Recent Submissions

  • Targeting Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia With Imatinib And Glycyrrhizic Acid Combination Therapy

    Mohaban, Adir
    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by enhanced proliferation of granulocytes and their progenitor cells. An estimated 8,990 new cases of CML were diagnosed in 2019 and the prevalence of CML has been on the rise since the discovery of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in 2001. Imatinib (IMT), the first TKI approved for clinical use, is the gold standard for CML treatment, although rising resistance often require patients to switch TKI therapy at least once. Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) is a versatile drug due to its numerous reported therapeutic properties. Anti-tumor properties of GA indicate its use as a chemotherapeutic agent, and previous data from our lab has found apoptosis-inducing effects of GA in CML cell lines. We hypothesize that an IMT + GA combinational therapy would allow for better targeting of TKI-sensitive and TKI-resistant forms of chronic myelogenous leukemia. In the current study we examine the efficacy of combined IMT and GA therapy on chronic myelogenous leukemia cell lines. Cell proliferation and viability post-treatment were determined using Trypan Blue exclusion and MTT assay. Induction of apoptosis post-treatment was examined using Annexin V-FITC assay and Western Blot analysis. The protective effect of hyaluronic acid (HA) against treatment was determined using MTT assay. Proliferation and viability of CML cell lines was negatively correlated with IMT + GA cotreatment in a dose-related manner. The expected IMT-induced apoptosis of CML cells was further enhanced when GA was added to treatment at a concentration of 2.0 mM. At these concentrations of GA in combination with IMT, enhanced PARP cleavage compared to control. No protective effect against IMT + GA treatment was found with the addition of exogenous HA. Together these data show that chemotherapy consisting of imatinib and glycyrrhizic acid may be a novel method of treatment for CML. Furthermore, we began to investigate the mechanism of action of GA in CML therapy. Changes in gene expression patterns, following GA treatment, of genes involved with the synthesis and cleavage of HA and genes involved in the SUMOylation pathway were examined using RT-qPCR. Significant changes were seen in the genes related to HA modulation, although no significant changes were seen in genes related to SUMOylation. Further examination is required to elucidate the mechanism of action of GA in the therapy of CML.
  • Approaching Conflicts Over Time In Counseling Supervision: Perspectives Of Wise Minority Supervisors

    Ayers, Lindsay Nicole
    Conflicts in the counseling supervision relationship have not been given much consideration in the research literature despite the fact that they occur frequently (Quarto, 2002). The purpose of this study was to explore wise, minority supervisor’s perceptions about their approaches to conflicts in the supervisory relationship, including if and how their approaches have developed over time. Using the following research question as a guide, “What are the lived experiences of wise, minority supervisors’ growth process in approaching conflicts in supervision?” the goal was to gain an in-depth understanding of how wise minority supervisors approach conflicts and how their approach has grown or developed across their career. By examining perceptions related to these factors, supervisors received insight about approaching conflicts in supervision. Due to the lack of research concerning minority supervisor development and supervision conflicts, semi-structured interviews with wise, minority, counseling supervisors were conducted using phenomenological methods of inquiry. Transcripts were analyzed and four core themes were extrapolated from the data and discussed. Recommendations for future counseling supervision research and practice were discussed along with limitations of the study.
  • The Role Of Sumoylation In The Ebv Life Cycle

