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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

Biomimetic Design Inspired through Macro-Ecological Photography

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This creative project explores how macro-ecological photography can serve as a community engagement tool for the field of biomimicry, meant to provoke interest in the subject. My photos, and the organisms pictured in them, were hand selected for this project

This creative project explores how macro-ecological photography can serve as a community engagement tool for the field of biomimicry, meant to provoke interest in the subject. My photos, and the organisms pictured in them, were hand selected for this project to form one cohesive, aesthetic set. The appeal of the colorful pictures captured the attention of audience members so they felt more inclined to learn about the informational content accompanying the art. Each picture is coupled with a scientific explanation as to how the pictured organism relates to the field of biomimicry, including concrete examples of its application. To maximize exposure of the project, I published my photos through a website and an e-book, and also presented them as a live photography exhibit on campus at Arizona State University.

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2018-05

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DACAmented:Lives Within Borders: An Ethnographic Study on Latino Identity

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This ethnographic study investigates the lives and identities of immigrant youth in Arizona. It explores their efforts to resolve their Mexican and American identities as shifting immigration policies threaten their immigration status. These youths are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood

This ethnographic study investigates the lives and identities of immigrant youth in Arizona. It explores their efforts to resolve their Mexican and American identities as shifting immigration policies threaten their immigration status. These youths are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, former unauthorized migrants brought to the United States as children by their families and granted temporary lawful status and work authorization by the Obama administration in 2012. Arizona is home to nearly 26,000 DACA recipients. Through participant observation, and in-depth interviews (structured and unstructured), this study examines DACA recipients' distinctive and ambivalent integration as Americans. The author's own experience as a DACA recipient provides an insider's perspective, creating an auto-ethnographic exploration of identity that opens insights into the experiences of others. Narratives elicited from eleven DACAmented young adults provide an ethnographic lens through which to explore the complex concept of belonging, an often-contradictory attempt to find acceptance in American society while also embracing their cross-border cultural formation. Examination of their everyday experiences shows that the acknowledged privileges granted by the DACA program do effectively further enculturate DACA recipients into American society; yet capricious U.S. and Arizona immigration policies simultaneously contest the legitimacy of DACA recipients' decisive inclusion into the state and the nation. The coherence of their identities is thus destabilized, obligating them to adopt identities that are either fixed, conflictual, fluid, or new.

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2018-05

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Are High Potential Programs Leaving Top Talent Behind?

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The purpose of this paper is to understand how companies are finding high potential employees and if they are leaving top talent behind in their approach. Eugene Burke stated in 2014 that 55% of employees that are labeled as a

The purpose of this paper is to understand how companies are finding high potential employees and if they are leaving top talent behind in their approach. Eugene Burke stated in 2014 that 55% of employees that are labeled as a High Potential Employee will turn over and move companies. Burke (2014) also states that the average high potential employee tenure is five years. The Corporate Leadership Council says that on average, 27% of a company's development budget is spent on its high potential program (CEB 2017). For a midsize company, the high potential development budget is almost a million dollars for only a handful of employees, only to see half of the investment walking out the door to another company . Furthermore, the Corporate Leadership Council said that a study done in 2005 revealed that 50% of high potential employees had significant problems within their job (Kotlyar and Karkowsky 2014). Are time and resources are being given to the wrong employees and the right employees are being overlooked? This paper exams how companies traditionally select high potential employees and where companies are potentially omitting employees who would be better suited for the program. This paper proposes that how a company discovers their top talent will correlate to the number of turnovers or struggles that a high potential employee has on their job. Future research direction and practical considerations are also presented in this paper.

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2018-05

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Golf Courses in Maricopa County: An Application of the Hedonic Pricing Method

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This study estimates the capitalization effect of golf courses in Maricopa County using the hedonic pricing method. It draws upon a dataset of 574,989 residential transactions from 2000 to 2006 to examine how the aesthetic, non-golf benefits of golf courses

