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Loman, Abdullah AlEnzyme Based Processing of Soybean Meal: Production of Enriched Protein Product and Utilization of Carbohydrate as Fermentation Feedstock for Arabitol Production
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2016, Chemical Engineering
Soy protein is one of the major components of the diet of food producing animals and is increasingly important in the human diet as well. However, soy protein cannot be used as an ideal protein supplement in foods, because of the presence of high amount of indigestible carbohydrates in the soybean meal. Adverse nutritional and digestion effects have been reported in many animals and fish following the consumption of soybean meal and soybean meal derived products. To enhance the nutritional value of soybean meal in human food and animal feed, it is necessary to improve the protein content and remove the indigestible carbohydrates from the soybean meal during the processing of soy protein diets. This project aims to develop economically feasible technologies and processes for separating, enriching and upgrading soy proteins and carbohydrates from soybean meal. The objective is to separate proteins from carbohydrates (and other minor components) in soybean meal, facilitated by enzymatic hydrolysis of poly- and oligo-meric carbohydrates and other non-protein materials. The enriched proteins obtained are valuable for high-quality feed, food and industrial uses. The hydrolyzed carbohydrates could also be converted via fermentation into bio-fuel related products and other value added chemicals.

Committee:

Lu-Kwang Ju, Dr. (Advisor); George Chase, Dr. (Committee Member); Nic Leipzig, Dr. (Committee Member); Stephen Duirk, Dr. (Committee Member); Thomas Leeper, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Chemical Engineering

Keywords:

Enzyme hydrolysis, soy carbohydrate, arabitol, fermentation feedstock

Imbulgoda Liyangahawatte, Gihan Janith MendisHardware Implementation and Applications of Deep Belief Networks
Master of Science in Engineering, University of Akron, 2016, Electrical Engineering
Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that contributes widely to the contemporary success of artificial intelligence. The essential idea of deep learning is to process complex data by abstracting hierarchical features via deep neural network structure. As one type of deep learning technique, deep belief network (DBN) has been widely used in various application fields. This thesis proposes an approximation based hardware realization of DBNs that requires low hardware complexity. This thesis also explores a set of novel applications of the DBN-based classifier that will benefit from a fast implementation of DBN. In my work, I have explored the application of DBN in the fields of automatic modulation classification method for cognitive radio, Doppler radar sensor for detection and classification of micro unmanned aerial systems, cyber security applications to detect false data injection (FDI) attacks and localize flooding attacks, and applications in social networking for prediction of link properties. The work in this thesis paves the way for further investigation and realization of deep learning techniques to address critical issues in various novel application fields.

Committee:

Jin Wei (Advisor); Arjuna Madanayaka (Committee Co-Chair); Subramaniya Hariharan (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Artificial Intelligence; Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Engineering; Experiments; Information Technology

Keywords:

deep belief networks; multiplierless digital architecture; Xilinx FPGA implementations; low-complexity; applications of deep belief networks; spectral correlation function; modulation classification; drone detection; doppler radar; cyber security