    Harrod, Abigail Elana
    ABSTRACT THE ROLE OF SUMOYLATION IN THE EBV LIFE CYCLE By: ABIGAIL E. HARROD Under the direction of: DR. GRETCHEN L. BENTZ, PHD Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is responsible for ~1.6% of human cancer cases, world-wide. A hallmark of many EBV-associated cancers and malignancies is an overall increase in cellular protein sumoylation. EBV Latent Membrane Protein 1 (LMP1) is the main viral oncoprotein responsible for dysregulating sumoylation. By directly interacting with enzymes of the sumoylation pathway through its C-Terminal Activating Region 3 (CTAR3) domain, LMP1 dysregulates sumoylation of enzymes and proteins involved in various cell maintenance and signaling pathways, resulting in uncontrolled cell growth and division. LMP1 aids in the maintenance of viral latency through increased sumoylation of the EBV lytic co-repressor, Krab-associated protein-1 (Kap1) and dysregulated sumoylation of innate immune activator, interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7). Because EBV, along with other herpes viruses, exploits the SUMO machinery, it has been targeted for viral cancer therapies. Although several natural E1 and E2 inhibitors, including Spectomycin B, ginkgolic acid (GA), anacardic acid, and glycyrrhizic acid (GLA), have been identified, most have low potencies and exhibit toxicity, except for GLA which is relatively non-toxic. Here, we examine the effects of ML-792, a novel synthetic small-molecule inhibitor with a specific binding mechanism, on multiple B-cell lines. We hypothesized that ML-792 would modulate the oncogenic potential of EBV LMP1 by inhibiting sumoylation processes. Western blot analysis revealed that ML-792 decreased global cellular protein sumoylation levels at nanomolar concentrations, while having no effect on ubiquitination. Using Trypan Blue Exclusion Assay, we observed that ML-792 treatment inhibited cell growth, induced cell death, and altered cell-cycle progression. ML-792 decreased the ability of lytic virus to infect new cells and led to increased cell clumping and decreased cell migration following Scratch assays. Measuring EBV DNA levels with qPCR showed that drug treatment induced low levels of viral reactivation in cells. In conclusion, we propose that ML-792 could be a safe and potent treatment option for EBV-induced malignancies.
  • Examining Teacher Dispositions Towards Teaching Spatial Thinking Through Geography

    Driver, Ian Nicholas
    The purpose of this study was to examine teacher dispositions towards teaching spatial thinking through geography. The researcher used the questionnaire variant convergent mixed methods research design to gain both quantitative and qualitative data. The participants of the study were 220 social studies teachers who teach 6th-12th grade in the state of Georgia. Each participant completed the Teaching Spatial Thinking through Geography Disposition Inventory along with three open-ended questions. The researcher analyzed the results of the of the Teaching Spatial Thinking through Geography Disposition Inventory to determine if there were any statistically significant differences in participant scores based on age, gender, teaching experience, education level, and grade level taught. The results showed no statistically significant differences. In addition, the disposition scores were analyzed to determine if age, gender, teaching experience, education level, and grade level taught predict one’s disposition towards teaching spatial thinking through geography. The results showed that age, gender, teaching experience, education level, and grade level taught are not statistically significant predictors of one’s disposition towards teaching spatial thinking. For the qualitative portion of the study, the three open-ended questions were analyzed to provide insight related to teachers’ perception of teaching spatial thinking through geography and challenges experienced related to teaching spatial thinking through geography. The results indicated that teachers perceive spatial thinking to be important but also have a sense of uncertainty about it. The results also highlighted four challenges connected to teaching spatial thinking: pressure to teach the standards, lack of time, lack of training, and lack of technology. The implications of the quantitative and qualitative results are discussed.
  • Lancl2: A Potential Target For The Treatment Of Neuropathic Pain

    Christy, David James
    ABSTRACT LANCL2: A POTENTIAL TARGET FOR THE TREATMENT OF NEUROPATHIC PAIN By: DAVID JAMES CHRISTY Under the direction of DR. HAN-RONG WENG, Ph.D, M.D. Dysfunctional pain signaling is a hindrance to a normally functioning organism. Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or dysfunction of the nervous system, such as a pinched nerve, diabetic neuropathy, cancer, and chemotherapy treatments. Current drugs used for treatment of neuropathic pain are either not safe or effective. Discerning signaling molecules regulating neuropathic pain in animal models can offer molecular targets for the development of novel analgesics. Neuroinflammation in the spinal dorsal horn is a crucial mechanism underlying the genesis of neuropathic pain. Given that LANCL2, a membrane associated protein, is engaged in regulation of inflammation, the purpose of this study was to determine whether LANCL2 has pro- or antinociceptive effects in the spinal dorsal horn. We analyzed levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as LANCL2 to determine the role of spinal LANCL2 in the genesis of neuropathic pain. Neuropathic rats induced by partial sciatic nerve ligation were used. Specifically, we found that protein expression of LANCL2 in the spinal dorsal horn was reduced in neuropathic rats 10-days after the nerve injury in comparison with sham operated animals. This was accompanied with activation of microglia and astrocytes, increased levels of ERK, TNF-α, and IL-1ß at the same site. Meanwhile, the spinal dorsal horn of neuropathic rats had lower levels of abscisic acid, an endogenous ligand of LANCL2. Furthermore, intrathecal application of abscisic acid suppressed mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity in neuropathic rats. Immunostaining experiments demonstrated that LANCL2 is expressed in neurons but not astrocytes; the data from microglial staining was inconclusive. Our study suggests that activation of LANCL2 signaling pathway in the spinal cord is a powerful approach to conquer neuropathic pain.
  • Methamphetamine Induced Immune Dysregulation

