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    44810 research outputs found

    Opportunity café: a community-based intervention to promote employability and self-care independence for transition-aged students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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    The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that a transition plan be in place for students with disabilities by the time they turn 16. This plan aims to facilitate the child’s movement from high school “to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), and continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation,” (20 U.S. C. 1401 (34)). Despite these mandates, studies have shown that youth with disabilities are having poor post-school outcomes when compared to their peers (Lindsay at el., 2019; Lipscomb et al., 2018; Rowe et al., 2021; Test, Mazzotti et al., 2009). Occupational therapy practitioners (OTP) are well situated to collaboratively work as part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team with transition planning (Kardos & White, 2005). The OTP is distinctly qualified to assist the IEP team with developing goals, improving activities of daily living, assisting with staff and student training, and determining student occupational interests. Transition interventions are a widely variable and unregulated area of practice for school-based OTPs. Opportunity Café represents a solution to the problem of poor post-school outcomes for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This transition intervention applies evidenced based practices to guide education teams, students, and families through the transition planning process. It fulfills a need mandated by the IDEA for IEP teams to support the transition needs of students with IDD and provides an inclusive workplace to facilitate growth. Opportunity Café is a dynamic community-based replicable program that can impact student success. Program guidelines, methods for program dissemination, evaluation, and funding are discussed.

    Investigating the neural activity elicited by induced memory recall

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    As the population ages, memory dysfunction is an increasingly prevalent issue resulting from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Despite the resulting decline in quality of life, current treatment options remain limited for this patient population. These treatment options do not target specific neural circuits, remaining agnostic to the cognitive processes underlying memory. To increase therapeutic specificity for neurodegenerative diseases, a fundamental understanding of memory processes is required. Memory recall is traditionally induced by external stimuli, though recent advances have allowed for memory reactivation through neural stimulation. The network effects of stimulation induced memory reactivation remain unknown because the dynamics resultant of such stimulation have not been well studied. In this work I first increase the fidelity of recording from multiple neuronal populations before developing novel methods for stimulating memory associated neurons and apply these techniques to investigate the downstream dynamics during induced memory reactivation. Investigation of expressing multiple fluorophores resulted in significantly improved co-expression over previously established methods, thus enabling high fidelity dual color imaging. After optimizing fluorophore expression for imaging, I next developed a novel method to conduct induced memory recall. Previously, only the blue-light activated channelrhodopsin had been used for induced memory reactivation, thus limiting experimental designs to those compatible with blue light stimulation. This work demonstrates the potential of ChrimsonR, a red-shifted opsin, to induce memory recall and shows that ChrimsonR induced memory recall can take place in both open field and head-fixed experimental paradigms. These results enable calcium imaging during induced memory recall, allowing for all-optical stimulation and recording of memory-associated neuron activity. Having developed the tools for observing neural activity during induced memory recall, I then applied this approach to observe the downstream network dynamics during upstream memory-associated neuron stimulation. This investigation uncovered the inhibitory mechanism responsible for reducing the firing of downstream non memory-associated cells during stimulation. This mechanism provides novel insight into the neural basis of induced memory recall. Additionally, this demonstration of calcium imaging during induced memory recall provides a proof of concept for future investigation of the dynamics of individual memories throughout the brain.2025-01-17T00:00:00

    Examining child care and child care subsidies for intimate partner violence survivors and their children: a mixed methods study

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    There are well-established links between early exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and negative developmental outcomes for young children. Emerging evidence suggests that early care and education (ECE), an existing and widely used resource within children’s communities, may be a promising means to support and address the needs of young children experiencing adversity. However, little is known about ECE or ECE policies in the IPV context. This three-paper dissertation employs a triangulation mixed methods design to address these gaps in our current knowledge. Chapter 2 investigates the influences of ECE on the behavioral outcomes of children exposed to IPV. Four waves of national, longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Well Being Survey (N=3,108) were used to examine the moderating roles of informal, formal home-based, and center-based child care on respective associations between children’s IPV exposure and internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems (IBP, EBP). Results from ordinary least squares regression models with interaction terms and subgroup analyses using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) suggest that non-parental child care, particularly center-based care, can attenuate the negative influences of some forms of IPV exposure on young children’s behavioral outcomes. Chapter 3 draws on primary data from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 17 IPV survivor mothers of young children aged 0–5 to understand their ECE and child care subsidy decisions and arrangements. A data-driven thematic analysis revealed pervasive influences of IPV on mothers’ ECE access and utilization. Despite IPV perpetrators’ interference with and restraint of ECE, mothers sought child care arrangements they believed would enhance children’s well-being, particularly with respect to children’s IPV-related needs and safety. Social and structural factors (e.g., social isolation and ECE affordability and availability) also importantly influenced mothers’ ECE arrangements, and child care subsidies were a critical resource for some. Chapter 4 explores the mechanisms by which ECE can promote children’s resilience during and following IPV exposure, using data from the same 17 interviews with IPV survivor mothers as well as interviews with 6 ECE professionals with experience working with children exposed to IPV. Results from data-driven thematic analyses indicate that reduced exposure to IPV and associated risks, prevention of abusers’ unsafe contact with children, nurturance, enriching activities, stability, a balance of consistency and flexibility, access to therapeutic services, and support of children’s emotion regulation and social development may serve as key protective mechanisms for children exposed to IPV within ECE environments.2026-01-08T00:00:00

