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    From the Avant-Garde to the Humanitarian: Kati Horna's Photomontages and Photography (1937-1938)

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    The Mexican-Hungarian photographer Kati Horna (1912–2000) photographed the Spanish Civil War and created photomontages for the anarchist organization, the CNT-FAI (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo-Federación Anarquista Ibérica/National Labor Confederation-Iberian Anarchist Federation) between 1937 and 1938. Scholarship to date has debated whether Horna’s political activism or her association with interwar avant-garde groups played a greater role in her work. In this thesis, I suggest that Horna’s political activism and her associations with Dada, Constructivism and Surrealism are inseparable aspects of her work by tracing Horna’s work from Hungarian Activism in the mid-1910s to what has been described as humanitarian photography in the 1930s. I argue that Horna’s work reveals the proximity of the avant-garde groups on the one hand and, on the other, the ambiguous relationship between art and politics during the European interwar years

    High-Resolution Grain-Size Distributions: Insight into Tephra Dispersal and Sedimentation during Plinian Eruptions

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    Detailed field studies of past eruptions contribute to constraining the input parameters used to forecast tephra dispersion and mitigate potentially fatal volcanic hazards. It is thus of the utmost importance to understand the relationships between the characteristics of tephra deposits and these input Eruption Source Parameters (ESPs). In this dissertation, I determine the ESPs for the ~7.7 ka Cleetwood eruption of Mount Mazama (Crater Lake/giiwas, Oregon, USA). This eruption is an important historic eruption because it immediately preceded the climactic caldera-forming eruption, at the same location, and is similar to the only observed silicic volcanic eruptions that have transitioned from explosive to effusive activity (2008 Chaitén and 2011-2012 Cordón Caulle, [Chile]). The Cleetwood eruptive sequence consisted of two consecutive VEI 4 eruptions: the main lower Cleetwood unit and smaller upper Cleetwood units, in order from oldest to youngest. The lower Cleetwood phase alone, produced a ~14.4 km plume and emplaced ~0.85 km3 of tephra. Altogether, the explosive phase of the Cleetwood eruption deposited ~1.1 km3 (non-DRE) of material and transitioned to an effusive stage that emplaced a ~0.6 km3 rhyodacitic lava flow. Furthermore, I develop a novel approach which combines laser diffraction and dynamic image analysis to produce a continuous set of high-resolution grain-size distributions (HR-GSDs) for samples spanning a range of sizes of ejected tephra from less than a micron to a few centimeters. Through this approach, I show the ability for these HR-GSDs to provide insights into magma fragmentation and tephra transport. Next, through detailed wind analysis and the use of these ESPs as the inputs for Tephra2, a volcanic ash transport and dispersal model, I estimate the geometry and dimensions of the volcanic plume that emplaced the lower Cleetwood unit. Here, I show the standard version of Tephra2, which uses a vertical line source, does well to reproduce mass loads and grain-size distributions separately but fails to fit both simultaneously with a single set of empirical inputs. To overcome this, I adapt Tephra2 outputs to simulate deposition via an umbrella cloud. Applying this adaptation and a grid search approach over reasonable plume heights and umbrella cloud geometries gives the best results for a plume with a 4x40 km2 elliptical geometry. This approach improves overall GSDs without degrading mass loads. Lastly, I combine detailed componentry and HR-GSDs on samples I collected from the products of hybrid phase of the 2011-2012 eruption at Cordón Caulle. This analysis suggests that ash sintering after fragmentation produced a dense plug that obstructed the shallow conduit. This caused the system to re-pressurize and subsequently shatter pieces of the plug during the next explosive event. This pattern continued until permeable outgassing dominated over re-pressurization, facilitating the transition to a solely effusive stage

    The Implementation of an Online Educational Program for Nurses: Increasing Knowledge about Dysphagia and Dysphagia Dietary Recommendations

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    Diet modification has become a fundamental clinical tool for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) within dysphagia management, particularly for acutely ill patients. However, for dietary modifications to meet intervention goals of increased intake and prevention of negative health consequences, adherence is needed across healthcare professionals, including nurses. Previous literature has highlighted education as a key contributor to increased adherence. Further, the increased flexibility of online education may help mitigate barriers experienced by healthcare professionals to completing these trainings. The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot an online educational program about dysphagia and diet modification for inpatient nurses caring for patients experiencing dysphagia. The study also aimed to examine the feasibility of program implementation and participants’ overall perceptions of program impact. A total of four participants completed the program and subsequent surveys with three also participating in semi-structured interviews about their experience. Results showed a large effect in knowledge level change between baseline and directly after completing the program and between baseline and one month after completion. Additionally, most of the participants rated the educational program as “good” using the System Usability Scale. Four themes were generated based on the semi-structured interviews. First, participants described the positive benefits of the educational program on their knowledge and clinical practices. The second and third themes encompassed dysphagia-related training received in educational and work settings and what barriers exist to additional training. The fourth theme included insight into the relationships between nurses and SLPs and the positive effects of a strong relationship. Taken together, the quantitative and qualitative analyses supported improvement in participants’ knowledge levels, preliminarily supporting the program’s effectiveness. Results also showed good levels of acceptability and feasibility of the online program as a mode for training. By increasing knowledge about dysphagia management, implementing such a program in nursing training or continuing education may increase adherence to dietary recommendations. In doing so, such a program can lead to earlier identification and appropriate management of dysphagia, resulting in better treatment outcomes, including a reduction in the negative consequence of dysphagia, increased patient satisfaction, and improved quality of life