    Andrzejak, Sydney
    Methamphetamine (METH) use can induce and contribute to the development of neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we evaluated the roles of specific cytokines in the pathology of acute and chronic methamphetamine usage in vitro and in vivo. An immortalized rat astrocyte CTX-TNA2 cell line was used for a model of immune cells in central nervous system. Cells were treated with methamphetamine hydrochloride, dopamine hydrochloride as a reference point, and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) as a model of immunogenic stimulant. Our in vivo experimental design utilized female NIH-swiss mice that underwent a seven-day treatment period. The control mice were administrated 0.9% saline, and our treated mice were administrated 12 mg/kg of (+)- methamphetamine through intraperitoneal injections. Cells and tissue specific gene expression of key signal transducers, cytokines, and their receptors were evaluated with qPCR. Systemic cytokine levels were evaluated with flow-cytometry. The results suggest that METH acts locally to the brain tissue to cause a shift toward inflammation by increasing cytokine, receptor and signal transducer of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) pathways. While suppressing systemic cytokine production leading to an imbalance in Th-X paradigm.
  • Compensatory Hypertrophy Enhances Renal Uptake Of Mercury

    Matta, Kayla Elizabeth
    Approximately 15 % of the adult population in the United States has been diagnosed with some degree of chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is characterized by a progressive and permanent loss of functioning nephrons. Following this loss, the remaining functional nephrons undergo compensatory changes including increased renal blood flow, increased single nephron glomerular filtration rate (SNGFR), and cellular hypertrophy. We hypothesize that compensatory hypertrophy of proximal tubules leads to an increase in the uptake and accumulation of xenobiotics and toxicants, such as mercury (Hg). Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxicant to which humans are exposed through various routes. Patients with CKD may be more susceptible to Hg and thus, it is important to understand how Hg is handled in the kidneys of these patients. We hypothesize that hypertrophied proximal tubular cells take up more Hg and are also are more sensitive to the toxic effects of Hg. To test this hypothesis, we used New Zealand White rabbits and Wistar rats. Cellular uptake of Hg, as a conjugate of glutathione (GSH; GSH-Hg-GSH), was measured at the basolateral membrane of isolated non-perfused proximal tubules from control and nephrectomized rabbits. Differences in mercury uptake at the cellular level were measured in control and hypertrophied S2 segments of proximal tubules by measuring several biochemical parameters of GSH-Hg-GSH uptake. Expression of selected enzymes was assessed in unexposed control and hypertrophied tubules using quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). Effects of Hg on the entire kidney were measured in kidneys from rats injected intravenously with HgCl2 (0.5 µmol/kg/2 ml). Specific laboratory techniques utilized were the Glutathione Colorimetric Detection Assay, TBARS (Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) Assay, qPCR, and Western Blot. Collectively, our findings show that hypertrophied tubules take up and accumulate more Hg than normal tubules. Also, hypertrophied cells appear to be more sensitive to the toxic effects of Hg than normal cells. These data provide important information regarding the altered handling of mercuric ions in patients with renal insufficiency due to chronic kidney disease.
  • Change Agents' Theoretical Beliefs About Change: The Systematic Development And Validation Of A Scale Using Van De Ven And Poole's Typology Of Change Theories