    Inclusive research to promote gender and sexual self-determination for LGBTQ+ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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    Inclusive research based on collaborative partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has the potential to lead to relevant and meaningful research outcomes. An inclusive research approach is necessary for research endeavors which strive to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who experience layered stigma due to complex interactions between their disabilities, gender and sexual identities, and other sociocultural identities. In this dissertation, I present three research articles about the Rainbow Inclusion Speaking Up (RISE Up) Project, an inclusive research project with and for LGBTQ+ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to promote gender and sexual self-determination. In chapter one, I define relevant terminology, justify the importance of inclusive research, and synthesize previous research on the experiences of LGBTQ+ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In chapter two, I organize prior scholarship about planning inclusive research into five components and describe how I planned The RISE Up Project according to these components. Then, in chapter three, I present a qualitative interview-based study on the barriers and facilitators to gender and sexual self-determination in the lives of LGBTQ+ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In chapter four, I share practical lessons from The RISE Up Project on conducting gender and sexualities research consistent with core principles of community-based participatory research. Throughout this work, and in chapter five, I highlight implications for conducting meaningful inclusive research and for promoting gender and sexual self-determination for LGBTQ+ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

    Raw data for Chapter 22 "Phytolith results from Tomb 16/H/50"

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    This electronic dataset is connected to the following print publication: Wade, Kali R., and John M. Marston. 2024. Chapter 22: Phytolith results from Tomb 16/H/50. In Megiddo VII: The Shmunis Excavations of Tomb 50 and Burial 45. Edited by Melissa S. Cradic, Matthew J. Adams, and Israel Finkelstein. Monograph Series of the Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv. In press

    Provision of energy and regulation reserve services by buildings

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    Power consumption and generation in the electrical grid must be balanced at all times. This balance is maintained by the grid operator through the procurement of energy and regulation reserve services in the wholesale electricity market. Traditionally, these services could only be procured from generation resources. However, helped by the advances in the computational and communication infrastructure, the demand resources are increasingly being leveraged in this regard. In particular, the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems of buildings are gaining traction due to the consumption flexibility provided by their energy-shifting and fast-response capabilities. The provision of energy and regulation reserve services in the wholesale market, from the perspective of a typical building’s HVAC system, can be construed in terms of two synergistic problems: an hourly deterministic optimization problem, referred to as Scheduling Problem, and a real-time (seconds timescale) stochastic control problem, referred to as Deployment Problem. So far, the existing literature has synthesized the solutions of these two problems in a simplistic, sequential/iterative manner without employing an integrated approach that captures explicitly their cost and constraint interactions. Moreover, the deployment problem has only been solved with classical controllers which are not optimal, whereas the non-convexities in the scheduling problem have been addressed with methods that are sensitive to initialization. The current approaches therefore do not fully optimize the decisions of the two problems either individually or collectively, and hence do not fully exploit the HVAC resource. The goal of the proposed research is to have optimal decision-making across both the scheduling and deployment problems. Our approach proposes deriving an optimal control policy for the deployment problem, and expressing the corresponding expected sum of deployment costs over the hour (called ‘expected intra-hour costs’) as a closed-form analytic function of the scheduling decisions. The inclusion of these expected intra-hour costs into the scheduling problem allows the optimization of the hourly scheduling decisions, pursuant to the real-time use of the optimal deployment control policy. Thus, our approach captures the interaction of the two problems and optimizes decisions across timescales yielding a truly integrated solution. We investigate the estimation of the expected intra-hour costs (based on a myopic policy optimizing instantaneous tracking error and utility loss), and solve the integrated problem with tight relaxations, demonstrating the value and applicability of the approach. Further, we investigate the derivation of the optimal control policy for the deployment problem, formulating and solving it as discounted-cost infinite horizon Dynamic Program (DP) and Reinforcement Learning (RL) problems. We also characterize the optimal policy as a closed-form analytic mapping from state-space to action-space, and obtain the corresponding expected cost-to-go (a.k.a. expected intra-hour costs) as a closed-form analytic function of the scheduling decisions. We further illustrate that the optimal policy better captures the deployment costs compared to existing approaches. As such, our work represents a structured, interpretable and automated way for the end-to-end consideration of energy and regulation reserve market participation, and can be extended to other demand side resources

