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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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A case study of six immigrant instructors teaching their native languages and cultures to military students
Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-146)., The purpose of this case study was to examine the experiences of six civilian immigrant instructors teaching their native language and culture to military students. The participants were recent immigrants who spent 5 years or less in the United States. Previous research on foreign language education focused on learners' characteristics. The literature has a wealth of quantitative studies examining students' scores and efficiency of language and culture programs. The dearth of qualitative research about the experience of instructors was a motivation for this research. This qualitative case study also focused on describing the experiences of these instructors and how they used their native knowledge of language and culture to teach their students. The research questions that guided this case study explored the different instructional strategies used by the instructors and how their content knowledge influenced their teaching. The findings indicated lack of professional development led the instructors to fall back on their own experiences as former students. That consequently translated into a preference for a teacher-centered style of instruction. There was evidence the instructors lacked knowledge of the principles of adult learning and Knowles' assumptions of Andragogy. The instructors did not see that their students were capable of self-directed learning. They did not understand the relevance of the instruction to the mission of their military students. Therefore, they were unable to involve their students in the learning process. The overall recommendation of this study is to provide culturally appropriate pedagogical training for immigrant instructors on Andragogy and second language acquisition theories. The findings of the study reflected the need for intercultural communication training prior to language and culture classes—for instructors and students—to facilitate a more effective learning environment.
A case study of undergraduate adult learners' student services experiences in a traditional student serving university
Increasing numbers of U.S. colleges and universities are offering and developing programs designed to attract adult students to their campuses. The question remains as to how, why, and if at all, student services are being used by the nontraditional student population and whether administrators know how and why these services are being used. The purpose of this case study was to explore the experience of undergraduate adult students who utilize student services at a traditional student serving institution. This study looked at what contributed to the decision to utilize services and how the use of these services influenced the students' perceived academic progress. Additionally, this study explored how and why adult students are utilizing services from the perspective of student affairs and academic affairs administrators. Ten undergraduate adult learners and five university administrators explored the experiences of adult learners' use of student services at a traditional serving institution. The findings of this study demonstrated that the successful adult learner at this case study institution is assertive in selecting which services to utilize. Successful adult learners at this institution self-advocate for their needs, and they create their own community on-campus. Additionally, findings from interviews with administrators and a document analysis of the university's strategic plan and other materials found that the institution is not focused on supporting the adult learner, which provides significant implications for the nontraditional adult student who does not fit the successful assertive and self-advocate model of currently persisting adult students., San Diego State University
A case study on working with the parents of English language learners
This thesis seeks to qualitatively define successful practices for working with the families of English Language Learners (ELLs) at a secondary school in Southeastern San Diego. Through the use of semi-structured interviews and short, demographic surveys with school administrators, teachers, and staff members, successful practices will be identified. By describing practices currently in use by a school that has a successful record of educating ELLs, this research seeks to provide specific, practical strategies that can be used by teachers in similar settings serving a similar population. The research seeks to share successful practices that are specific and practical for improving involvement of families. The school was chosen for its 100% graduation rate and 100% enrollment rate at a 2 or 4 year college.
A case study: Application of the balanced scorecard in higher education
The purpose of this study was to examine the application of the Balanced Scorecard as a management tool within the External and Business Affairs (EBA) unit at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Specially, the study sought to examine how the Balanced Scorecard was communicated throughout the organization, how the data are used within the organization, and how the data are used for decision making, paying particular attention to the four perspectives of UCSD's EBA's personalized Balanced Scorecard. These four perspectives are financial/stakeholder, internal processes, innovation and learning, and the customer. This descriptive case study, a review of program records, a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews with EBA employees utilizing the constant comparative method and descriptive statistics, identified four lessons learned: the truly informed employees are at the top of the organization and they find value in the Balanced Scorecard, most employees are unaware of availability and usefulness of the Balanced Scorecard data, even an unbalanced Scorecard improves business operations and the annual performance evaluation process is an opportunity to reinforce the Balanced Scorecard. The study includes three recommendations for EBA. The recommendations are EBA leadership needs to communicate the Balanced Scorecard process, outcomes, and application with greater clarity to all employees in the organization; there needs to be an institutional plan for sustainability of the Balanced Scorecard to ensure it transcends the current people and environment; and the Balanced Scorecard process within EBA must be flexible for future organizational evolution.
