University of Wisconsin–Washington County

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    Making Sense of New Parents\u27 Working Parent Identities and Boundary-Setting Enactments During Resocialization into the Workplace Following Parental Leave

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    Attending to new parents’ identity sensemaking (Weick, 1995) and work/life boundaries (Buzzanell et al., 2005), this dissertation is divided into four chapters. Chapter One contextualizes my dissertation research and qualitative methodology alongside work/life communication scholarship. Chapters Two and Three contain two stand-alone studies. Finally, Chapter Four integrates Chapter Two and Three findings while also addressing future directions for work/life research. Below, I provide abstract overviews of the empirical studies in Chapters Two and Three. By identifying the macro and meso discourses that emerged in new parents’ identity sensemaking (Weick, 1995), Chapter Two demonstrates how prior worker and new parent identities coalesced into a new working parent identity. Drawing on qualitative interview data from 16 new (working) parents, this study extends work/life and sensemaking research by decentering sensemaking (Introna, 2018) to consider multiple meaning-making agencies and/or contexts (Cooren, 2010; Introna, 2018; Wieland, 2010). Layering a ventriloquial lens (Cooren, 2010) onto my analysis of sensemaking, my findings identify the ventriloquial figures that emerged in new parents’ sensemaking and demonstrate how 1) ventriloquial figures functioned to fracture new parents’ working parent identities and 2) new parents agentically repositioned these figures to construct an evolving working parent identity. Theoretically, this study contributes to understandings of how human and immaterial agency co-constitutes micro-level negotiations of identity. Chapter Three attends to new parents’ boundary-setting enactments (Ashforth et al., 2000) during workplace resocialization following parental leave, a planned organizational change (Lewis, 1999) and workplace transition (Kramer, 2010). I analyze boundary-setting enactments of 16 new parents who returned to the workplace after parental leave through the lens of control and resistance (Zoller & Ban, 2020). My findings illustrate an overarching tension between maintaining a professional identity and enacting a new, complex working parent identity during resocialization, and demonstrate how new parents enacted control and resistance in identity, time, and topic boundary-setting contexts by aligning with professional norms or privileging a complex working parent identity. Examining new parents’ blurred work/life boundaries and tensioned identities during organizational resocialization, this study contributes to theoretical understandings of the reciprocal influence between micro work/life boundary-setting enactments and meso organizational structures (i.e., professional norms)

    Beyond Borders: Representations of Refugees and Place in Clarkston, Georgia

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    In the last thirty years, socio-political shifts within the city of Clarkston, Georgia, have led to an evolution in representations of the city and of its many refugee and immigrant populations. This dissertation examines the site-specific effects of the evolving policies and practices of refugee resettlement and integration within the city of Clarkston and the emerging immigrant gateway of the South. While the city itself has transformed, so have its representations of refugees, challenging imaginative geographies and complicating the mainstream dichotomic racial imaginative geographies and socio-political representation of the U.S. South. Using qualitative methods, I analyze materials from four years of research including city council minutes, media coverage, field visits, and interviews with key informants to examine the multiple representations of refugees and immigrants. Findings showcase the complicated nature of representations of refugees and immigrants within and around the city, as both assets and adversaries to local communities. Council members, resettlement organizations, and residents construct refugees as beneficial to the local economy and position their “diversity” as an economic advantage. Refugee reception has become increasingly institutionalized through stakeholders at the local scale, particularly through branding endeavors by the city government for economic gain and organizations with moral imperatives. In addition, council members use coded language to portray refugees as racialized victims and transgressors. Inherent in the city’s representation of refugees is a neoliberal multicultural representation of the city itself, which complicates our knowledge of the politics of scale and neoliberal multiculturalism at the local scale. Today, metro Atlanta’s vision for the region and its economic development are inclusive of the representation of immigrants, yet city policies are often created and implemented without the contribution of refugees and immigrants. To highlight the need for attention to immigrants’ voices, I draw on the lived experiences of refugees in Clarkston to demonstrate how identity and belonging are inextricably and mutually constructed through place and that place is constructed through lived experiences. This geographic research highlights the unique features of a gendered and racialized refugee community in the South and their interactions with the local state. These findings demonstrate the need to include the voices of marginalized communities within local decision-making and for more scholarly attention to the everyday experiences of refugees and immigrants