This study estimates the capitalization effect of golf courses in Maricopa County using the hedonic pricing method. It draws upon a dataset of 574,989 residential transactions from 2000 to 2006 to examine how the aesthetic, non-golf benefits of golf courses capitalize across a gradient of proximity measures. The measures for amenity value extend beyond home adjacency and include considerations for homes within a range of discrete walkability buffers of golf courses. The models also distinguish between public and private golf courses as a proxy for the level of golf course access perceived by non-golfers. Unobserved spatial characteristics of the neighborhoods around golf courses are controlled for by increasing the extent of spatial fixed effects from city, to census tract, and finally to 2000 meter golf course ‘neighborhoods.’ The estimation results support two primary conclusions. First, golf course proximity is found to be highly valued for adjacent homes and homes up to 50 meters way from a course, still evident but minimal between 50 and 150 meters, and insignificant at all other distance ranges. Second, private golf courses do not command a higher proximity premia compared to public courses with the exception of homes within 25 to 50 meters of a course, indicating that the non-golf benefits of courses capitalize similarly, regardless of course type. The results of this study motivate further investigation into golf course features that signal access or add value to homes in the range of capitalization, particularly for near-adjacent homes between 50 and 150 meters thought previously not to capitalize.

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2018-05

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Prisoners for Profit: The Private Prison System Should Be Abolished

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In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the

In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the US government $80 billion annually. Over 50% of the individuals incarcerated in America are of black or Latino descent. This massive growth in the incarcerated population of America began in the 1970s and with the passive support of American citizens has created an industry whose players profit from the detention of people. Currently, the privately run detention facilities in the United States hold 7% of state prisoners, 18% of federal prisoners, and nearly 75% of ICE's undocumented detainee population. The detention of people for profit is an idea rooted in the same profit motive that allowed the institution of slavery to flourish. However even after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., the oppressive forces behind slave-era economics have been perpetuated through legislation and policies that continued the stratification of society and reinforcement of the social order. With the help of corporate lobbyists, political action committees, and organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shareholders of private prisons, such as CoreCivic and The GEO Group, are able to directly align their profit-driven interests with those of federal and state legislators. By the incorporation of legislation and policy into state and federal law, the shareholders of private prisons are able to directly affect legislation as well as their own potential for profit. The justification for the usage of private prisons is thought to be seen in the price savings and flexibility that it provides for federal and state governments. However, due to the law enforcement contractor's exemption from public record laws, there is no clear evidence of where the cost savings occur, or even if there are cost savings at all. Is it ethical for a for-profit-prison corporation to be responsible for the care, security, and rehabilitation of an individual, when if they fail to rehabilitate the individual, it will add to the number of inmates under their control? The measure of a prison's failure to rehabilitate an inmate is considered the recidivism rate, and is affected when an inmate leaves a detention facility, commits another crime, then is arrested. This profit motive is causing our society to incarcerate increasing numbers of people in private prisons. For-profit prisons financially benefit from long-term incarceration and recidivism. The passive investments from public and private employees and institutions through investment corporations are the legs that allow the private prison industry to stand. Twenty-nine investment firms, such as The Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments, own nearly two-thirds of the two largest players in the private prison industry. This includes the passive investments by public institutions such as the Arizona State University Foundation's $600 million endowment fund as well as the $500 million directly invested into CoreCivic and GEO Group from the University of Texas/ Texas A&M Investment Management Company. The goal of abolishing private prisons will require years of litigation against the giants of the industry as well as the governmental entities supporting them. However, we can start today by demanding divestiture by our school and similar institutions as well continuing to share the knowledge of the oppressive forces associated with the detention of individuals for profit.

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2018-05

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Applying Blockchain Technology to Procurement at Bechtel

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The purpose of this thesis is to explore how Blockchain technology can help solve problems large corporations commonly face. For example, it is a common problem for large businesses and organizations to manage sales contracts with thousands of items on

The purpose of this thesis is to explore how Blockchain technology can help solve problems large corporations commonly face. For example, it is a common problem for large businesses and organizations to manage sales contracts with thousands of items on them. Likewise, it can be difficult to accurately monitor complex payment histories with thousands of items on them. Another issue is the difficulty that is introduced when making periodic reconciliations based on separate recording systems. At a broader level, some organizations may hesitate to do business with new strange companies or oversea companies for the first time because they do not trust that the other organization can deliver what they promise. Such problems cost organizations a lot of money, effort, and time to solve. However, Blockchain technology, first developed in 2009, could revolutionize how the business community deals with these common problems. The shared and immutable ledger on Blockchain can help organizations to keep track on transactions, manage the contracts in a smarter way, ensure correct purchase history records, eliminate the periodically reconciliation processes, and provide visibility for real-time transactions.

