University of Southern Mississippi

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    17686 research outputs found

    Evading the Censors: Gay Children\u27s Literature from the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

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    In 1908, early gay rights advocate Edward Prime-Stevenson catalogued a collection of books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century that he described as homosexual juvenile fiction--what might be the first such attempt to compile a list of gay children\u27s literature in English. Most of the books he referenced received positive reviews at the time of their publication and evaded censors despite their often overt descriptions of same-sex love and companionship. This presentation will discuss some of the works from Stevenson\u27s list and will consider how they might continue to find relevance and appeal to today\u27s young people amidst recent efforts to challenge and ban contemporary gay children\u27s books in school and public libraries

    Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Allosteric Inhibitors of HIV-1 Integrase

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    The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection remains a global health crisis, necessitating the development of innovative antiviral strategies. During the integration step, HIV-1 integrase (IN) interacts with viral DNA and the cellular cofactor LEDGF/p75 to effectively integrate the reverse transcript into the host chromatin. Recently, a novel class of antiretroviral agents called Allosteric Inhibitors of HIV-1 Integrase (ALLINI) compounds has emerged as a promising avenue in the fight against HIV-1. While originally designed to inhibit IN-LEDGF/p75 interactions, these compounds have been shown to also impact late-stage viral maturation severely through IN multimerization. Induction of IN multimerization interferes with virion maturation through misvocalization of vRNA rendering them noninfectious. ALLINI compounds have shown potent antiviral activity against a broad range of HIV-1 strains, including drug-resistant variants. This abstract provides an overview of the use of the ALLINI compounds based on quinoline scaffold derivatives which have been shown to exhibit enhanced potency, prolonged antiviral activity, and reduced likelihood of resistance. Additionally, this research explores the inclusion of covalent warheads with the aim to optimize these compounds and explore their applications as a part of therapeutic strategies for HIV-1, offering new avenues for effective treatment strategies and their integration into future combination antiretroviral therapies

    Exploring the Influence of Integrating Soft Skills Training into the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum on the STEM Identity of Students

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    One of the major issues that STEM graduates face is overcoming Imposter Syndrome, and there is a consensus amongst STEM graduates and job recruiters that the current higher education system is missing some elements that could better prepare students for a successful STEM career. A solution to this issue results from recent research on the importance of “soft skills.” In general, “soft skills” or non-technical skills, include communication, critical thinking, and self-motivation. These skills complement “hard skills,” or technical skills, such as skills needed for performing laboratory experiments, like pipetting and Western blotting. The lack of soft skills among recent graduates affects many STEM learning outcomes that are used to measure future success in STEM fields. This research investigates the impact on STEM identity through the addition of innovative, cost-effective, efficient, and easily adaptable methods of incorporating soft skills training in the formal and informal undergraduate STEM curriculum. Investigating the integration of soft skills training will be completed by documenting the progress and experiences of students in the formal and informal learning environment. Soft skills training in the formal learning environment will be studied using studies enrolled in three inquiry-based biological sciences courses. Course activities have been designed to maximize student use of their soft skills to complete tasks. Investigating the integration of soft skills training in the informal learning environment will involve the use of a conversation starter game, QUONVO™, that requires students to use critical thinking, creativity, and innovation to generate conversations about the meaning of and implications of STEM content and issues. The purpose of the final study in this dissertation is to 1) add to the knowledge base on the state of college student engagement, performance, and future outlook in the post-pandemic world, 2) investigate the link between social capital and the development of a stable and positive professional identity, particularly among STEM majors, 3) determine the impact of the increased social media use during the pandemic on soft skills, specifically communication, and 4) explore the relationship between social media use, communication skills, and the quality of social capital

    Visualizing Energy Structures of Spin Glasses

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    Disconnectivity graphs are two-dimensional representations of high-dimensional energy landscapes. Widely used to describe energy-landscapes and gain an understanding for the kinematics and thermodynamic properties of nano-clusters and polymers, they have yet to be thoroughly utilized for spin systems. Due to the effects of frustration, discrete spin systems possess extended minima energy structures which I have classified into three different types. These types are distinguished in the disconnectivity graphs using colors and their respective sizes are indicated via a bar chart. In this talk I will introduce the classification of the energy structures and show some of the results for different types of spin-glass systems. Note that the classification and analyses of the energy structures provides valuable information about the complexity of the systems and shows distinctive features specific to the models