    Structure-Function Studies of Nitrate Reductase Enzymes

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    Nitrate reductase enzymes are a class of molybdenum-based enzymes that undergo a 2-electron redox reaction to reduce nitrate (NO3-) to nitrite (NO2-). This class of enzyme is very important in various geothermal cycles, the most prominent of which is the global nitrogen cycle. There are several types of nitrate reductase based on mechanism and overall structure from organisms such as eukaryotes to bacteria. The focus of this study is the periplasmic nitrate reductase from Campylobacter jejuni and the assimilatory nitrate reductase from Synechococcus elongatus. Both share identical primary coordination spheres at the catalytically essential molybdenum and are predicted to share an overall peptide fold motif. Importantly, for these enzymes, the primary coordination sphere and mechanism are open questions in the community and a focus of this work. Through a series of activity assays and analysis using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, the kinetics, and reactivity of the nitrate reductases were probed in the hope of gaining a better understanding of what affects the reactivity of the Mo center, and what might potentially inhibit the enzyme\u27s activity. Kinetic activity assays using methyl viologen (MV) as an electron donator promoted the turnover of nitrate to nitrate, which allowed for the analysis of active enzymes to obtain the specific activity for both types of nitrate reductase. This assay proved that the synthesis methods of both enzymes were successful in producing active enzymes that could be used in further analysis, and also introduced the possibility that dithionite (DT) is not a good electron donator for these enzymes, but an inhibitor to turnover. Through EPR analysis of NapA, the mechanism behind the conversion of NO3- to NO2- was studied. WT CjNapA underwent turnover and the EPR was obtained before and after, which showed a 6-coordinate structure arising after turnover. This structure aligns with a “Sulfur-shift reaction”, that has been recently proposed in opposition to the previously stated “Oxygen-atom reaction”. This observation gives much more insight into not only the mechanism but also the binding pocket and potential reactivity of these types of enzymes. In addition to understanding the mechanism and reactivity of the enzymes, a new equation to help classify them was formed. This new “Rhombicity” equation was tested for a variety of different molybdenum enzymes, as well as for systems with different transition metals than Mo. This equation helps to classify and quantify the degree of separation of EPR spectra, which allows for better analysis of structure

    A Paleoethnobotanical Comparison of Mortuary and Village Langford Tradition Sites in Northern Illinois

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    Archaeologists working in northern Illinois have conducted research on Langford Tradition (ca AD 1100-1450) sites for more than a century. The last 40 years have seen increasing methodological sophistication providing for a relatively nuanced understanding of food technology and resource use. Paleoethnobotany has provided one way to observe the diversity of plant use among Langford site occupants. Using standard paleoethnobotanical practices, plant macroremain from the Robinson Reserve Site (11CK2) are analyzed. The results of the plant macroremain analysis are then compared to existing floral data from the Washington Irving Site (11K52). This research investigates whether site functionality is distinguishable between Langford tradition mortuary and village sites

    Comparing Approaches to Virtual Team Onboarding: the Influence of Synchrony and Cues on Impressions of Leaders During Encounter Phase Organizational Socialization

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    Whether fully virtual or a hybrid of virtual and face-to-face teams, more organizations use computer-mediated communication than ever before. Under the right circumstances, virtual team environments have been shown to increase employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity (Gallup, 2020). However, there is also consensus that virtual teams take longer to get work done and miscommunicate more frequently than face-to-face teams (Morrison-Smith & Ruiz, 2020). While there is no silver bullet to resolve these shortcomings, one potential area for intervention is during new employee onboarding. This study tests the hyperpersonal model and social presence theory’s application to virtual team onboarding by examining how message characteristics (synchronicity and degree of nonverbal cues) affect new employees’ sense of safety and impressions of their managers during their first moments on the job. The study finds no relationship between synchronicity and degree of nonverbal cues on employees’ sense of safety or impression of their managers. However, the study finds a marginally significant negative interaction effect between synchronicity and low nonverbal cues on impressions of virtual team leaders’ relational communication. Theoretical and practical implications for virtual team onboarding are discussed

    The Search for the Four-electron Reduced Intermediate in the Cytochrome C Nitrite Reductase (CCNIR) - Catalyzed Reduction of Nitrite