    Teacher behaviors, student personality, and the emergence of student social network structure in elementary schools

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    Teachers are subject to multiple stressors in their profession and often experience significant distress, which has been found to be linked with harsh and punitive behaviors. These behaviors have been found to influence students negatively, particularly those with vulnerable temperaments. Prior research has also found such negative teacher behavior to be associated with hierarchical social structures in classrooms. While many researchers have attributed this hierarchical structure to teacher modeling—normalizing negative displays of behavior or treating favored students preferentially—student personality may also be a factor. Students high in neuroticism have been found to be particularly vulnerable to stress and often withdrawn. Students high in extraversion, however, have been found to be sociable and to experience positive emotions more frequently. Some evidence suggests these students may also be more likely to form transitive friendships, in which person A is friends with person B, person B is friends with person C, and person A is also friends with C, creating more cohesive networks of friends. It is possible that one reason hierarchical classroom social structures emerge in classrooms in which teachers display negative behaviors is that students higher in extraversion support each other and help maintain each other’s positive emotions, while students higher in neuroticism are more likely to withdraw and experience more negative emotions. Students higher in extraversion may be more likely to occupy higher-status positions in the classroom social structure both because they have more frequent contact with one another, and because other students are more likely to hope to befriend those who are happier and have more friends. The current study will simulate fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms to investigate the relationship between teacher behavior, student personality, student emotions, and student social network structure. Results suggest that extraversion is associated with a greater likelihood of being embedded in transitive triads and greater popularity in the friendship social network. However, there is little evidence that neuroticism is associated with students’ position in the student social network or that teacher behavior is related to the structure of student social network

    Beyond Aloha ‘Oe: Hawaiian music in Hawai’i’s music classrooms

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    Hawaiian music is used in classrooms throughout Hawai‘i but there is limited information about teacher education and how this music is used in classrooms. Creating culturally authentic and reflective presentations are key to making cultural music meaningful. Through my research, I investigated the perceptions of music educators in Hawai‘i concerning their education in Hawaiian music. Two questions guided the research: (1) What is meant by “Hawaiian music” for teachers in this study? and (2) How has this meaning developed through the interactions between professors, students, community members, and cultural bearers? This study was viewed through the framework of Herbert Blumer’s theory of symbolic interactionism. The principle of symbolic interaction is that 1) People act towards things through the meanings they ascribe to it; 2) Meaning is created through the interactions between people; and 3) Meaning is modified and handled through an interpretive process. Through the use of Blumer’s theory of symbolic interaction, data can be viewed and understood as the construction of meaning towards the topic of Hawaiian music. Understanding what meanings music educators give Hawaiian music is important as they can revere, commodify, or denigrate the music through their teaching. The case study method was utilized in this research and guided the process. Study participants were recruited through five of Hawaiʻi’s music education associations, the Hawai‘i Music Educators Association, the O‘ahu Band Directors Association, the American String Teachers Association – Hawaiʻi Chapter, and the American Choral Directors Association – Hawaiʻi Chapter. Data collected through survey respondents, interviewees, and the UH Music Department revealed a history of limited opportunities for Hawaiian music education and interactions with Hawaiian music professors or cultural bearers. Interviews were also conducted with individuals selected from the survey responses. Fifteen interviews were conducted to gather detailed information on the experiences of the participants. Interview participants shared their frustration about the lack of Hawaiian music resources available as well as their difficulties with cultural authenticity. Interviewees also shared that collaborating with Native Hawaiian professors and other cultural bearers helped them feel comfortable teaching this genre of music. This study will help to better understand the perceptions of Hawaiʻi’s music teachers on their education in Hawaiian music and determining authenticity in educational materials and techniques

    Disrupting whiteness: an autoethnographic perspective of a white teacher’s journey from teacher-directed to student-directed elementary music education

