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Creating Sustainability at ASU: Closing the Gap Between Concept and Application

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This thesis is exploring the potential disconnect between the operational and cultural parts in the making of sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) to find the disconnect in operational goals, student engagement, and thus student behavior in building sustainability at

This thesis is exploring the potential disconnect between the operational and cultural parts in the making of sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) to find the disconnect in operational goals, student engagement, and thus student behavior in building sustainability at the university. To do so, I compare and contrast how ASU, Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the University of Arizona (UA) define, create, and demonstrate sustainability in their university’s culture and campus engagement programs. I first define what “culture” is in this study to provide context on how the word is being applied. Next, I assess how culture is reflected in the mission, vision, and/or goals of each university to set the tone for how the university intends to shape the culture of student experience through its services, as well as provide context where sustainability concepts may fit within. Then I assess what sustainability is demonstrated and defined as at each university. To thread each of these components together, I compare and contrast campus sustainability engagement programs at ASU, NAU, and UA based on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) reports produced by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE), as engagement programs are a reflection of the university’s vision, goals, and values brought from theory to practice. My findings are demonstrated in the form of a policy analysis, followed by recommendations on closing the gap where engagement programs and opportunities are potentially missing. These recommendations are intended to advance a stronger culture of sustainability on campus at ASU.

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2020-05

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The Sustainability and Safety of Student Stage Managers in Educational Theatre

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An auto-ethnographic overview of the author's personal experiences in professional and educational stage management in Arizona. Provides a critique of ASU's stage management program and offers solutions to improve the sustainability and safety of student stage managers.

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2020-12

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Automation in a Progressive Economy: The Race between Humans and Technology

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For as long as humans have been working, they have been looking for ways to get that work done better, faster, and more efficient. Over the course of human history, mankind has created innumerable spectacular inventions, all with the goal

For as long as humans have been working, they have been looking for ways to get that work done better, faster, and more efficient. Over the course of human history, mankind has created innumerable spectacular inventions, all with the goal of making the economy and daily life more efficient. Today, innovations and technological advancements are happening at a pace like never seen before, and technology like automation and artificial intelligence are poised to once again fundamentally alter the way people live and work in society. Whether society is prepared or not, robots are coming to replace human labor, and they are coming fast. In many areas artificial intelligence has disrupted entire industries of the economy. As people continue to make advancements in artificial intelligence, more industries will be disturbed, more jobs will be lost, and entirely new industries and professions will be created in their wake. The future of the economy and society will be determined by how humans adapt to the rapid innovations that are taking place every single day. In this paper I will examine the extent to which automation will take the place of human labor in the future, project the potential effect of automation to future unemployment, and what individuals and society will need to do to adapt to keep pace with rapidly advancing technology. I will also look at the history of automation in the economy. For centuries humans have been advancing technology to make their everyday work more productive and efficient, and for centuries this has forced humans to adapt to the modern technology through things like training and education. The thesis will additionally examine the ways in which the U.S. education system will have to adapt to meet the demands of the advancing economy, and how job retraining programs must be modernized to prepare workers for the changing economy.

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2018-05

The Pathfinder Center Stories Project: Narratives from Student Experiences in College

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This paper considers what factors influence student interest, motivation, and continued engagement. Studies show anticipated extrinsic rewards for activity participation have been shown to reduce intrinsic value for that activity. This might suggest that grade point average (GPA) has a

This paper considers what factors influence student interest, motivation, and continued engagement. Studies show anticipated extrinsic rewards for activity participation have been shown to reduce intrinsic value for that activity. This might suggest that grade point average (GPA) has a similar effect on academic interests. Further, when incentives such as scholarships, internships, and careers are GPA-oriented, students must adopt performance goals in courses to guarantee success. However, performance goals have not been shown to correlated with continued interest in a topic. Current literature proposes that student involvement in extracurricular activities, focused study groups, and mentored research are crucial to student success. Further, students may express either a fixed or growth mindset, which influences their approach to challenges and opportunities for growth. The purpose of this study was to collect individual cases of students' experiences in college. The interview method was chosen to collect complex information that could not be gathered from standard surveys. To accomplish this, questions were developed based on content areas related to education and motivation theory. The content areas included activities and meaning, motivation, vision, and personal development. The developed interview method relied on broad questions that would be followed by specific "probing" questions. We hypothesize that this would result in participant-led discussions and unique narratives from the participant. Initial findings suggest that some of the questions were effective in eliciting detailed responses, though results were dependent on the interviewer. From the interviews we find that students value their group involvements, leadership opportunities, and relationships with mentors, which parallels results found in other studies.