Qian, JinQUARTZ CRYSTAL MICROBALANCE WITH DISSIPATION MEASUREMENTS OF BINDER SWELLING AND SALTS EFFECTS ON PHYSICAL CROSSLINK HYDROGEL
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Engineering
Advanced active materials, such as Si, for lithium ion battery electrodes are becoming highly engineered, but their cycling performance can be significantly impacted by the mechanical, transport, and electrochemical properties of the polymeric binder in the electrode. The swelling and plasticization of most widely used binder poly(vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF), poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), branched polyethylenimine (BPEI) and potential binder sulfonated ethylene propylene rubber (SEPDM) by common carbonate-based electrolytes is probed using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D). The swelling of the PVDF was significantly greater than the other polymers, while addition of Li salt only marginally deceased the swelling. The composition of ethylene and propylene carbonate in the electrolyte more significantly impacts the swelling with the 50:50 mixture exhibiting the greatest swelling. The shear modulus of the PVDF remains on the order of 10 MPa for all conditions examined. This mechanical invariance is attributed to the semi-crystalline structure of PVDF that provides a robust network. These measurements provide insight into the electrolyte-binder interactions and can be used to help select pairs for emerging high-performance electrodes from the aspect of swelling of binder by carbonate electrolyte and interaction between binder and active material. As QCM-D is a very sensitive and accurate method for in-situ real time analysis on thin film swelling and mechanical properties, it can also be used to measure salts effect on the swelling of physical crosslink hydrogel. In this study, the Hofmeister series effect on swelling of 2-(N-ethylperfluorooctane sulfonamido)ethyl acrylate (FOSA)/N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) physical crosslink hydrogel which containing 9.7 mol% FOSA (DF10) is introduced. The influence of temperature and different salts species (Na2SO4 and NaClO4) are investigated. The DF10 swollen in aqueous solution dissipates significant energy to enable determine of the mechanical properties. The swelling of DF10 is reversible with temperature increases and salts concentration. Na2SO4 decreases the swelling of DF10 and increases elastic modulus. Conversely, NaClO4 increases the swelling ratio, softens the DF10 hydrogel and increases viscosity in low concentration NaClO4 solutions (from 0.003M to 0.1M). At higher NaClO4 concentration (3M), the swelling decreases slightly when compared with the swelling at 0.3M. This study demonstrated that salts have dramatic effect on swelling of DF10 in aqueous solution, resulting in the change on swelling ratio and mechanical properties of DF10 hydrogel. The efficiency of the anions in increasing swelling was found to be consistent with the Hofmeister anion sequence with the ability of destabilize the hydrophobic aggregates.

Committee:

Bryan Vogt (Advisor); Erol Sancaktar (Committee Chair); Yu Zhu (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Polymers

Houser, Shelley AKey Steps to Reading Success: Measuring the Impact of Participation in a Family/School Literacy Partnership Program on the Foundational Literacy Skills of Kindergarteners
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2017, Elementary Education-Literacy
Substantial research has revealed several early literacy skills are predictive of later reading achievement. The current quasi-experimental study considered a ten-week family/school literacy partnership program designed to assist families in helping their children with early literacy skills at home. The researcher was interested in determining if participation status in this literacy program made a significant contribution to learning of early literacy skills as revealed in outcomes on winter reading Rasch Unit (RIT) scores on the Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades (MPG) for kindergarten students who were placed on a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan (RIMP). One hundred and seventy-seven families were invited to participate in the partnership program. Of those, 112 participated. The remainder, 65, made up the control group. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regressions. Findings from the data indicated that scores of kindergarten students whose families participated in the program were .7 of a point higher for each week of participation in comparison to scores of those students whose families did not participate. Gender was not found to be a significant factor on overall reading RIT scores for students in the control group, but girls had significantly higher outcomes over boys in the experimental group. Minority status was not found to be a significant factor on outcomes for kindergarten students in the experimental group, but minority students scored significantly lower according to outcomes for the control group.

Committee:

Lisa Lenhart, PhD (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Education; Families and Family Life; Literacy

Keywords:

early literacy, reading achievement, kindergarten students, family-school literacy partnership, Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades, Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan, families, quasi-experimental

Adams, Jennifer AnnInstitutions of Higher Education Emergency Management Grant Resiliency?
Master of Public Administration, University of Akron, 2017, Public Administration
Institutions of Higher Education as communities are susceptible to disasters and other dangers. The Department of Education provided a grant in 2008, 2009, and 2010 for emergency management programs to 61 IHE. Since this time, resilience has come to the forefront of emergency management. In determining if these grants increased the positive perception of the level of resilience at IHE that received these grants, a study was completed using Likert-type and open-ended questions. During the course of the literature review it became apparent there may be a confusion of the definitional understanding of resilience, so a qualitative study was included to determine the level of confusion between and among practitioners and scholars. Through a mixed-methods analysis: including correlational studies and qualitative analysis, the net result was more research needs to be completed and the level of confusion of the definitional understanding of resilience is high. By understanding how IHE perceive their levels of resilience and how they are understanding the definition of resilience, a plan can begin to be formulated on how to guide IHE toward being resilient.