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2018-05

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Affordable and Environmentally Conscious Living: Residential Rooftop Solar Solutions for Low-Income and Middle-Income Families

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As climate change and air pollution continue to plague the world today, committed citizens are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact. However, financial limitations have hindered a majority of individuals from adopting clean, renewable energy such as roofto

As climate change and air pollution continue to plague the world today, committed citizens are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact. However, financial limitations have hindered a majority of individuals from adopting clean, renewable energy such as rooftop photovoltaic solar systems. England Sustainability Consulting plans to reverse this limitation and increase affordability for residents across Northern California to install solar panel systems for their energy needs. The purpose of this proposal is to showcase a new approach to procuring solar panel system components while offering the same products needed by each customer. We will examine market data to further prove the feasibility of this business approach while remaining profitable and spread our company's vision across all of Northern California.

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2018-05

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Why Travel? A Historical and Modern Day Approach to Understanding the Human Desire to Travel

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Humans have traveled since the dawn of humanity over 200,000 years ago. As time progressed and technology increased, so too did human motivations and drivers for travel. This thesis aims to understand these human motivations and drivers, ultimately answering the

Humans have traveled since the dawn of humanity over 200,000 years ago. As time progressed and technology increased, so too did human motivations and drivers for travel. This thesis aims to understand these human motivations and drivers, ultimately answering the question, "Why Travel?" To answer this question, this research starts from the earliest of humans, classifying groups of individuals across time into respective buckets based on a similar motivation. In doing so, four traveler segments were identified: the Survivors, the Inventors, the Adventurers, and the Colonists. Each segment describes an era in time of a specific group of humans, each distinctly aligning with a specific reason for travel. In the early 1800s, the advent of commercial travel altered the future of travel. This began with the invention of the locomotive and was followed by the airplane and automobile. With this onset of commercial travel, transportation arrives to its current state in 2018 with a new type of traveler: the Modern Traveler. This is a turning point in the history of travel, as prior to commercial travel, groups of individuals could be grouped under one specific reason. Post commercial travel, human motivations and drivers become diverse and discrete, with no two individuals sharing the same motivations. To further understand this human desire for travel in a modern sense, a survey was administered to uncover these drivers. The findings revealed one broad reason: humans travel for the experience. With this overarching view of travel, five drivers were also apparent. First, humans travel to visit friends and family. Secondly, family vacations are an important factor in the motivation to travel. Third, humans desire the ability to experience a culture different than their own. Fourth, humans are intrigued by new places and can be motivated to travel by the ability to have new experiences. Fifth and finally, rest and relaxation are a key driver in human travel. With a greater understanding as to "why humans travel," and the drivers behind the "experience" individuals seek through travel, such understandings could be used to segment these individuals into distinct traveler profiles. These segments, the Backpacker, the Solo-Traveler, the Groupie, the Cultural Traveler and the Party Lover, were used to better group motivations for travel. One conclusion can be drawn from this research: travel is diverse and so are travelers. One reason cannot define the motivations of a modern traveler, rather today's traveler is bound by multiple. However, segmenting an individual provides valuable insights into their own diverse traveler persona.

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2018-05

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Elderly People and Individuals with Disabilities: An Analysis of the Civil Right to Mobility

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Abstract Older adults and people with disabilities are two unique populations, though they intersect in their need for mobility options that are often not met by traditional transportation services. There is consensus that the government should provide assistance for older

Abstract Older adults and people with disabilities are two unique populations, though they intersect in their need for mobility options that are often not met by traditional transportation services. There is consensus that the government should provide assistance for older adults and people with disabilities to achieve and maintain independence. However, the challenge lies in addressing the many forms of mobility inequity. Population projections for the twenty-first century have sparked interest in the rights of these two populations. As the population of the United States of America ages, supporting the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities will become imperative to maintaining their quality of life. One existing federal grant, Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (49 U.S.C. 5310) provides formula funding for services that provide transportation options to older adults and people with disabilities. While the 5310 program provides crucial funding to non-profits and government agencies to support mobility options for older adults and people with disabilities, it does not address the full scope of mobility issues faced by these two communities. This thesis project provides a thorough analysis of this grant from the federal legislation it is founded on, to the local administration of this grant as applied by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). Finally, this thesis looks at emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize mobility, along with sobering historical context of the barriers faced older adults and people with disabilities.

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2018-05