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2018-05

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Rainbow Rhetoric: LGBTQ+ Media Discourse and Implications

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Aside from uplifting and tearing down the mood of a young LGBTQ+ kid, journalistic media has the potential to alter the way audiences understand and react to individuals of the LGBTQ+ community. Looking at the rhetorical approaches, frameworks, and expanded

Aside from uplifting and tearing down the mood of a young LGBTQ+ kid, journalistic media has the potential to alter the way audiences understand and react to individuals of the LGBTQ+ community. Looking at the rhetorical approaches, frameworks, and expanded narratives of news sources, this project engages with the concepts of same-sex marriage, lifestyles, bans, and children in education in order to attain an understanding of what media messages are being shared, how they are being communicated, and what the implications of such rhetoric are. Summary of the findings:
• Same-sex marriage as the win that cannot be repeated.
Infamously known as the central legal battle for the LGBTQ+ community, same-sex marriage finds itself in many political speeches, campaigns, and social commentaries. Interestingly, after being legalized through a Supreme Court decision in the United States, Same-Sex Marriage finds itself framed as the social inevitability that should not be repeated in politics or any legal shift. In other words, “the gays have won this battle, but not the war.”
• There are risks around the “LGBTQ+ lifestyle” and its careful catering to an elite minority and the mediation through bans.
The risks of the LGBTQ+ “lifestyle” date back far, with many connotations being attached to being LGBTQ+ (AIDS epidemics, etc.). In modern journalism, many media outlets portray LGBTQ+ individuals to be a tiny minority (.001% according to some) that demands the whole society to adhere to their requests. This framework portrays the LGBTQ+ community as oppressors and obsessed advocates that can never “seem to get enough” (ex: more than just marriage). The bans are framed as the neutralizing factor to the catering.
• LGBTQ+ children and topics in academic and social spaces are the extreme degree.
When it comes to LGBTQ+ issues and conversations as they revolve around children, media outlets have some of the most passionate opinions about them. Often portrayed as “the line that shouldn’t be crossed,” LGBTQ+ issues, as they find themselves in schools and other spaces, are thus portrayed as bearable to a certain degree, never completely. Claims of indoctrination are also presented prominently even when institutional efforts are to protect LGBTQ+ kids.

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2018-05

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Best Practices for Teaching Argument Writing in Secondary Schools

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This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and

This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and receive the support they need. It includes all elements of argument, including evidence, warrants, backing, counterargument, claims, theses, the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical appeals, including definitions and how they fit together in an argumentative essay. The largest portion of the project is dedicated to activities and resources for teachers based upon all of those elements, along with activities for the writing process as a whole. These activities are based upon the student's individual experience as well as various scholarly resources from leading professionals in the curriculum development field for English Language Arts. This is not meant to be an end-all be-all solution for teaching argument writing, but rather one of many resources that teachers can use in their classroom. This 30-page paper, including references, are condensed into an accessible website for teachers to use more easily. Each tab on the website refers to a different element or focus of the argument writing process, with both a definition and introduction as well as one or more activities for teachers to implement into the classroom. The activities are versatile and general for the purpose of teachers being able to include them into whatever curriculum they are currently teaching. The goal is that they can add argument instruction into what they are already either willingly or being required to teach in an easy and logical way. The website is available for any secondary teachers to use as they see fit at www.teachingargumentwriting.weebly.com.

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2018-05

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Robot Head Kit for High School Robotics Education

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The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more modern and practical robots. One way to bridge this gap is human-robot interaction for a more hands-on and impactful experience that will leave students more interested in pursuing the field. Our project is a Robotic Head Kit that can be used in an educational setting to teach about its electrical, mechanical, programming, and psychological concepts. We took an existing robot head prototype and further advanced it so it can be easily assembled while still maintaining human complexity. Our research for this project dove into the electronics, mechanics, software, and even psychological barriers present in order to advance the already existing head design. The kit we have developed combines the field of robotics with psychology to create and add more life-like features and functionality to the robot, nicknamed "James Junior." The goal of our Honors Thesis was to initially fix electrical, mechanical, and software problems present. We were then tasked to run tests with high school students to validate our assembly instructions while gathering their observations and feedback about the robot's programmed reactions and emotions. The electrical problems were solved with custom PCBs designed to power and program the existing servo motors on the head. A new set of assembly instructions were written and modifications to the 3D printed parts were made for the kit. In software, existing code was improved to implement a user interface via keypad and joystick to give students control of the robot head they construct themselves. The results of our tests showed that we were not only successful in creating an intuitive robot head kit that could be easily assembled by high school students, but we were also successful in programming human-like expressions that could be emotionally perceived by the students.