A cell based assay for the discovery of West Nile Virus protease inhibitors
We have previously developed an assay for HIV-1 Protease (PR) in a Gal4 fusion context in T-cells. The previous assay exploits the autocatalytic properties of PR, and Gal4, a transcription factor that is only active when the terminal DNA binding and trans-activating domain (DBD, TAD) are linked. When the protease within the fusion is inhibited, the Gal4/protease fusion remains uncleaved activating the reporter Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). When protease is active, the Gal4/protease fusion is cleaved and will not induce the expression of GFP, allowing the monitoring of protease activity based on expression of GFP. Like HIV, West Nile Virus (WNV), and other members of the Flaviviridae, rely on autocatalytic cleavage of their proteome, and inhibition of this step in the viral life-cycle prevents infection, making inhibition of protease an attractive target for drug discovery. This assay adapted for WNV Protease provides a platform for the high-throughput screening for novel inhibitors of WNV Protease utilizing flow cytometry and/or plate reader based technologies. In addition, this adaptation provides the proof of concept for the utility of the Gal4/protease fusion system for protease of Flaviviridae, which in contrast to HIV-1, requires a cofactor for full activity. Moreover, the assay was developed in adherent cells rather than in T-cells, providing a more natural milieu to mimic flaviviral infection. A processive RNA-dependent RNA polymerase prone to errors, the emergence of resistant strains, and lack of vaccines, highlight the need for novel antivirals and innovative methods to facilitate their discovery. While the main purpose of the assay is to drastically facilitate drug discovery, it can also be used to study the interaction of protease, cofactor, and other host or viral factors, required for protease activity
A cell-based assay that interrogates Dengue virus pre-membrane protein maturation as a therapeutic target
Dengue Virus (DenV) is an arbovirus that represents a budding risk in the United States. Every year, up to 100 million DenV infections manifest into Dengue Fever, or in extreme cases Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome. DenV research in vaccine development has proven to be a difficult feat due to the phenomenon of antibody dependent enhancement. Furthermore, there are currently no available antivirals to fight infection, viral protein processing or viral production. DenV lifecycle begins with its genomic release in the cytoplasm, where it is then translated as a single polypeptide embedded in the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) membrane. DenV, like so many other viruses, exploits a range of host enzymes in the Classical Secretory Pathway (CSP) for modifications. Among these important host enzymes are proteases such as the family of Proprotein Convertases (PCs), including furin. The modulation of the premembrane (pr-M) protein, most likely by PCs, is a critical step in the DenV lifecycle as an absence results in noninfectious progeny. Interestingly, the maturation of pr-M by the host enzymes during infection has been characterized as incomplete, thus rendering some viral particles noninfectious. Thus, the inhibition of pr-M cleavage presents an attractive target for potential antivirals. The pr-M boundary was adapted to an assay previously developed to monitored cleavage during transit through the CSP. This assay is based on a fusion that contains an ER targeting signal sequence, the substrate of significance with flanking FLAG and HA epitopes, and a transmembrane (TM) domain. The assay is designed so that binding of both antibodies results from lack of cleavage, while presence of HA only implies proteolysis occurred. The assay in the context of the pr-M boundary has shown robust transportation with a wild phenotype in both transient and stable cell expression using retroviral technology. The original pr-M substrate included only 20 aa of the substrate boundary. Here, I have designed different substrate boundaries of pr-M to monitor important motifs in enzyme recognition and secretion, hypothesizing that by adapting to larger segments, we will have a powerful platform for the discovery of competitive inhibitors rather than inhibitors of the enzyme.
A cell-based assay to monitor the proteolytic activity of the chikungunya virus capsid protein to facilitate antiviral discovery
As globalization and climate change continues to facilitate the spread of viruses across the planet, the need for new and effective antivirals is appropriately evident. Mosquito-borne arboviruses such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya (CHIKV) viruses are becoming alarmingly widespread as invasive mosquito species are facilitating increased viral infections across the world. A member of the Togaviridae viral family, CHIKV is an RNA virus that causes high fever, rash, and most notably, debilitating muscle/joint pain. At this time, there is no current vaccine or commercially available antiviral against CHIKV. In 2020, over 60 countries worldwide have reported local transmission of CHIKV by Aedes genus mosquitoes. Furthermore, multiple strains of the virus have appeared with enhanced transmission capabilities. This fact only furthers the need for antiviral research and drug discovery as the threat of a CHIKV pandemic is significant due to the rising global temperature trend that will allow Aedes genus mosquitoes, serving as viral hosts, to spread to new latitudes and environments. This thesis presents a cell-based assay utilizing a previously developed Gal4 transcription factor reporter assay that monitors the protease-activity of the CHIKV Capsid (CHIKV CP) protein through the expression of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). This viral protein is a prime target for antiviral development as its enzymatic activity and structural roles are critical for viral replication. This report analyzes a set of engineered CHIKV CP/Gal4 assay retroviral DNA constructs to observe the wild-type protease and understand the importance of specific amino acids on CHIKV CP protease activity, and to serve as controls for future antiviral drug screens. This CHIKV CP/Gal4 reporter assay was developed for potential high-throughput screens with robust, clonal mammalian cell-lines expressing the assay. By using flow-cytometry, GFP expression can be used to assess protease inactivity, thus generating a cell-based platform for drug discovery., San Diego State University
