Master's Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

This collection includes master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5606
  • Item
    Understanding contemporary urban spaces: alternative spatial mapping techniques for exploring people's spaces
    (2023-05) Wickramathilaka, Ashra; Perera, Nihal
    "Land-use" is one of the most popular mapping techniques used by urban planners. However, the four or five highly generalized large-scale land-uses they employ are unable to capture most urban activities that are important to ordinary people. While People’s Spaces (Perera, 2016) argues for the need to understand how people create spaces for their daily activities and cultural practices, critical cartographers have been using different mapping techniques to explore and understand people’s spaces. This study juxtaposes social space and critical cartographic discourses to explore how these alternative spatial mapping techniques could be adapted for planning and development, to better understand people’s spaces. The study outcomes identify spatial mapping techniques and processes by applying them to the Industry neighborhood areas in Muncie, Indiana, USA.
  • Item
    Financial donations' effect on journalists' coverage of charitable giving in newspapers
    (2023-05) Pollert, Johannah; Blom, Robin
    This study examined the newsworthiness of charitable giving and whether journalists take that in to account when covering philanthropy. The evidence suggested that the dollar amount of charitable donations did not correlate with news coverage. This indicated that editors and reporters did not base their coverage on the amount donated and the impact it can have on their community. The findings demonstrated that most of the charitable giving articles had a positive valence as opposed to a negative or neutral valence. The analysis showed that the charitable news coverage did not favor one donor type, individual, corporate, or foundation more than another. Evidence revealed that articles with a negative valence had a higher word count. Research questions were asked to determine whether circulation size affects news reporting of charitable giving, valence and coverage of donor type. The study found that circulation size did determine news coverage of charitable giving in that the largest papers covered philanthropy the most. Circulation size also influenced valence. The charitable giving articles in the largest newspapers had the highest negative valence compared to the medium and small papers. Small newspapers served more neutral valence articles than large and medium papers did. The small newspapers did cover foundations far more than any other donor type.
  • Item
    Investigation of the effect of targeted active site mutations on the activity of Rieske dioxygenases
    (2023-05) Osifalujo, Elizabeth; Froese, Jordan T.
    Rieske dioxygenases, a class of enzyme systems found in soil bacteria, play an important role in the bacterial metabolism of aromatic “pollutants” in their environment. Rieske dioxygenases have long been utilized in organic synthesis due to their ability to catalyze the asymmetric dihydroxylation of aromatics to produce chiral diene-diol metabolites. Despite their utility, the range of potential applications for these green catalysts has been limited by steric and electronic constraints on their substrate scopes and on their activity. Our work in the Ball State Laboratory for Biocatalysis Research is focused on the development of new green-chemical tools, in the form of engineered enzymes that operate in aqueous solutions, to help contribute to attenuating the reliance of chemical industry on nonrenewable energy sources. To this end, we have applied active site targeted mutagenesis along with a recently reported high throughput screening platform to develop engineered toluene dioxygenase variants with significantly increased activity in the dihydroxylation of a broader range of aromatic substrates, revealing key active site residues that modulate the enzyme’s activity and selectivity. We aim to apply the knowledge gained in this study in engineering more improved Rieske dioxygenase variants to broaden the utility of these environmentally sustainable catalysts
  • Item
    Factors impacting how healthcare professionals manage chronic pain
    (2023-05) Northam, Dana; Holtzman, Mellisa
    This study uses the social ecological model to analyze factors impacting how healthcare professionals manage chronic pain. When managing chronic pain healthcare professionals can utilize two main approaches: holistic or allopathic medicine. Despite evidence showing that holistic medicine is the preferred treatment for chronic pain, allopathic medicine is still being overutilized. Allopathic medicine relies on symptom suppression and opioid use which can lead to long-term opioid dependency. Alternatively, holistic medicine relies on treatments of the whole body including the mind, body, and soul. The social ecological model of behavior can clarify factors impacting participant decisions on the individual-, interpersonal-, and institutional-level. The results suggest that there are many factors on the individual-, interpersonal-, and institutional-level that impact the management of chronic pain. At the individual-level healthcare professionals prefer holistic medicine and harbor stigma towards allopathic medicine, like opioid use. Despite healthcare professionals' overall approval of holistic medicine, at the interpersonal-level patients showed stigma towards holistic medicine – along with lifestyles that are not conducive with holistic treatments and a lack of knowledge surrounding holistic medicine. There was also evidence of institutional-level barriers towards holistic medicine including the professionalization of the medical field, which supports allopathic medicine overall. Using the social ecological model and identifying factors on the individual-, interpersonal-, and institutional- level that impact the use of holistic medicine versus allopathic medicine for the management of chronic pain can be used to created sustainable solutions to barriers healthcare professionals face.
  • Item
    Houston's silent epidemic: a research on how stray animals have been taking over the streets of the fourth largest city in the United States
    (2023-05) Lee, Jong
    This study is an overview of the stray animal population in the City of Houston and the significant problems the City is facing compared to across the rest of the United States. The data suggests Houston’s stray animal population is significantly higher in comparison to the United State, and the funding is significantly lower. Where is the disconnect between Houston and the rest of the United States? The research suggests the City has had increased funding and made significant steps to increase live release rates (LRR), return to owner (RTO), return to field (RTF). But how much further behind is Houston compared to peer cities? Houston has recently implemented a number of animal-related ordinances, however; resulting changes are unknown since data has not taken these ordinances into account. Natural disasters have also taken a toll on Houston. This creative project takes a look at a timeframe where Houston has faced numerous floods, a hurricane, and the COVID-19 Pandemic, which could have displaced hundreds if not thousands of animals across the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Country. The Coronavirus outbreak effected humans and animals globally. Because of the pandemic, the data may be skewed due to people suddenly passing away and leaving their pets homeless or people losing their jobs during the pandemic forcing them to abandon or surrender their pets. However, it’s a variable that the world dealt with. The data suggests Houston’s stray animal population and shelters may not have adapted as well as other shelters across the Country. The study will also take a look at the perception Houstonians have about stray animals and peek into which pockets of the City that has the most disproportion number of stray animals.
Copyright Ball State University. All rights reserved.