    Negative Mood and Optimism Bias: An Experimental Investigation of Sadness and Belief Updating

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    Background and objectives: Understanding how individuals integrate new information to form beliefs under changing emotional conditions is crucial to describing decision-making processes. Previous research suggests that although most people demonstrate bias toward optimistic appraisals of new information when updating beliefs, individuals with dysphoric psychiatric conditions (e.g., major depression) do not demonstrate this same bias. Despite these findings, limited research has investigated the relationship between affective states and belief updating processes. Methods: We induced neutral and sad moods in participants and had them complete a belief-updating paradigm by estimating the likelihood of negative future events happening to them, viewing the actual likelihood, and then re-estimating their perceived likelihood. Results: We observed that individuals updated their beliefs more after receiving desirable information relative to undesirable information under neutral conditions. Further, we found that individuals did not demonstrate unrealistic optimism under negative affective conditions. Limitations: This study incorporated a population of university students under laboratory conditions and would benefit from replication and extension in clinical populations and naturalistic settings. Conclusions: These findings suggest that momentary fluctuations in mood affect how individuals integrate information to form beliefs

    Resource Wealth and Micro-Insurgency Duration

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    Why are some insurgencies small in scale but long-term in duration, particularly those involving natural resource wealth? This dissertation identifies and defines a specific type of intrastate conflict, the micro-insurgency. I then examine how and why micro-insurgencies fought over natural resources are almost always very long-term conflicts, often lasting decades. Two data sets from previous research, one by Michael Ross and the other by Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, are refined and then analyzed and tested using Fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (FsQCA). Findings from the FsQCA testing and analysis reveal that ancestral lands and actual, or existing and exploitable, natural resources overwhelmingly contribute to the long-term duration of micro-insurgencies. Findings from four micro-insurgency case studies-Balochistan, Pakistan, the FARC in Colombia, the Moro conflict in the Southern Philippines, and the conflict in West Papua, Indonesia confirm the relevance of the influence of historical, ancestral lands upon conflict duration. Secondary to ancestral lands, actual and exploitable natural resources within the conflict zone are found to be highly influential upon the duration of micro-insurgency conflict. The combination of actual natural resources and historical, ancestral lands with the objective of some degree of autonomy or secession is the strongest complete configuration that explains the dynamics of long-duration micro-insurgencies

    Women’s Rights in Limited Democracies: Comparative Study of Femicide in Turkey and Bulgaria

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    In this paper, I examine female homicide and its relation with Turkey and Bulgaria’s political and economic development and social structure. Turkey and Bulgaria are two countries sharing a border and many similarities with regard to politics, economics, and culture. These two countries have historically engaged since the 14th -15th centuries. Geographical closeness, living together during the Ottoman Empire, and sharing a common heritage and culture bound these two countries. Besides, they have politically similar patterns. Both are Republics and democracies, yet currently are struggling with democratic deficiency. Since I compare fairly similar countries and treat each country as a distinct object of the study, the findings tell more about the degree of similarities and differences in the femicide numbers. I investigate the contributing factors behind violence against women in two since 2001, using a novel quantitative dataset compiled from international sources. Both countries are categorized as having deficiencies in democracy, yet Bulgaria is assorted with a low level of religiosity compared to Turkey. I argue that high levels of democratic values and low religiosity are likely to facilitate women’s rights and less femicide. The analysis focuses on these political, economic, and cultural similarities and differences to compare their influences on femicide in Bulgaria and Turkey. Keywords Bulgaria* Turkey* Democratization* Religiosity* Women’s Right

    ‘The Devil I Know’: Explaining Police Officer Intention to Transfer to Another Department