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    Although there are many nitrogen species in the nitrogen cycle, nitrite occupies a centralrole. Nitrite can either reduce to ammonium or dinitrogen or oxidize to nitrate. Ammonium and nitrate can be found in the environment; however, problems arise when the accumulation of these nitrogen species leads to eutrophication in aquatic environments. High ammonium or nitrate levels in lakes or other bodies of water can lead to the overgrowth of algae, which causes the blockage of sunlight to different species below the water surface. Imbalance in the ecosystem is a serious environmental issue that can be addressed by further studying and understanding the nitrogen cycle. Cytochrome c Nitrite Reductase (ccNiR) is a complex multi-heme respiratory enzyme, found in the aquatic bacteria Shewanella oneidensis, that catalyzes the reduction of nitrite to ammonium. Earlier in vitro studies had used the strong reductant methyl viologen monocation radical (MVred) to study the reaction, but under these conditions, no intermediates accumulate, which leaves the mechanistic steps of the catalysis uncharted. In this study, ccNiR-mediated nitrite reduction was effected by a variety of weak reductants in place of MVred. Assays for hydroxylamine and ammonium formation showed that ammonium was still the only significant product under these conditions. However, intermediate species in which partially reduced nitrogenous moieties were bound at the ccNiR active site were now detectable. The kinetics of intermediate and ammonium formation were monitored by conventional and stopped-flow UV-Visible Spectroscopy. The results presented herein pave the way to further characterizing the catalytic intermediates using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and time resolved X-ray crystallography. To that end, preliminary crystallographic results collected at the European X-Ray free-electron laser facility are also presented

    The Effects of Microplastics and Glyphosate on the Alga Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii

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    Microplastics (plastic particles 0.1 μm - 5 mm) are a major ecological problem in terrestrial and aquatic environments. While research on the effects of plastics on organisms has steadily increased, much less is known about the effects of microplastics that have been exposed to a secondary harmful contaminant, such as the herbicide, glyphosate (here referred to as “treated microplastics”). Microplastics that have not been so exposed (“pristine microplastics”) have typically been used in microplastic toxicity studies. A wide range of organisms have been used in studies of the effects of microplastics, but microalgae, which lie at the base of aquatic food webs, continue to be understudied. To understand the interaction between microplastics and contaminants with respect to their effects on microalgae, batch cultures of the chlorophyte alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were grown in saturating irradiance (100 µmol quanta m-2 s-1, 16:8 L:D cycle, 18 °C) under nutrient-replete conditions and exposed to treatments of pristine polyethylene microspheres (45-53 µm diameter, 0.1 g L-1 or 1 g L-1), dissolved glyphosate (220 µM or 44 µM), or polyethylene microspheres treated with glyphosate (220 µM or 44 µM), over a 14-day exposure. Growth was monitored using in-vivo Chlorophyll a fluorescence and flow cytometry, while measurements of photosynthetic quantum yield (“Fv/Fm,” using DCMU) and the proportion of dead cells (“mortality,” using the stain SYTOX-Green) were also determined. The main effect of glyphosate was significant and resulted in treated cultures to have significantly lower growth rates and quantum yield than cultures compared to control cultures without glyphosate exposure (µ of 0.99 d-1 versus 1.01 d-1 respectively and Fv/Fm of 0.47 versus 0.58 respectively, p\u3c0.05 in both cases). The main effect of microplastics was also significant and also resulted in decreased quantum yield compared to cultures not exposed to plastics (Fv/Fm of 0.45 versus 0.62 respectively, p\u3c0.05). However, exposure to microplastics actually increased growth rate and reduced mortality compared to cultures not exposed to plastics (µ of 1.09 d-1 versus 0.94 d-1 respectively and dead cells mean of 1.23 % versus 3.01 % respectively, p\u3c0.05). The maximum biomass (“plateau,” measured as chl a fluorescence or cell numbers) achieved by cultures were not different. Glyphosate and microplastics did not interact in terms of significantly modifying each other’s effects. The findings contrast with others in the literature and show that the combined impact of microplastics and other contaminants on an organism is complex and dependent on various factors such as the concentration and characteristics of the contaminants as well as the type of test organism and the parameters being studied. Future work should focus on assessing the effects of different types and forms of plastics in combination with other contaminants

    The Association Between Aerobic Fitness and Network Connectivity in the Default Mode Network in Healthy Adolescents and Young Adults