    Molecular Coordination of Zebrafish Fin Development, Regeneration, and Ray Patterning

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    Danio rerio zebrafish fins and human limbs, although outwardly dissimilar, develop using conserved genetic modules. However, unlike humans, zebrafish can perfectly regenerate their fins following amputation or injury. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying fin development and regeneration may improve our understanding of human limb abnormalities and aid the rational design of therapeutics for injury repair. In this dissertation, I use the branched zebrafish caudal fin skeleton as a model system to explore the fundamental question of how appendages form a precisely patterned skeleton. Our lab previously discovered Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is specifically required for fin ray branching during regeneration. In Chapter II, I extend this understanding to demonstrate Shh mediates ray branching during development of all seven zebrafish fins. Further, I find Shh slows the migration of basal epidermal cells as they pass over immature bone in the distal outgrowing fin. This reinforces a potential heterotypic cell association mechanism by which the Shh+ basal epidermis directs branching during ray formation. In Chapter III, I further detail the development of the caudal fin skeleton. I describe how a subset of fin rays, the peripheral principal rays, differs in ontogeny from other fin rays and propose three organizing centers together produce caudal fin symmetry. Chapter IV uses a zebrafish model of Fraser Syndrome to explore how basement membrane-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal associations contribute to ray branching morphogenesis in development and regeneration. In addition to describing the first adult zebrafish model of Fraser Syndrome, I characterize dramatic fin ray patterning abnormalities including but not limited to unbranched rays. I demonstrate the skeletal patterning abnormalities are Shh signaling-independent, showing the basement membrane (and likely additional extracellular structures) establishes a permissive environment for robust skeletal patterning. Turning back to which signals direct ray branching, I identify wnt10a, which is known to be expressed during fin regeneration, as a putative upstream activator of localized basal epidermal shha. In Chapter V, I generate fin-deficient wnt10a mutants and describe the temporal requirements of Wnt10a for median fin development and regeneration. In Chapter VI, I use the wnt10a mutants to demonstrate Wnt10a activates basal epidermal shha expression and thereby initiates the cooperative cell behaviors underlying ray branching morphogenesis. Collectively, this dissertation advances our understanding of the molecular control of zebrafish fin development, regeneration, and skeletal patterning.2024-07-2

    Listening to the Arts

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    My thesis piece "Listening to the Arts" is a twenty-minute long composition for chamber orchestra that consists of four movements. Each movement is inspired by an artwork from a different artist, namely Antonio Canova's "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss," Alexander Calder's "Double Gong," Alphonse Mucha's "The Seasons," and Claude Monet's "Water Lilies - The Clouds." In this composition, I aim to explore the intersection between music and visual arts by creating an auditory interpretation of each artwork's particular character and style. Each movement adopts a distinct musical style to convey the unique emotional and aesthetic qualities of each artwork. I seek to showcase the potentials of the interdisciplinary arts and how they can inspire and enrich one another. Overall, "Listening to the Arts" is a demonstration of my creativity and proficiency in music composition, and my appreciation for visual arts

    Multiscale and Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Socioeconomic and Environmental Effects on Mental Illness Mortality

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    Mental illness is a pressing global and national public health concern, necessitating the identification of risk factors to develop effective prevention measures. In this dissertation, I attempt to fill two research gaps by revealing the spatial and/or temporal disparity in the impacts of unemployment and greenspace on mental illness mortality with spatiotemporal modeling and a causal analysis across three spatial scales.In Chapter 2, the association between mental illness and substance use mortality and unemployment was examined using Bayesian spatiotemporal hierarchical models. The findings revealed heightened positive effects in rural Appalachian and Midwestern counties. Overall mild effects were observed during the Great Recession period. The patterns could be attributed to local contexts such as the availability of healthcare supply and relative deprivation. Chapter 3 challenges the assumption of a spatially constant effect of greenspace exposure on mental illness mortality, using census tract-level data from Oregon and Washington. Results indicated that the impact of greenspace exposure on mental illness mortality varies across census tracts, with protective effects more likely in areas between Seattle and Portland. Protective effects were more likely observed in areas between Seattle and Portland. The contrast between urban and rural areas was explained through factors such as patient preference and differential availability and accessibility to greenspaces. Chapter 4 shed light on the spatial differences in the causal effects of greenspace exposure on mental illness mortality using data from the State of Washington. Dichotomized treatment settings and propensity score matching methods were leveraged to examine the spatial disparity in causal effects of greenspace exposure to mental illness mortality. The results elucidated that the causal effect differed significantly across regions within Washington state, emphasizing that spatial heterogeneity is a critical element when examining the causal effects of greenspace exposure on mental illness mortality. By highlighting the spatial and/or temporal disparity in socioeconomic and physical environment factors’ effects, this dissertation provides new perspectives to spatiotemporal mental health research and suggests a transition from disease mapping to effect mapping. This transition offers evidence to devise locally-focused measures that consider the spatial disparities of associative and causal effects.2024-07-2