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    Police workforce management has persisted as a major organizational concern. Numerous compelling historical and organizational factors have contributed to smaller numbers of qualified or even interested applicants for police agencies to choose from, and disrupted police career longevity and even police services overall. To address their staffing needs, a growing number of organizations have increasingly shifted their focus to recruiting existing sworn and experienced officers from other departments. While there is increasing concern about officers transferring across organizations, little research has examined officer intentions to move laterally within the police profession, why officers choose to stay or leave, and the implications for staffing. Using theories of cross-organizational turnover from career psychology and a robust sample of more than 600 officers from 8 police agencies, this paper explores the impact of compensation, organizational values, perceptions of supervisors, and career advancement opportunities on officers’ intentions to pursue lateral transfers. Results indicated that compensation had limited influence on intentions to leave and that organizational characteristics exhibited much stronger relationships. Suggestions for keeping officers and assisting recruits in finding their potential organizational fit, impressions of the trajectory of this trend, and implications for theory and practice are offered

    Determinants of Intention to Disclose Musculoskeletal Injury in Adolescent Athletes

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    Context: Although research indicates that the key to minimizing the effect of musculoskeletal injury, improving care, and mitigating long-term effects is to improve early injury care seeking, little is known about barriers to early musculoskeletal injury disclosure and care seeking. Objective: To identify which determinants predicted sport-related musculoskeletal (MSK) injury disclosure by adolescent athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Online survey. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 564 adolescent athletes (58% male, age = 15.81 ± 1.8 years). Main Outcome Measure(s): Online survey exploring determinants of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, injury knowledge, attitudes, perceived social norms, and perceived behavioral control surrounding MSK injury disclosure, intention to disclose MSK injury, and actual behavior of disclosing MSK injury. Results: Of the respondents, 457 (80.2%) reported having sustained ≥1 (mean = 3.2 ± 2.2; range = 1–10) MSK injuries related to sport. Those who endorsed having experienced an MSK injury disclosed not reporting or purposefully hiding 77% of their suspected MSK injuries. Several factors influenced a high intention to disclose MSK injury. Specifically, for each unit increase in total MSK injury knowledge (Exp[β] = 1.061, β=0.054, P = .020, 95% CI = 1.031, 1.221) and attitude (Exp[β] = 1.070, β = 0.064, P \u3c .001, 95% CI = 1.027, 1.115) score, 6% and 7% increases in the likelihood of a high intention to disclose an MSK injury, respectively, were observed. Moreover, for each unit increase in the social norm score (Exp[β] = 1.178, β=0.164, P \u3c .001, 95% CI = 1.119, 1.241), an 18% increase in the likelihood of a high intention to disclose an MSK injury was noted. Conclusions: Designing interventions geared toward increasing the knowledge of signs and symptoms of MSK injury, improving attitudes surrounding disclosure, and better understanding the social context of disclosing MSK injuries may improve MSK injury disclosure behavior and reduce the associated social and economic burdens of these injuries

    Satellite Image Analysis and Sidewalk Classification using Deep Learning Models

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    Lack of sidewalk pavement can contribute to pedestrian fatalities and injuries in the USA. Although many researchers have conducted research on sidewalk detection, there are not many publicly available datasets that we would work on for sidewalk classification. In this study, I conducted classification tasks using pretrained CNN models including VGG16 and ResNet50. I extended these models by adding custom layers at the top of pretrained layers, employing various techniques to improve the classification accuracy. The dataset comprises 4,731 images of sidewalk based on occlusion levels, including images where the sidewalk is visible from overhead and instances where sidewalk is occluded by tree canopies, buildings, or vehicles etc. These images were collected manually using ArcGIS Pro from Allegheny County, PA USA. Different preprocessing techniques were applied to the dataset, such as image resizing, image extraction from bounding boxes, and image mapping to actual class label. Due to the class imbalance nature of the dataset, an augmentation technique was employed to augment the minority class and reduce the imbalanced. The data was partitioned into a training (80%) and test (20%) sets. The models were trained with and without augmentation and their performances were evaluated using metrics including precision, recall, F1- score, accuracy, and area under receiver operating curve. The results showed VGG16 outperforms ResNet50 in sidewalk classification and employing data augmentation technique to the minority class proves beneficial when dealing with imbalanced data in image classification tasks


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