    Bryant, Peter Joseph
    The purpose of this research was to develop a valid and reliable scale to measure higher education change agents’ implicit theoretical beliefs about organizational change. This is important in light of prior research that indicates that implicit theoretical beliefs of change agents in higher education may negatively affect the outcomes of change efforts. The only way to gain an in-depth understanding of beliefs is to assess them through valid and reliable measurement. This study fills an important gap in the empirical research literature on organizational change in higher education. It does this by taking a first step in the development of a reliable and valid scale to measure higher education change agents’ implicit theoretical beliefs about change in terms of a theoretical framework that is applicable to both higher education and organizational studies in general. The Implicit Theoretical Beliefs about Organizational Change (ITBOC) scale was developed using Spector’s (1992) well-tested method. The scale measures theoretical beliefs about change along four dimensions: life cycle organizational change beliefs, teleological organizational change beliefs, dialectical organizational change beliefs, and evolutionary organizational change beliefs. The scale construct is based on Van de Ven and Poole’s (1995) empirically based framework for classifying organizational change theories. A principal component analysis of the final scale clearly shows alignment with the four dimensions of the scale construct. The final 15-item scale has a reliability of Cronbach α = .89. Induvial subscale reliabilities are life cycle change α = .94, teleological change α = .94, dialectical change α = .86, and evolutionary change α = .77. Practitioners should consider which theoretical viewpoint they are taking for a change effort to maximize outcomes. They should also seriously consider the selection of the type of change process for a particular change effort. Further research opportunities lie in replication and enhancement of this study. Researchers should pay attention to differing implicit theoretical points of view in organizational research because they may impact the outcomes of research programs. Exploratory studies of differing implicit theoretical points of view are also recommended.
  • When Y = Mx + B Can Not Be Applied To Change: Exploring Teacher Concerns About A History Of Rapid Curriculum Change

    Latten, Sajata
    The purpose of this study was to explore levels of concerns that teachers have about implementing and executing rapid curriculum changes. Research on teacher concerns has traditionally targeted technology implementation rather than curriculum reform measures. This research was designed to provide quantitative data in understanding teacher top concerns. For the purpose of this research, rapid curriculum change referred to a different course, edited program offering, or changes in program objectives identified with a teacher’s duties and responsibilities at the classroom level that occur in a short timeframe before ample evaluations are made. The Stages of Concern Questionnaire was used to evaluate secondary mathematics teachers peak concerns regarding a history of rapid curriculum change. This study used a correlational analysis to evaluate significance levels of teacher experience when compared to each stage of concern. Participant data included 114 secondary mathematics teachers from the Atlanta metropolitan school districts. There was no statistically significant difference between teachers’ level of concern and stage of concern, nor was there any statistically difference between teachers’ curriculum experience type and stage of concern. A qualitative analysis of an open-ended question revealed that the peak concern lay within Stage 4: Consequence. Results indicated that Stage 4 teacher concerns focused on the outcome effects of the curriculum change on their classroom students. Suggestions for further research include gathering additional qualitative data from participants to secure themes from concerns.
  • Glp-1r Agonists Improve Cerebrovascular Integrity And Vascular Cognitive Impairment And Dementia (vcid) Beyond Glycemic Control Via Recovery Of Brain Pericyte Function In Diabetic Mice

    Bailey, Joseph Martin
    We have previously shown that diabetes causes pericyte-dysfunction that leads to loss of vascular integrity and vascular-induced cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID). Glucagon-like peptide-1(GLP-1), used in the management of type-2 diabetes mellitus, improve cognitive of diabetic patients beyond glycemic control, yet the mechanism is unknown. In the present study, we hypothesis that GLP-1 agonist improves VICD through prevention of diabetes-induced pericytes dysfunction in a non-glucose dependent way. Methods: Control and diabetic mice were randomly assigned for saline or Exendin-4 (GLP-1 agonist 30 ng/kg/day), delivered through osmotic pump over 28 days. Vascular integrity was assessed by measuring cerebrovascular neovascularization indices (Vascular density, tortuosity, and branching density). Cognitive functions were evaluated with Barnes maze and Morrison Water maze. Human brain microvascular pericytes, HBMPCs, were grown in high glucose 25 mM/ sodium palmitate 200 uM (HG/Pal) to mimic diabetic conditions. HBMPCs were treated with/out Exendin-4 and assessed for oxidative stress and angiogenic properties. Results: Diabetic mice treated with GLP-1 agonist showed a significant reduction in all cerebral pathological neovascularization indices (P<0.05). Exendin-4 vascular protective effects was accompanied by significant improvement of the learning and memory functions of diabetic mice (P<0.05). Our results showed that HBMPCs expressed the GLP-1 receptor. Stimulation of HBMPC with GLP-1 against under diabetic conditions restored pericyte functions, decreased diabetes-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, and migration. (P<0.05). Conclusion: Our results provide novel evidence that GLP-1 agonist produces neurovascular protective effects in part through targeting pericytes. Restoration of pericyte functions in diabetes represent a novel therapeutic target for diabetes-induced vascular remodeling and VCID.
  • Reduction Of Angiotensin Ii Induced Hypertension And Cardiac Fibrosis With Glp-1 Receptor Agonist And Dpp-4 Inhibitor Via Decreasing Nadph Oxidase Expression