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2018-05

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Exploring the Role of Student Religiosity in the Biology Classroom

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In response to a national call within STEM to increase diversity within the sciences, there has been a growth in science education research aimed at increasing participation of underrepresented groups in science, such as women and ethnic/racial minorities. However, an

In response to a national call within STEM to increase diversity within the sciences, there has been a growth in science education research aimed at increasing participation of underrepresented groups in science, such as women and ethnic/racial minorities. However, an underexplored underrepresented group in science are religious students. Though 82% of the United States population is religiously affiliated, only 52% of scientists are religious (Pew, 2009). Even further, only 32% of biologists are religious, with 25% identifying as Christian (Pew, 2009; Ecklund, 2007). One reason as to why Christian individuals are underrepresented in biology is because faculty may express biases that affect students' ability to persist in the field of biology. In this study, we explored how revealing a Christian student's religious identity on science graduate application would impact faculty's perception of the student during the biology graduate application process. We found that faculty were significantly more likely to perceive the student who revealed their religious identity to be less competent, hirable, likeable, and faculty would be less likely to mentor the student. Our study informs upon possible reasons as to why there is an underrepresentation of Christians in science. This further suggests that bias against Christians must be addressed in order to avoid real-world, negative treatment of Christians in science.

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2018-05

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Effect of Student Relationships and Motivation on Student Learning and Teacher Lessons

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The fields of psychology and education are typically housed within separate contexts. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, thoughts, behaviors and actions (Nordqvist, 2018). The history of psychology originated centuries ago in Europe, although some attribute the beginning

The fields of psychology and education are typically housed within separate contexts. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, thoughts, behaviors and actions (Nordqvist, 2018). The history of psychology originated centuries ago in Europe, although some attribute the beginning of mind study as far back as Aristotle. Currently, the American Psychological Association has 54 active scientific divisions, ranging from the Society of Military Psychology to Psychological Hypnosis. Education, has been studied in a variety of ways, including curriculum, instruction, and educational policy. Educational psychology is a relatively new field that examines the effects of how psychological science can be applied to learning and educational success (Parankimalil, 2014). Some of the factors that educational psychologists study include: educational reform, classroom interactions, stimuli effects on learning, student motivation, individual and collective self-beliefs, goal orientation, theory of attribution, and cognitive development. It is important to distinguish that each student has a unique approach to learning. Student relationships in classrooms can profoundly impact this learning. Moreover, student motivation stems intrinsically and is influenced by external factors. Research demonstrates the positive effects sensory stimuli, including auditory, tactile, olfactory and visual, can have on student learning as well. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are inseparable facets of student learning, as explained by the self-determination theory. This allows for student progression from external to internal motivation, to develop better learning methods. Educational psychology is very relevant to study today, more so in a classroom where students are actively synthesizing the information learned, to apply it to real-world situations. Future research includes studying cultural effects, technology, stereotypes and reciprocal determinism in an educational setting and providing individualized learning opportunities. This research provides a transition to a student focused change rather than the cyclical model currently driving the education system today. By studying the psychological effects in a classroom, the goal is to reduce the dropout rate and improve child and adolescent education by personalizing learning.

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2018-05

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STEM Education and Agriculture: The Garden Grub

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This paper about the Garden Grub concerns the growing Agritech industry along with exposing middle school students to STEM education. Currently over half of America's students are not prepared to be successful in our technology driven world. These students did

This paper about the Garden Grub concerns the growing Agritech industry along with exposing middle school students to STEM education. Currently over half of America's students are not prepared to be successful in our technology driven world. These students did not have the opportunity to be exposed to many Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math related careers or majors before entering the working world and/or college. These students are unaware of the real-life applications these topics can have and will never have the chance to pursue these fields. Using the Garden Grub, students will be introduced to the world of Agritech and how traditional agriculture is changing in include more technology. The Garden Grub is designed to not only introduce students to STEM in general, but specifically the Agritech Industry. With the Garden Grub kit and instructions students will be able to construct a small device that will monitor the external temperature and the soil moisture of a plant they are growing. For future implementations of the Garden Grub, we will develop a structured lesson plan to teach the users more about the device they are building. This is so in the future users could continue their education in Agritech and STEM because they have more knowledge on the subjects From standalone testing the Garden Grub, the device was able to successfully monitor the lettuce to ensure that it grew successfully. The Garden Grub instructions and kit were tested in a fourth-grade classroom, where college volunteers worked with the students to begin to create their own device. While there was not enough time to successfully complete the product the fourth graders were more interested in STEM than when we first started. Even though they struggled in the beginning, students quickly learned basic concepts , such as +/- circuit power, transfer of data, and sensor connections. More recently we were able to go into a middle school and teach in a classroom with the students who were part of a coding elective course. Since our last outing we were able to update the user manual and prepare more ahead of time. This gave us more time to explain the concepts to the students, along with being able to successful build all of the devices. They began to think of ways that this device could be applicable to their lives along with how the Garden Grub could be improved in the future.

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2018-05