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Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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Writing from the left: A proposed democratic introduction to writing curriculum with a focus on capitalist critique
This project offers a curriculum for an introductory writing course that is focused on capitalist critique and asks students to think critically about the university and its role in the academic-industrial complex. The curriculum is comprised of three major essays and asks students to engage with a variety of texts that aim to challenge their assumptions regarding the systems of power both in academia and beyond. The project itself includes selections from three major texts for discussion: Capitalist Realism, Manufacturing Consent, and The End of Policing. This project also includes a syllabus, three essay prompts, and an assignment for presenting on a source of the student’s choosing. This curriculum is designed to be updated and have short, current texts woven in throughout. Following the social- epistemic philosophy of writing instruction, the aim of the course this project outlines is to afford students a platform to turn a critical eye toward the very system of power they are being educated in and ultimately not just better writers, but better critical thinkers., San Diego State University
Written and spoken expository texts in children with perinatal stroke
Children with perinatal stroke (PS) offer an unusual opportunity to investigate the nature of brain development for language. These children have suffered a cerebrovascular event in the last trimester of pregnancy up until the first month after birth., San Diego State University
X-ray crystal structures of two thermostable metal binding variants of streptococcal Protein Gβ1 domain
Protein G is a well-characterized immunoglobulin binding protein expressed in Streptococcus bacteria. Protein G binds to the constant region of antibody. The β1 domain of Protein G (Gβ1) is a thermally stable protein module that has been used as a tag for recombinant protein expression, as a sensor for protein stability, in folding studies, and as a template for novel protein design. As part of an effort to computationally design novel Protein Gβ1 variants with unique properties of self-association, Colin, et al. generated a mutant version of Protein G, called "monomer A", that displays exceptionally high thermal stability and shows a propensity to spontaneously assemble into homodimers in solution. The subsequent introduction of pairs of histidine amino acid residues against this monomer A background resulted in proteins that assemble into higher order oligomers in a zinc-dependent manner in solution. In this study we have crystallized two different di-histidine Protein Gβ1 monomer A mutant proteins in the presence of zinc and determined their high resolution structures by x-ray crystallography. The structure of the first of di-histidine mutant, mutant 3, was solved by molecular replacement and refined against data to 1.48 Å resolutions. Initial experimental electron density maps reveal clear peaks revealing the positions of zinc ions bound throughout the crystal unit cell. The second mutant, referred to as mutant 1, was solved by single wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) phasing using the absorption edge of zinc and refined to 1.49Å resolution. This allowed for the direct calculation of zinc ion positions within the protein unit cell and calculation of experimental electron density maps from these initial zinc positions. Both refined structures reveal that zinc ions are, in fact, bound by the engineered histidine pairs. However, it is not clear from the structures alone how this metal binding might contribute to higher order oligomerization of monomer A dimers in solution. We propose that redesigning the dimer interface for higher affinity metal binding might help stabilize the dimer interface.