Committee:

Raymond Cox, Dr. (Advisor)

Subjects:

Higher Education; Public Administration

Keywords:

IHE; Institutions of Higher Education; resilience; preparedness; recover; response; mitigation; disaster theory; resilience theory; EMHE grant; Higher Education Act 1965

Ji, YijieMetal Organic Frameworks Derived Nickel Sulfide/Graphene Composite for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Science
With the increasing demanding of energy density and power density in electric vehicles (EVs) and unarmed aerial vehicles, novel rechargeable battery technology with higher performance is required.1 Lithium-sulfur battery is considered as a promising second battery for replacing lithium ion battery (LIB), due to its high theoretical specific capacity and low cost. However, the stability and coulombic efficiency of current Li-S cells are still not satisfactory for many applications. One of the major issue is the cell degradation due to the shuttle effect of soluble polysulfide (PS).2 Here in this thesis, we introduce a metal organic frameworks (MOFs) derived NiS/Graphene composite as cathode host material for Li-S battery. MOFs were used as a precursor to prepare carbon framework with well-organized nanostructure.3 NiS was used to provide good affinity with lithium polysulfide, mitigating shuttle effect. In addition, graphene acted as substrate for anchoring MOFs nanoparticles and provided necessary electron transport passages. The Li-S cell with the designed cathode exhibited improved electrochemical performances. A reversible capacities of 1366 mA h g-1 at a current density of 0.05 C, 609 mA h g-1 at a 3 C were achieved (1 C = 1675 mA h g-1). In addition, a good stability (98 % capacity retention after 400 cycles) was observed at 0.75 C.

Committee:

Yu Zhu (Advisor); Steven Chuang (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Energy; Polymer Chemistry

Keywords:

metal organic frameworks; lithium-sulfur batteries

Bo, NiDesign, Synthesis and Self-assembly of Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS) Based Hybrid Materials
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Science
The giant molecules systems exhibit very interesting behaviors in the supramolecular assemblies over the past several years compared to other macromolecular systems. As an old Chinese saying goes “good tools are prerequisites for a successful execution of a job”. This dissertation focuses on the synthetic possibilities based on the previous work and try to explore some progress in the first part. The second part of the dissertation encapsulates the self-assembly behaviors of the synthesized giant molecular systems. A pre-functionalization method was developed to achieve giant molecular families with more abundant functionalities. Fluorinated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (FPOSS), long alkyl chain functionalized POSS (C8POSS), and protected carboxylic acid group functionalized POSS (tAPOSS) were designed and prepared. These kinds of molecules are viewed as molecular nanoparticles (MNPs). The reactivities of the modules was proved by combining them with polymer systems like polystyrene via “click” chemistry. These precisely defined functionalized POSS-containing hybrids could serve as model molecules to investigate the self-assembly behaviors of giant molecules. The solution self-assembly of a giant surfactant consisting of a polystyrene-block-poly (ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) diblock copolymer tail tethered onto a fluorinated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (FPOSS) cage in 1,4-dioxane/water was investigated. Abundant unconventional micellar structures including toroids, two-dimensional hexagonally patterned colloidal nanosheets, and laterally structured vesicles were observed.2 This study not only exhibits various unique morphologies, but also promotes the fundamental understanding on the pathways of the transformations between different morphologies in the solution self-assembly behavior of giant surfactants. In the MNPs and polymer hybrid systems, the MNPs were with precise molecular weights and chemical compositions. But the polymers used still have a molecular weight distribution which originates from the nature of the polymerization methods applied. To eliminate the polydispersity effect from the system, it is crucial to have molecular systems with precise molecular weights and chemical structures from the physical point of view. Upon this anticipation, we have designed a series of dendrons which are compositionally identical, but their linkers are in different chemical connection geometries. These sets of macromolecules are composed of hydroxyl group functionalized POSS (DPOSS) and isobutyl functionalized POSS (BPOSS). The final dendron structure consists of three parts, one DPOSS at the apex, four BPOSSs at the periphery and the flexible linkers. Note that this series of dendrons is topological isomers. Self-assembled structures of four dendron topological isomers were studied using SAXS and TEM. The results help us to understand the role of linkers in a amphiphiles system and give us some guidance on how to design a molecular system in the future.