    Banks, Trenton
    Objectives: Preservation of plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) has been demonstrated to be cardioprotective in animals and patients. This study aims to investigate the mechanisms of action underlying cardioprotection by enhancing GLP-1 level through inhibiting NADPH oxidase mediated signaling. Methods: The study was performed in the Sprague-Dawley rat model of angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion (500 ng/kg/min) using osmotic minipumps for 4 weeks. GLP-1 agonist liraglutide (0.3 mg/kg, injected subcutaneously twice daily) and dipeptidyl peptidease-4 inhibitor, linagliptin (8 mg/kg, administered via oral gavage) were selected to preserve GLP-1 level. Blood pressure was measured noninvasively. Aorta and heart were saved for histological analysis. Results: Relative to the animals with Ang II infusion, in the aorta, treatment with liraglutide and linagliptin significantly downregulated the expression of NOX4/ICAM-1, and enhanced eNOS expression. Aortic wall thickness was reduced comparatively (267.4 ±22.5µm and 286.6 ±25.5µm vs. 339.7 ±40.4µm in Ang II group, all p<0.05); with a significant reduction in mean blood pressure in these two groups (121±19 and 139±16 mmHg vs. 163±30 mmHg in Ang II group, all p<0.05). In the heart, liraglutide and linagliptin comparatively reduced the protein levels of NOX4 and TGFβ1 and expression of MCP-1, as well as attenuated the proliferation of myofibroblasts (15.1±4.9 and 13.3±3.6 vs. 42.8±22.6/HPF in Ang II group, all p<0.05). Furthermore, mitochondrial structure damaged by Ang II was significantly preserved by liraglutide and linagliptin, in company with a significant reduction in cardiac fibrosis. Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggest that the preservation of GLP-1 level with exogenous supply of GLP-1 with liraglutide or prevention of endogenous degradation of GLP-1 with linagliptin protects against Ang II induced injury in aorta and heart, primarily mediated by inhibiting NOX-mediated signaling.
  • Need For Transitional Guidance And Training For New Pastors In The Cme Church

    Kirkland, Tracey Andrea
    THE NEED FOR TRANSITIONAL GUIDANCE AND TRAINING FOR NEW PASTORS IN THE CME CHURCH The biblical foundation of this project stems from the notion and belief that Jesus operated in a manner that resembled an itinerant minister. I contend that pastors and the church are best served if the incoming first-year pastor has received some measure of significant transitional guidance and training prior to their appointment. Some denominations prepare their pastors accordingly and implement requirements that allow them to acquire guidance and training that will help them in their transition. My project is seen from the lens of the United Methodist Church which provides a short transitional period for pastors and churches to come together to confirm if the “new marriage” is a fit for both pastor and church. The purpose of this project is to capture first-year experiences and stories of pastors in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) to identify common ideologies that there is a need for significant guidance and substantial training prior to their appointment. Perhaps some other ideas and suggestions may arise from this study. My methodology entails qualitative research in the form of a survey that was used to gather data on the views of new pastors in the CME Church. United Methodist provides resources of information to their pastors to help facilitate their transition process before they take ownership of a new appointment. My mission is to build upon their transition process which includes appointing a transition team to the pastor. This project revealed there is a need for more substantial training and guidance for first-year pastors in the CME Church. Although 93% felt they transitioned into the role well, their responses reveal they lack certain skills or expertise in certain areas that may have helped with the transition. There is a lot of growth potential in the CME Church in the areas of training, grooming, preparing, mentoring, educating, and teaching new pastors on how to transition into a new ministry. The training needs to be revamped for Probationary Ministers or Ministers on Trial. I believe if pastors had well-developed classroom training opportunities or direct guidance from a mentor or another seasoned pastor, they would be better prepared for their appointment. The new training should entail a resource guide that covers various topics that can aid in the training and transition of new pastors. Additionally, the Committee of Ministerial Assessment (CMA) should make it a point to charge the Committee on Ministerial Examination (COME) to take a significant role in the training of ministers and make sure they are adhering to the Bishop’s Course of Study (BCS) in its full capacity. Furthermore, the CME Church at some point must address the requirements of its ministers in the areas of seminary schooling or theological training. I believe ministers must have theological training or a mandated program that covers material one would receive had they attended seminary. If changes can be made in the areas of curriculum requirements, mandated programming, mentoring training, and ministerial assessment, the CME Church could make great strides in the preparation of its ministers.
  • Exploring The Invisible Work Of Nursing: A Case Study Of Simulated Increases In Intensity Of Care On Nurses' Cognitive Load, Clinical Judgment, Stress, And Errors