    Scalar Curvature and Transfer Maps in Spin and Spin^c Bordism

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    In 1992, Stolz proved that, among simply connected Spin-manifolds of dimension5 or greater, the vanishing of a particular invariant α is necessary and sufficient for the existence of a metric of positive scalar curvature. More precisely, there is a map α: ΩSpin → ko (which may be realized as the index of a Dirac operator) ∗ which Hitchin established vanishes on bordism classes containing a manifold with a metric of positive scalar curvature. Stolz showed kerα is the image of a transfer map ΩSpinBPSp(3) → ΩSpin. In this paper we prove an analogous result for Spinc- ∗−8 ∗ manifolds and a related invariant αc : ΩSpinc → ku. We show that ker αc is the ∗ sum of the image of Stolz’s transfer ΩSpinBPSp(3) → ΩSpinc and an analogous map ∗−8 ∗ ΩSpinc BSU(3) → ΩSpinc . Finally, we expand on some details in Stolz’s original paper ∗−4 ∗ and provide alternate proofs for some parts

    Heterogeneity in Early Mathematics Screening: Investigating the Role of Intervention Effects on Screening Accuracy

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    This study explores the heterogeneity in screening accuracy of the Assessing Student Proficiency in Early Number Sense (ASPENS) across schools within the context of a randomized control trial (RCT) for Fusion, a first-grade early math intervention. Students were assigned to one of three conditions: a business-as-usual (BAU) control group, a two-student Fusion group (2-Fusion), and a five-student Fusion group (5-Fusion). Two research questions were addressed: 1) To what extent does the observed screening accuracy of ASPENS meaningfully differ between students randomly assigned to the Fusion intervention conditions compared to the BAU condition?; and 2) To what extent is heterogeneity in screening accuracy reduced when is ASPENS is administered concurrently with its criterion, rather than at different times of the year? Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models to jointly model sensitivity and specificity at the participant level, using the 20th percentile on the Test of Early Mathematics Ability – 3rd Edition as the reference criterion. As hypothesized, findings indicated that specificity was significantly affected by treatment conditions, with the 2-Fusion condition exhibiting lower specificity than the BAU condition. 5-Fusion also demonstrated lower specificity than BAU, but this difference was not statistically significant. Furthermore, heterogeneity in screening accuracy across treatment groups was no longer evident when assessments were administered concurrently. The findings of this study underscore the challenges of prognostic screening frameworks and have implications for the use of publisher-recommended cut-scores, the development and validation of academic screening measures, and guiding best practices in utilizing screening assessments within multi-tiered systems of support.2024-06-1

    The Necessity of Nuance in Education: Exploring the Need for the Explicit Teaching of Soft Skills at the High School Level

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    High school students depend on school to provide the skills needed to attend a post-secondary institution or enter the work force directly upon graduation. However, high school curriculum standards may not align with the skillset demanded of the students post-high school. In prioritizing skills by curriculum standards, schools inevitably privilege certain skills and oppress others, creating hierarchies of importance that are predominantly weighted towards “cognitive/hard” skills as opposed to “non-cognitive/soft” skills. Based on post-high school demand from colleges/universities and professional settings, evidence suggests that the K-12 system, and especially the high school level, may benefit from a shift in the prioritization of hard skills towards soft skills. This descriptive study explored the necessity of the explicit teaching of soft skills at the high school level for the employability and subsequent internal promotability of graduating high school students by analyzing the perceptions of elementary, middle, and high school teachers alongside the perceptions of employers. The perceptions of individual teacher groups at different levels of the K-12 “education chain” allowed for analysis of some of the possible gaps in current prescribed-curriculum skill alignment. The perceptions of employers allowed for an analysis of skill demand post-high school in comparison to the K-12 prescribed-curriculum. In essence, this study provides a clearer picture as to where there might be possible gaps in curriculum for students that affect their employability after graduation

    Investigating the Influence of Management Practices on the Assembly and Function of Microbial Communities

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    Microbial communities are integral to many ecosystem functions, including functions of interest to humans such as nutrient cycling and pathogenic infection. However, the influence of management intensity on microbial community assembly and functioning is poorly understood. High intensity management often reduces the overall diversity and biomass of fungi and bacteria; yet ecosystem function does not follow such a clear trend. Additionally, the timeframe in which management impacts microbial community and function is generally unknown. To address these gaps, I characterized microbial communities within logged and unlogged watersheds in the Western Cascade Mountain range and vineyards using different management intensities across a climate gradient in western Oregon, USA. Furthermore, I used wine fermentation as a proxy for microbial community functioning to measure functional differences between management intensities. I found that human management continued to have legacy effects upon microbial communities even five decades after cessation. I also found that management intensity had a clear influence on the organoleptic compounds found within Pinot noir wine samples. This work can deepen our understanding of the response of microbial communities and their functioning to human management.2025-07-2


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