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    Throughout my career as an elementary music educator, I constantly sought ways to decenter myself as the instructor and make space for student agency and independence to flourish. However, my efforts over 10 years were rooted in Western Eurocentric thought. Where I thought I was creating a more egalitarian environment, my Whiteness shielded me from the ways that I perpetuated racial injustice in my classroom. The purpose of this autoethnographic inquiry was to interrogate my career-long journey from teacher-directed instruction towards informal, self-directed, play-based music education through the lens of critical Whiteness scholarship (e.g., Applebaum, 2016; Bradley, 2007; DiAngelo, 2018; Matias, 2016a), to (a) locate where I perpetuated Whiteness and where, if at all, I disrupted it; (b) connect my personal stories to theories of Whiteness and trends in education and music education to understand the insidious nature of Whiteness more deeply; and (c) revise and reimagine my stories as examples of more emancipatory and racially just elementary music education. I embraced the act of writing as a primary means of inquiry for my study. I used artifacts (i.e., lesson plans, photos, videos, archived emails, and documents) to create a career timeline. I wrote vignettes to capture my memories. Simultaneously, in the form of imagined emails between myself as a scholar and myself as a practitioner, I embraced a rhizomatic approach to knowledge creation through Jackson and Mazzei’s (2023) thinking with theory to plug the vignette data into various concepts from the Whiteness scholarship to discover new insights into my Whiteness and how it manifested throughout my career. I synthesized the findings to identify patterns in my perpetuation of Whiteness, for example (but not limited to) colonization of minds, thinking in binaries (right/wrong, good/bad), racist assumptions, White saviorism, appropriation of Native American and African musics, aesthetic perfectionism rooted in Western European classical music notions of aesthetic beauty, White fragility and other strong emotional reactions to Whiteness, various discursive moves to avoid thinking about my Whiteness, and a bravado facade I would wear to save face when questioned about my Whiteness. I found a paradox in my attempts to foster a more egalitarian classroom and allocate power to my students. On one side, I challenged traditional notions of classrooms and teacher authority (rooted in Whiteness). However, on the other, my interventions often used Whiteness logic, rendering many of my attempts to transition from a teacher- directed to student-directed classroom not a fundamental disruption of the Whiteness but a perpetuation of it. I still believe in this project and think children should have agency over their music education. This dissertation has taught me that, due to the insidious nature of Whiteness, any attempt I make—as a White man—at fostering emancipatory education must include a thorough interrogation of Whiteness lest I perpetuate the very thing I am looking to dismantle

    Computational approaches for metatranscriptomic profiling in translational medicine and pulmonary diseases

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    Use of total RNA-seq in host and microbiome analysis allows for multi-omic interrogation of microbial profiles, assessment of their function and their interaction with host immune and metabolic pathways. This type of analysis calls for novel computational techniques. However, existing tools for analyzing microbial multi-omic data are lacking, as they typically address a single data type. For example, there are many available tools for the characterization of microbial communities, but these are unable to investigate microbial-host interactions. To address this need, I developed a novel computational pipeline that integrates existing methods for microbial and host expression profiling. This pipeline provides insight into possible personalized medical interventions in translational medicine. This dissertation utilized — transcriptomics and metatranscriptomics to interrogate: 1) host-microbial interactions in people with indeterminate pulmonary nodules, 2) the role of Human Endogenous Retroviruses in the early onset of ageing observed in virologically suppressed HIV positive individuals, and finally 3) to characterize humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 peptides in Covid-19 patients. Specifically, to address the host-microbial interactions in people with indeterminate pulmonary nodules, I addressed sources of batch effects in the data, and I utilized statistical approaches to identify differentially abundant microbes in current and former smokers and malignant and benign samples. Lastly, I linked abundant microbes in both datasets to human pathways and tested for their strength of association. This approach aided in providing insight into the possible functional profile of these microbes and their role in lung cancer. Furthermore, I investigated the role of Human Endogenous Retroviruses in the early onset of ageing observed in virologically suppressed HIV positive individuals. In this project, I utilized Telescope software to generate HERVs counts. Differential analyses were then performed to identify differentially expressed HERVs in PLHIV. Using the computational pipeline that was developed for muti-omic analyses, the association of differentially expressed HERVs with pathways involved in inflammageing and inflammatory markers was then investigated. Taken together, this work identified HERVS that could act as therapeutic and diagnostic in the HIV setting. Lastly, for the third project, I sought to characterize IgG and IgM humoral responses to SARS-CoV-2 at the epitope level, where discriminating epitopes for disease severity were identified. I also investigated epitopes that were conserved between SARS-CoV-2 virus and other Human coronaviruses, allowing the investigation of associations with less severe disease outcomes. These epitopes could serve as discriminative markers for COVID-19 disease severity.2026-01-11T00:00:00


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