkan. The evidence which has been acquired and analyzed for this study shows that on all levels of the Yugoslav state, from government to military, Arkan’s Tigers were supported in their acts which violated the Geneva and Hague Conventions. This evidence, alongside records which show a public denial of complicity in Arkan’s actions by politicians such as Slobodan Milosevic, shows that plausible deniability for their actions was a key reason behind the deployment of paramilitaries such as Arkan’s Tigers in the Yugoslav Wars.
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    A Psychometric Evaluation of Internal Restlessness and Hyperactivity Measures Among College Students
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2024) Thatcher, Kyle ; Ujcich Ward, Kimberly ; Foster, Paul ; Gaby, Jessica
    This thesis aims to assess our current understanding of internal restlessness in adults with ADHD and how it is assessed. Currently, there is very little research on methods to objectively assess internal restlessness, with most methods relying on subjective techniques. But, based on prior research into other related conditions involving internal restlessness including Parkinson’s disease, restless leg syndrome, akathisia, and hyperactivity in ADHD, a pattern of dopamine dysregulation and frontal lobe dysfunctions begins to emerge. By comparing different subjective and objective assessments including the Conner’s Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS), Internal Restlessness Scale (IRS), Finger Tapping Test (FTT), Grip Strength (GS), and Actigraphy (ACT), a positive correlation between the subjective assessments and the nondominant hand on the finger tapping test was seen. Additionally, there was also a correlation between actigraphy and grip strength. This new evidence may point to a major difference in subjective assessments of internal restlessness and hyperactivity being related to fine motor movement and control seen in the finger tapping test compared to the gross motor movements of the grip strength and actigraphy.