    Vasel, Laura Anne
    Nurses have never before had so much data at the bedside, nor the complex patients and practice environments found in acute care settings today. Processing large amounts of information from multiple sources may result in cognitive overload which may negatively impact patient outcomes. To meet the challenge of improving quality of care, a conceptual model was created to guide research exploring the associations between the cognitive work of nursing, nursing care, and the complex context of the hospital setting. The purpose of this research was to explore the invisible cognitive work of nursing by examining relationships between cognitive load, nursing surveillance and clinical judgment, contextual complexities, and their potential impact on patient care outcomes. Research question 1 examined how simulated increases in intensity of care influenced nurses’ cognitive load, clinical judgment, perceived stress, and errors. Research question 2 asked how nurses describe the cognitive work of nursing while engaging in a simulated patient care scenario. A novel multiple-case study design with multiple sources of evidence was used. Eligible cases included three new to practice baccalaureate-prepared RNs employed in acute care medical-surgical settings. A patient care simulation with increasing intensity of care was developed in collaboration with a simulation center in a large healthcare system in the Southeastern US. Time series analysis and pattern matching compared outcomes of cognitive load, performance, and stress using the NASA-TLX instrument at seven time points. Errors in nursing care were counted and clinical judgment using the Lasater Clinical Judgment Rubric (LCJR) was assessed. Explanation building used data from participant interviews during simulation debriefing. Cross-case synthesis compared findings from the other analytic strategies to determine similarities across cases. Findings suggest as the intensity of care in the simulation increased, cognitive load and stress increased. Performance findings were equivocal; in each case errors or omissions of care were noted, but LCJR scores ranged from 37-42 indicating exemplary clinical judgement. Convergence of findings supported the conceptual model of the invisible work of nursing and identified an additional component, social capital, as a mechanism to support clinical judgement of new to practice RNs.
  • Understanding The Nature Of Glycyrrhizic Acid In Breast Cancer Treatment

    Hall, Jessica S
    Breast cancer (BC) is the second most common cancer in women with 1 in 8 women in the United States developing BC within their lifetimes. Of the numerous types of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common accounting for 80% of all breast cancers. The use of chemotherapeutic drugs such as doxorubicin (DOX) improves the prognosis and survival of patients diagnosed with BC. Yet, many BC cells form a drug resistance leading to relapse and worsening of prognosis for the patient. We hypothesize that the alternative medicine, glycyrrhizic acid (GA) will lead to the induction of apoptosis in BC cells while sensitizing the cells in combination with first-line chemotherapeutic, DOX. The effects of treatment on BC cell growth was assessed and measured using TACS MTT Cell Proliferation Assay, Trypan Blue Dye Exclusion, DeadEndTM Fluorometric TUNEL System, Annexin-V/PI-double staining, Western Blot, cellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the detection of mitochondrial membrane potential to determine mitochondrial function. In the current study, treatment with GA led to decreases in cell proliferation and viability in addition to the induction of apoptosis. Our results also show that exposure to GA leads to increased ROS generation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that GA may be effective when used as co- treatment with DOX for BC treatment. Recommendations for further study involves illustrating the role and mechanism of hyaluronic acid (HA) on each cell line, investigating the usefulness of co-treatment with GA and DOX, examine the effects of ROS inhibitors on ROS generation and transition studies to focus on 3-D BC cell models.
  • "anybody Listening?": Perceptions Of African American Girls Involvement In A Community-based Delinquency Reduction Program