X-ray fluorescence rubidium: Strontium age determinations of minerals from the Southern California batholith
Coordinates for index map figure 6, pg 50, estimated from American Automobile Association maps of San Diego County and Baja California., This study investigated the use of x-ray emission spectroscopy as a means of determining the total rubidium and strontium contents of minerals and hence of determining the apparent age of these minerals. Fifty minerals collected from pegmatite dikes associated with the Southern California batholith in the Peninsular Range province of southern California and northern Baja California were selected for analysis. Each sample was digested in hydrofluoric acid and then analyzed with a General Electric XRD-5 spectrometer, using a topaz analyzing crystal and 0.005 inch Soller slit for spectrum analysis. Rubidium peak and rubidium background positions were scaled for 400 seconds each, while the strontium peak and four strontium background positions were scaled for a total of 8000 seconds each. The scaled number of counts were normalized with respect to a standard scaled during the mid-point of each sample run to minimize the effects of instrumental drift. Of the fifty mineral specimens studied, some thirty-four proved suitable for age determination. The mean age of the thirty-four, 102 million years, agrees, within the experimental error, with the results of previous determinations made by other investigators. The x-ray fluorescence method, as compared to isotope dilution, eliminates all chemical procedures, is non-destructive to the specimen and requires about one-half day for a complete analysis, instead of several days., San Diego State University
Yards upon yards of hair: examining the changing characters of a retold fairy tale
This thesis examines the way in which the characters of the Grimm Brothers' "Rapunzel" change and shift through different adaptations of the fairy tale. Focused on the contemporary adolescent novels Rapunzel's Revenge, Golden, and Zel, this thesis looks at the ways in which Rapunzel, the witch, and the prince transform from characters that lack depth in the fairy tale into fully developed characters that represent modern feminist and American conceptions of gender roles. In each adaptation being examined, the new contexts into which the tales have been written result in significant changes to the representation of the primary characters of the story. Authors of contemporary fairy tale adaptations change, shift, and build on the traditional tales' ingrained networks of symbols, figures, and archetypes to create stories that can not only span a full-length novel, but can also be adjusted to fit a contemporary audience. The characters shift to fit the new molds made by the shifts in the ideological stances the authors of the texts hold as significant; they are representative of the authors' imposed context, the context that represents their ideologies (the collection of ideas that make up the author's conception of the world, whether knowingly or unknowingly), agendas (the ideas that the author is knowingly inserting into the text), and connections to the story of "Rapunzel." This thesis tracks these changes and identifies the way these shifts work within the text, and within the larger context that the text was written in. In the end, this text demonstrates the method in which fairy tales stay relevant to a society that is very different than the one they were recorded in; it shows how changes made to the fairy tale represent fundamental and traceable changes in the culture the adaptation was written in.
You might find diamonds : a mixed methods study of high school teachers' understanding, valuation, and implementation of close reading instruction
This mixed methods study endeavored to examine the close reading knowledge, perceptions, and practices of high school teachers of English/language arts in the United States. Through a quantitative online survey, and two qualitative approaches—one-on-one interviews and reflective instructional logs—data was collected regarding how teachers felt about close reading and their understanding and application of CR-related instructional strategies. Participants in the initial quantitative phase of this study comprised 102 secondary teachers from across the United States who currently taught high school English/language arts. Ten of these participating teachers were then selected as volunteers for the second phase of the study, a qualitative model combining interviews with written reflections on experiences in the classroom teaching close reading. The goal was to elicit candid teacher responses about both the challenges and successes of teaching close reading and to tap into teacher perception and attitude about close reading instruction. Results of the study indicated that teachers had an overall high level of confidence about their CR knowledge, but were not always able to articulate the efficacy of various instructional approaches to CR. In addition, the data suggested that teachers highly valued CR and would welcome targeted, productive opportunities for further close reading professional development. Key Words: Close reading, mixed methods, secondary teachers, reading instruction, San Diego State University
Young, gifted, and Black: A case study examining learning, support and outcomes for Black students participating in dual enrollment programs in North Texas
The purpose of this case study was to examine through a constructivist lens, the learning, support, and outcomes of Black students participating in dual enrollment programs in North Texas. The findings for this study may be relevant for high schools, community colleges, and universities who collaborate to offer dual enrollment programming to Black students or who aim to improve the learning experiences and outcomes for Black students participating in dual enrollment programs. As part of my study, I conducted interviews and focus groups with Black students who have participated in dual enrollment programs in the North Texas area, as well with parents, faculty, and administrators from both the high school and community college. I determined that dual enrollment programs seeking to facilitate positive learning experiences and successful outcomes for Black students must design and implement programming with intentional strategies, infrastructures, and supports that center on a variety of social, emotional, socioeconomic, and cultural perspectives and needs of the Black community—a population that has been historically underrepresented and marginalized in academic spaces. The findings of my study can be adapted to other areas across the country that serve Black students through dual enrollment programs. I found that incorporation of completion pathways, authentic family engagement, holistic, case-managed advising, strategic partnerships to adequate dual enrollment talent pipelines; intentional hiring practices; and advocacy for adequate funding are some of the adaptable strategies that can be drawn upon by dual enrollment programs serving Black students in other regions., San Diego State University