Doctoral Dissertations

Permanent URI for this collection

This collection includes doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 3308
  • Item
    Big data for the benefit of aquatic invasive species management
    (2023-05) Weir, Jessica; Venturelli, Paul A.
    Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are an expensive problem and the best thing we can do to manage AIS is to prevent their spread. Preventing the spread of AIS requires an interjurisdictional and big data approach to find pathways, locations, and people to prioritize for early interventions. In this dissertation, I use innovative methods and sources of data to guide decision making in AIS prevention efforts. First, anglers are major vectors of AIS and identifying pathways of angler movement provide an opportunity to intervene and stop the spread. Angler movement data has previously been restricted by costly angler surveys with low participation rates. Using catch logs from a widely popular angler app, I built an angler network that revealed an invasion superhighway that spanned the United States and likely contributed to the spread of two prolific invaders (e.g., Dreissena and Myriophyllum species). Next, identifying lakes that are vulnerable to invasion provide an opportunity for early detection and intervention. I used machine learning models to predict the presence of five aquatic invaders that have spread across the Upper Mississippi River basin. The models identified important features that make a lake vulnerable to invasion and identified high-risk sites for prioritizing AIS management. Then I discussed methods of dealing with poor data quality in big data used for invasive species management and proposed methods of data gathering to improve future studies. Lastly, targeted education and inspection of the most transient anglers would be valuable in slowing the spread of AIS. The variability in angler experience, skill, and motivation, means that anglers pose a heterogeneous risk to spreading AIS. In the last study, I used the angler app data to infer several characteristics of angler behavior and tendencies to predict transience. The results provided information to better inform AIS public outreach and enforcement campaigns. By identifying the pathways, locations, and people for targeted AIS management, this dissertation provides tangible results and scalable methods for preventative efforts. This work highlights the important role anglers can play in the prevention of AIS spread. However, it also demonstrates a need for better large-scale data management and quality improvements that are necessary for studying AIS at an appropriately large-scale.
  • Item
    The short-form choral works ofThe short-form choral works of florence B. Price: compelling music for a range of choirs florence B. Price: compelling music for a range of choirs
    (2023-05) Statler, Mark; Crow, Andrew
    The purpose of this study was to promote the short-form choral works of Florence B. Price (1887-1953) as compelling music for study and performance by high school choirs, collegiate choirs, and community choirs with intermediate and advanced ability levels. The presentation and supporting document organized the music on a spectrum of difficulty, primarily according to harmonic and textural complexity. The choral music of Florence Price—an African- American female composer—spans several genres and categories, including secular partsongs, spiritual arrangements, liturgical service music, sacred music, unaccompanied music, music with piano accompaniment, music with organ accompaniment, music for treble voices, music for mixed voices, music for tenor-bass voices, music with poetic texts, and non-idiomatic choral music by a black composer. Florence B. Price was a student of George Whitefield Chadwick during her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, and her involvement in the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) connected her to other black composers such as William Grant Still, R. Nathaniel Dett, and William Dawson. The lecture recital featured performances by four choral ensembles. As a part of the study, a comprehensive list of Florence Price’s choral music has been compiled as an appendix. Another appendix presents a table that charts the difficulty of the fifteen compositions and arrangements featured in this lecture recital.
  • Item
    Writing the Appalachian commons: white women novelists on Ecological disaster and repair
    (2023-05) Mullins, Cody; Rutter, Emily
    This study addresses six novels written by White Appalachian women in the years following the War on Poverty through the presidency of Donald Trump (1973-2019): Wilma Dykeman’s Return the Innocent Earth (1973), Denise Giardina’s Storming Heaven (1987) and The Unquiet Earth (1992), Ann Pancake’s Strange as This Weather Has Been (2007), Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run (2018), and Madeline ffitch’s Stay and Fight (2019). It is my argument that each of these novelists have produced ecofeminist texts with the purpose of drawing attention to the slow violence of environmental degradation in Appalachia. Through the vehicle of the novel, these author-activists demonstrate the destructive nature of capitalism in sacrifice zones such as Appalachia and outline the need for a restoration of the ecological commons through collective action. Drawing on theoretical frameworks in commons recovery, ecofeminism, and Whiteness studies, I explore the role author-activists play in responding to, making evident, and mitigating the slow violence of ecological disaster. Additionally, I delve into the extent to which White Appalachian female authors successfully or unsuccessfully elucidate the role of Whiteness and its intersections with class and gender. To that end, this dissertation explores the boundaries of White privilege in the context of capitalist endeavors and scrutinizes the unique roles that White female authors and their marginalized White characters play in challenging the stereotypical image of White Appalachia.
  • Item
    The 12 Valsas De Esquina (12 street corner waltzes) by Francisco Mignone
    (2023-05) Medeiros, Pedro; Kilburn, Raymond
    This dissertation lecture recital will feature Francisco Mignone’s work, the 12 Street Corner Waltzes. My aim is to foster greater recognition and appreciation of this deserving work through an examination of the musical fabric. While European musical influences will be discussed, I will place more focus on the nationalist aspects of these pieces. As the title suggests, this work was heavily influenced by popular Brazilian street music of the early twentieth century. I have selected examples of popular music to compare with Mignone’s 12 Street Corner Waltzes to provide further understanding of these influences. Using these discoveries as a backdrop, interpretive considerations will also be discussed. Following the lecture portion, I will play the 12 Street Corner Waltzes.
  • Item
    The effect of collective efficacy on teacher intent to stay in the era of Covid-19
    (2023-05) Maynard, Rochelle Lea
    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher retention rates have declined across the country. This alarming trend shines a light on the teaching profession as there are fewer aspiring teachers who are prepared each year. One focal point is how working conditions influence teachers intent to stay. Collective Efficacy is an extension of teacher working conditions and school climate. To understand teachers’ intent to stay, this study investigated the relationship between Collective Efficacy on teacher intent to stay in a post-COVID-19 era. This study focused on 19 pre-selected districts in Iowa. Teachers were emailed a unique link that allowed them to answer quantitative questions regarding Collective Efficacy, teacher retention, school safety, autonomy, and perceived support during the COVID-19 pandemic Analyses were conducted utilizing mixed-level modeling using level 1 (teacher) and level 2 (school) variables, using teacher intent to stay and Collective Efficacy as the outcome variables. The evidence suggests a positive and statistically significant relationship between Collective Efficacy and teacher intent to stay. In other words, the higher the Collective Efficacy score among staff, their rated intent to stay is higher. The analyses suggested that when intent to stay is utilized as a level 1 (teacher) outcome variable, COVID-19 (a measurement of the support teachers felt when teaching during the pandemic), Teacher Follow-Up Survey (also known as TFS, is a measurement of school safety, autonomy, and school culture), and Collective Efficacy are statistically significant. Collective Efficacy was run in a nested model as a level 2 (school) outcome variable and it was found to have statistically significant relationships with (level 1 variables) COVID-19, TFS, and Teacher Intent to Stay. At the school level, ELA and Mathematics have a positive, statistically significant relationship with CE. These findings demonstrate the significance of school leaders to emphasize a positive school climate, effective support, and working conditions that teachers value in an effort to stay in the teaching profession.
Copyright Ball State University. All rights reserved.