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    The beneficial effects of aerobic fitness on psychiatric and cognitive function in older adults have been well demonstrated in existing literature. However, less remains known about the relationship between aerobic fitness and neurocognitive health in emerging adults, who are less likely to suffer from underlying metabolic conditions. Further, few have examined potential sex differences. The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is associated with a reduction in physical activity and accumulating evidence suggests that poor aerobic fitness negatively impacts neurocognition. Therefore, it is crucial to better understand the relationship between aerobic fitness and neurocognitive health during adolescence and young adulthood when interventions may be pivotal. The current study aimed to better characterize the relationships between objectively measured aerobic fitness (VO2 max testing), resting-state functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN), and neuropsychological performance in healthy emerging adults; sex differences were also examined. Results of the study showed that better aerobic fitness was associated with increased connectivity between the right PCC and left anterior cingulate. The VO2 max*sex interaction was significantly associated with increased connectivity between the right PCC and left precuneus (males displayed a more robust relationship) and increased connectivity between the left PCC and right middle temporal gyrus (females displayed a more robust relationship). Co-activation of the right PCC and left anterior cingulate associated with better aerobic fitness was negatively associated with verbal memory recall for the whole group. Further analysis separated by sex revealed males displayed a negative association between these regions and both verbal learning and memory, while females did not have a significant relationship. Co-activation of the left PCC and right middle temporal gyrus associated with better aerobic fitness was positively associated with verbal memory, with females showing a slightly greater benefit, though no significant sex differences were observed. Lastly, co-activation of the left PCC and right middle temporal gyrus was associated with better inhibition in males. Overall, results from this study contribute to a better understanding of the extent to which aerobic fitness impacts functional connectivity in the DMN of the developing brain and its relationship to neuropsychological performance in a sex-balanced, emerging adult sample. Findings may offer insights into the value of early preventive health behaviors aimed at improving neurocognitive health in youth prior to potential onset of psychiatric or neurologic disorders susceptible to disruptions in DMN connectivity

    Information Needs of Korean Immigrants in the United States: Selection and Use of Social Media

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    This mixed-method study investigates the information needs of Korean immigrants on social media and their selection and use of social media for finding information in the United States. The study was designed to answer six research questions: 1) What are the top types of information needs on social media that Korean immigrants fulfill during their everyday lives in the United States?; 2) What types of social media do Korean immigrants most frequently use during their everyday lives in the United States for different types of information needs?; 3) Are there any relationships between the types of social media Korean immigrants select and demographic factors, Information Communication Technology (ICT) experience level, cultural factors, and information needs?; 4) What factors influence the selection of types of social media among Korean immigrants?; 5) How do Korean immigrants use social media for finding information during their everyday lives in the United States?; 6) What factors influence Korean immigrants’ social media use for information seeking in their everyday lives in the United States? Data collection involved questionnaires, diaries, and interviews with 111 Korean immigrant participants completing questionnaires and 16 selected for diaries and interviews. Quantitative and qualitative methods, including descriptive statistic, Chi-square test of independence, and open coding, were used for analysis. In particular, descriptive analysis was utilized to identify education as the top information need on social media in RQ1. In RQ2, it was observed that Social Network Services (SNS) were most commonly used, while YouTube was popular for education, monitoring, and health information. The researcher investigated the relationship between social media types, demographic factors, ICT experience level, cultural factors, and information needs in RQ3 and revealed that there was a relationship between them by Chi-square test. In RQ4, the researcher identified factors influencing social media selection, such as social network influence, cultural preference, information needs, information quantity, and information format, using open coding. In RQ5, it was found that Korean immigrants primarily employed searching a keyword within a social media or clicking or subscribing to feeds/notifications to gather information. In RQ6, factors affecting social media use, such as algorithms, features, relevance of search results, and speed of information delivery, were identified. The study uncovered information needs among Korean immigrants and shed light on their predominant needs on social media. Moreover, the study presented a theoretical model for Korean immigrants\u27 selection and use of social media platforms. It offered practical recommendations to cater to the information needs of Korean immigrants, such as algorithm optimization, improved search functionality, and language support. The study\u27s limitations were acknowledged, and recommendations for future research were provided

    Taphonomic Changes in Vertebrate Osteological Collections

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    This research project will use an experimental approach to address forensic questions regarding sharp force trauma to various bone sizes. This will produce a taphonomic comparative collection to aid in the recognition of types of damage to bones of various osteologic characteristics. I will use deer and elk limb bones as a proxy for adult human remains and rabbit long bones as a proxy for juvenile human remains. To reproduce various sharp force injuries to these bones we will use an axe, handheld saw, hatchet, and a six-inch hunting knife. The various sharp tools will be applied to the rabbit and the deer bones, and the marks on the bones will then be compared to observe how differently sized bones can impact the taphonomic effects produced. Specifically, we will do eight experimental trials. The first four trials will include one for each tool type on each size of fleshed animal bone. The second four trials will include one for each tool type on each size of de-fleshed animal bone. Comparing tool marks on fleshed versus de-fleshed animal bone will provide key information about how the presence of soft tissue influences what marks are produced on bone. This comparative collection can be used by future students to learn and recognize these key taphonomic differences that sharp tools can produce in adult versus juvenile bone. The various bones used will be photographed and documented regarding the marks and breakages produced by the sharp force tools. This project is significant because it will help further forensic knowledge and increase efficacy of identifying and recovering bones


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