    Hicks-Brown, Marco Viveca
    Female adolescents represent a growing subcategory of the juvenile justice population. This growth is directly linked to adolescent females being disproportionately incarcerated for status offenses such as running away. The Georgia House Bill 242 has changed the way status offenders are held accountable for their actions. The bill called for more researched-based, community-based services. However, there were very few gender-specific community-based services for adolescent females and even fewer programs that address all the areas of need for a delinquent adolescent female. This study adds to the literature of “what works�? for adolescent females in the juvenile justice system and establishes a long-term service that will prevent adolescent females from reoffending or violating their probation. A key component to the services provided to adolescent females is education. In this capacity, this research study sought to answer the following question: 1. How do the experiences of at-risk adolescent females in a community-based program help reduce their recidivism rates? Participants, volunteers, and the founder of Savannah Youth City, Inc. were interviewed to determine the effectiveness of SYC’s program through their lived experiences and the perception of the participants on the program’s ability to reduce their recidivism rates. This study utilized a qualitative methodology. The participants were adamant that SYC was effective in reducing their delinquent behaviors despite some of the participants having recent judicial system involvement. It was the perception of the participants that SYC provided them with acceptance, validation, and a nonjudgmental environment.
  • A Phenomenological Study Of Emotional Intelligence & Millennials In A Multigenerational Workplace

    Tolbert, NyThea Campbell
    The increase in generational diversity in the workforce emphasizes the need for employers to note the co-existence of age and cultural phenomena that may impact work practices. As such, the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of Millennial four-year college graduates and their acquisition and utilization of emotional intelligence as it relates to their success with soft skill development in a generationally diverse workplace. To address the research questions of this study, a qualitative research method utilizing interviewing was applied to gain insights of the lived experiences of recent graduates of a four-year degree program. Criterion sampling was utilized to find participants who were currently employed for a minimum of one year in a generationally diverse work setting. The lived experiences of the participants related to this phenomenon resulted in the emergence of five themes that offer recommendations in developing students’ professional skills and emotional intelligence to increase their employability and opportunities for sustaining employment.
  • Closing The Gap Between Surviving And Thriving: Designing Interventions For Adaptive Change With The Vision Implementation Teams At Augusta Road Baptist Church

    King, William Mattison
    The reality of a post-Christendom world has resulted in the church losing its place in American society and culture. If the church is to understand this time of disruption, it must recognize the Holy Spirit’s work within it. When a congregation finds itself in uncharted territory, unequipped to live into its vision, it must determine how to address the adaptive challenges it faces so that its vision can be realized. Augusta Road Baptist Church has served Greenville, South Carolina for ninety-five years. After a season of conflict, declining membership, and the unexpected loss of key leadership, a season of vision has allowed the congregation to ask how it can adapt to live into a thriving future. Utilizing the principles of Adaptive Leadership Theory developed by Ronald Heifetz, this thesis tests the potential of an adaptive change process to facilitate the first steps of congregational vision implementation. Sixteen Augusta Road Baptist Church leaders were oriented to the principles of Adaptive Leadership Theory and asked to put them into practice. Through team meetings, these participants diagnosed technical and adaptive challenges facing the church, chose an adaptive challenge to address, and designed interventions to develop adaptive capacity within the congregation to help it live into its vision. Participants were also presented with spiritual reflections to facilitate the recognition of the Holy Spirit’s work in leading disruption and adaptation. After introducing the research context and problem, this thesis traces the biblical, theological, and historical tradition of the Holy Spirit’s role in driving the church to adapt as it bears witness to Christ in changing and challenging contexts. It then explores the impact of an adaptive change process on project participants. It follows project participants as they design interventions for achieving congregational vision, recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in congregational life, and develop adaptive capacity. Finally, this thesis concludes with possibilities for utilizing this adaptive change process across all ministries at Augusta Road Baptist Church and in other congregations that find themselves in adaptive moments.
  • Missional Relationships: Using Preaching And Small Group Reflection As A Mechanism To Expand Missional Theology And Build Mutually Beneficial Relationships In The First Baptist Church Of Orangeburg, South Carolina