A cellular assay to monitor proteolytic activity of Dengue virus protease on host proteins
Arbovirus infections became epidemics in recent decades due to globalization, urbanization, and climate change. Dengue Virus (DenV), belonging to Flaviviridae, is one of the most prevalent mosquito-transmitted viruses leading to Dengue Fever. No antiviral treatments exist currently. As part of the mechanisms of infection, the flavivirus protease cleaves both viral and host proteins. The nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) is a serine protease that utilizes the NS2B cofactor for enhanced proteolytic activity. Previously we used a bioinformatics approach based on viral cleavage-site sequences to search for potential substrates within the human proteome. Hence, we have created a cellular-based assay aimed at deciphering the function and properties nature of human proteins as true substrates of the DenV NS2B/NS3 proteases. The in trans DenV PR cellular assay utilizes the DNA binding and the transactivating domains of the Gal4 yeast transcription factor. When fused, the domains bind to the Gal4 promoter, which drives green fluorescence protein (GFP) expression. Prior experiments with HIV and DenV proteases were performed with the viral protease fused within the Gal4 domains and monitored protease activity in cis. In these assays, fluorescence was observed only with inactive protease. Here, I have explored utilizing the Gal4 PR assay for in trans cleavage. For that purpose, NS3/NS2B is supplied in trans, and the putative substrates cleavage sites replace protease within the Gal4 domains. We tagged the Gal4 domains with FLAG and HA epitopes to allow for the detection of cleavage by Western blotting. As proof of principle and positive control, we have used twenty amino acids of the well-characterized viral NS4B/NS5 cleavage site. Flow cytometry and Western blotting were used to confirm cleavage. We have explored numerous forms of NS2B/NS3 that have shown cleavage in both cellular assays and protein extract experiments. These different forms of protease did not show cleavage. Future experiments may explore possible steric hindrances of either the DNA binding domain or transactivating domain of Gal4 and the substrate. Although G2S linkers were placed upstream and downstream of the substrate cleavage site, the two domains of Gal4 that obscures the substrate and prevents the cleavage event., San Diego State University
A cellular based assay to monitor the cleavage of the extracellular matrix by matrix metalloproteinases as a tool for drug discovery against metastasis
Some of the most important genes up regulated in cancerous tissues are those that encode for Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs are enzymes critical for the remodeling of the protein milieu, known as the extracellular matrix (ECM), which surrounds and supports cells throughout the body. While these proteins can be either secreted or membrane-bound, they function to remodel the extracellular environments in healthy individuals. However, in cancerous cells, overexpression of MMPs aids in the breakthrough of cancerous cells from their original niche into the bloodstream for metastatic spread to distant organs. Here we show an assay that aims to monitor the activity of the MMP known as MMP-14 or Membrane Tethered 1 (MT-1) via a two-tagged engineered scaffold and antibody staining. Through this assay, we seek to offer a novel method in searching for new inhibitors of MMP-14, a molecule that often is associated with poor survival prognosis in cancer patients., San Diego State University
A century of change: National Geographic Magazine and the rhetoric of Amazonian land development
Includes bibliographical references (p. 26-27)., This discussion will focus on the ways in which the relationship between humans and the environment has been characterized. In order to examine this issue, I focus on two specific articles from National Geographic Magazine (NGM), one written in 1906 by Solon I. Bailey, and the other written in 2007 by Scott Wallace. The articles, published 100 years apart, both discuss the same subject, the harvesting of Amazonian resources, and so provide an ideal means to examine the ways in which discussions of a particular space have changed over the last century in NGM, and how they have remained the same. Each article takes a unique stance on the Amazon, and serves to represent the evolving story of Americans and their relationship with the earth. By analyzing the rhetorical approaches the two authors take on the Amazon, this study focuses on the rhetorical means used by NGM to render two polarized models of humans' relationship with the natural environment, and the ways in which this rendering shifted to correspond with a changing national environmental perspective. In examining the rhetorical similarities and differences between the text and images in each publication, I seek to prove that NGM utilizes a form of rhetorical dichotomy to characterize the environment as standing in opposition to man, and though a shift occurs which changes the premise of this opposition, the essential man-versus-nature dichotomy created does not alter and terms do not change, but merely the way we judge the elements of the binary.
A change in market strategy: An approach to achieve greater newsstand sales and market distribution
The Sports Game Review is a two-year-old magazine designed for computer and video sports game enthusiasts. After five successful years as Pro-Gamer, a highly regarded technical newsletter, investor capital launched The Sports Game Review magazine. Although the magazine survived the critical two-year mark, business plan projections were not met. Problems identified include lackluster newsstand sales, poor distribution to the target market, and consumers' inability to link title with editorial content. Investor interest in funding a third year of The Sports Game Review hinges on development of a new market strategy. An aggressive market strategy to change newsstand sales and increase investor confidence is presented. Planned components include bundling The Sports Game Review with computer/video sports games, redesigning distribution networks and magazine placements, and strengthening consumer identification of the magazine's editorial focus., San Diego State University, Digitization of this archival thesis was made possible through a generous donation from Robin B. Luby.