Committee:

Stephen Z. D. Cheng (Advisor); Miyoshi Toshikazu (Committee Chair); Mesfin Tsige (Committee Member); Chrys Wesdemiotis (Committee Member); Yu Zhu (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Polymer Chemistry; Polymers

Keywords:

polymer, self-assembly, POSS, FPOSS, tAPOSS, hybrid material

Yu, JiayiTunable Biodegradable Polymers for Regenerative Medicine
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Science
Since the early 1960s, synthetic biodegradable polymers have been widely used in biomedical applications due to their large chemical diversity and the reproducible properties. However, the local acidification during degradation has shown to cause significant inflammation that can lead to device or implant failure. It is necessary to design new biodegradable polymer systems that do not cause local acidosis during degradation. To facilitate this requirement, Becker group has developed the amino acid-based poly(ester urea)s. These polymers are semi-crystalline. Their hydrolysis byproducts are non-toxic and can be self-buffered by the presence of the urea linkage at each repeat unit. In addition, there is a tremendous physical and chemical landscape that is available for exploration by using different natural amino acids with different pendant groups and different diols. This dissertation outlines our efforts to develop biodegradable polymers with tunable mechanical properties, degradation rates, and bioactivity. We varied the diol chain length (Chapter 3), branch density (Chapter 4), bioceramic contents (Chapter 5) in the poly(ester urea) system; cis/trans ratio (Chapter 6) in the biodegradable elastomer system and studied how these subtle structural differences would influence the mechanical properties and water uptake ability. Based on their tunable physical properties, these materials can be selected and used for various biomedical applications (Chapter 7).

Committee:

Matthew L. Becker, Ph.D. (Advisor); Bryan Vogt, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Yu Zhu, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Amis J. Eric, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Chrys Wesdemiotis, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Biomedical Engineering; Materials Science; Plastics; Polymer Chemistry; Polymers

Keywords:

biodegradable polymers; poly ester urea; diol chain length; branch density; composite; stereochemistry; mechanical property; biodegradation rate; application, processing; characterization; structure property relationship; amino acid; tunable property

Walker, Ruth VirginiaExpanding Our Conceptualization of Ageism: Moving Toward an Intersectional Lifespan Approach
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2016, Psychology-Adult Development and Aging
Ageism is a form of age-based discrimination most frequently studied in terms of unequal treatment toward older adults (Butler, 1969; 2005). Ageism is unique from other forms of discrimination as anyone can experience it if they live long enough (Palmore, 2001); this presents concerns for aging women, by the virtue of their longer lifespan, and the potential intersection of experiences with ageism with experiences with sexism, racism, and other forms of inequality (Kochanek et al., 2011). A focus on attitudes and prejudice toward older adults in the literature has resulted in limited empirical understandings of experiences with ageism, with research on ageism lagging behind research on racism and sexism. Utilizing both lifespan development theory (Baltes, 1987) and intersectionality theory (McCall, 2005), the purpose of this study is to utilize phenomenological methods to describe experiences with ageism across adulthood and to answer the following research questions: (1) How, if at all, is ageism gendered?, (2) How, if at all, does the experience of ageism differ across the lifespan?, and (3) In what ways does understanding how experiences with ageism are shaped by gender and age add to our conceptualization of ageism? A total of 70 participants, 22-87 years old, participated in story circles and in-depth interviews exploring how they have been treated due to their age and gender. Using phenomenological methodology, participants' responses were analyzed and clustered into three broad thematic categories: (a) context matters, (b) short-term reactions to discrimination, and (c) long-term reactions to discrimination. The results suggest implications for theory and policy development as well as clinical interventions.