    Aaron, Kristopher Daniel
    ABSTRACT KRISTOPHER DANIEL AARON MISSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS: USING PREACHING AND SMALL GROUP RE-FLECTION AS A MECHANISM TO EXPAND MISSIONAL THEOLOGY AND BUILD MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA Under the direction of ROBERT N. NASH, Ph.D., Supervisor The congregants of First Baptist Church, Orangeburg, South Carolina, are like many in churches across the United States. While they believe in the importance of local mission efforts, they view their work primarily as charity to a different group in their com-munity. For more robust and effective efforts, however, the minister must encourage his or her congregation to develop relationships with those they serve. This project explores the importance of relationships in mission. The goal was for those who volunteer in the soup kitchen to develop mutually beneficial relationships with those they serve, to understand their efforts as more than just charity, and to view their efforts as ministering with people in their own community rather than ministering to people in a different community. This project is a qualitative study that combines interviews, small group reflection sessions, and sermons to expand the congregation’s view of the importance of relationships in mission. Interviews were held before and after the sermon series with church member volunteers. Group interviews were also held with non-member clients. In addition to inter-views, small group sessions with corresponding activities were held following the sermons for volunteers. Finally, after all the interviews and sessions, preliminary results were shared with volunteers. Participant responses indicate that they do understand the importance of relation-ships in mission. Participants also indicate that they view their efforts as more than charity and that they appreciate the need to empower those they serve if they hope to serve along-side them. Further study is needed to see how these changes to empower clients are implemented and how it affects the health and vitality of the ministry.
  • Lord Your Servant Is Listening: Using Listening Prayer As A Means For Discerning The Call To Vocational Ministry

    James, Freddye G
    ABSTRACT FREDDYE G. JAMES LORD, YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING: USING LISTENING PRAYER AS A MEANS FOR DISCERNING THE CALL TO VOCATIONAL MINISTRY Under the direction of DENISE M. MASSEY, PH.D. Discerning whether or not women and men have received a call to ministry from God has been difficult historically. Listening to God’s voice requires one be in relationship with God and be intentional about the pursuit of hearing. This research was designed to use listening prayer, a type of contemplative prayer, to help the five young men and women of Ministry Apprenticeship Necessary for Tactical Leadership Development (MANTLE) at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral(WOF) use listening prayer as a tool to hear from God regarding if they have been called to vocational ministry. This group was selected for this research project because of their selection for leadership development at WOF. Group members met for six sessions to learn about listening prayer, the call to vocational ministry, and to practice listening prayer exercises. A pre-project survey, group observation notes, post-project survey, group members’ oral reports from journaling, and an experiential paper from each group member were used to generate data. The qualitative data was analyzed by coding. While this study was not designed to provide results with statistical significance, listening prayer, when understood and practiced consistently, is profitable as a tool for discerning the ministerial call. All group members heard from God regarding a call to vocational ministry, four affirmatively and one who did not hear but intends to continue to listen. This study gave participants a means to hear from God and cultivate an ongoing dialogue in the context of an intimate friendship with God. The positive results point to the need for further study on the topic.
  • The Use Of Gratitude As A Spiritual Discipline In The Spiritual Formation Of Online Students At Point University

    Thompson-Lewis, Shirley
    This project in the category of spirituality examines the usefulness of gratitude as a spiritual discipline in the spiritual formation of students at Point University. The students participated in an eight-week synchronous and asynchronous experience facilitated through the University’s learning management system. A One-Group Pre-test/Post-test quasi-experimental design was used to measure the frequency with which students expressed and/or experienced gratitude in their day to day lives across six areas: God, self, family, community/others, suffering, and grace. Qualitative measures included interview responses and Count Your Blessings forum posts. Quantitative data was collected from pre and post surveys. The quantitative data infers that there was an increase in the students’ awareness of God in their day-to-day experiences through the practice of gratitude. The self-reported subjective qualitative data provided by the students in the interview and the forum supports the inferences of the quantitative data that the students’ awareness of God had increased during the project using gratitude as a discipline. Recommendations for further study include using a larger sample and incorporating additional experiences such as virtual life groups and online service projects. Another recommendation is to consider exploring gender differences in student participation in spiritual formational programs.

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