Committee:

Toni Bisconti (Advisor)

Subjects:

Gerontology; Psychology; Social Research; Sociology

Keywords:

Ageism; phenomenology; lifespan development; qualitative methodology; interviews; story circles; sexism; intersectionality; gender; aging; reverse ageism; ageing

Fathi, Ariya RezaBarium Solidification/Stabilization of Legacy Fly Ash
Master of Science in Engineering, University of Akron, 2018, Civil Engineering
A legacy fly ash pile in Ashtabula county has 20,000 – 30,000 cubic yards of material and contains barium and other various heavy metals. The concentrations of barium in the fly ash are below Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) for soil, but if the barium leached out it would pose a threat to human health. Solidification/Stabilization (S/S) of the ash was investigated with concrete and sulfate. After physical/chemical characterization, the fly ash was identified as class F fly ash, meaning it has no self-stabilizing/cementing characteristics, and had barium concentrations ranging from 0-1,500 mg/kg. Fly ash was used as a replacement for either cement or fine aggregate at 10-50%. Cement replacement did not achieve a compressive strength above 3,000 psi when using a 6,500 psi concrete mixture when cement to waste ratios exceeded 20% replacement. When fine aggregate replacement was investigated, fine aggregate to waste ratios up to 40% was effective at achieving above 3,000 psi concrete. X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed the barium present was already in the insoluble barium sulfate form. Therefore, the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) and accelerated leaching procedure were used to access the potential for barium to leach form the ash and from the concrete mixtures. Barium concentrations never exceeded the U.S. EPA drinking water maximum contaminated level (MCL) for 2 mg/L. Concrete made with ash spiked with 1,500 mg/kg had increased barium leached but still below the primary drinking standard with the highest concentration being 1.79 ± 0.44 mg/L. Therefore, the ash can be handled as solid waste if no beneficial use can be identified.

Committee:

Stephen Duirk (Advisor); Christopher Miller (Committee Member); David Roke (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Environmental Engineering

Chu, YangRATIONAL CONTROLLED SELF-ASSEMBLY BEHAVIOR OF INORGANIC-ORGANIC HYBRIDS IN SOLUTION
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2017, Polymer Science
In the past several decades, self-assembly of amphiphiles in solutions has attracted great interest of researchers due to their unique properties and applications. Besides the well-explored small-molecule surfactants and block-copolymers, giant surfactants also known as inorganic-organic amphiphilic hybrids have been regarded as a new attractive topic because they contain functional (e.g., catalytic, magnetic, oxidation-reduction redox or biologically active) inorganic nanoparticles/molecular clusters which simultaneously act as surfactant polar head groups. The self-assembly/disassembly can be triggered by different kinds of external stimuli like light, heat, magnetic field or solution polarity. Besides, the morphology and size of the assemblies are also tunable by the experimental conditions and molecular structures. In this dissertation, three representative kinds of hybrids, which include multi-headed giant surfactants based on polystyrene (PS)-polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) conjugates with different number and topology of POSS heads, triangular shaped PS-POSS hybrids with different length of PS linkers and spiropyran (SP)-polyoxometalate (POM)-alkyl hybrids, are prepared to study the effect of hydrophilic head groups, hydrophobic linkers and change of hydrophobicity on the self-assembly behavior. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and static light scattering (SLS) are used during the whole process of self-assembly to suggest the size and morphology of the assemblies and electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy confirm the results obtained by light scattering techniques. We found the rational control of the self-assembly behavior of inorganic-organic hybrids in solution can be successfully achieved due to their multiple-responsive property on light, solvent polarity, molecular structures and solution concentration.

Committee:

Tianbo Liu (Advisor); Stephen Cheng (Committee Chair); Toshikazu Miyoshi (Committee Member); Mesfin Tsige (Committee Member); Jie Zheng (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Chemistry; Polymer Chemistry; Polymers

Keywords:

Inorganic-organic hybrid; Self-assembly behavior; polyoxometalates;

Howard, Christopher AllenBlack Insurgency: The Black Convention Movement in the Antebellum United States, 1830-1865
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2017, History
During the antebellum era, black activists organized themselves into insurgent networks, with the goal of achieving political and racial equality for all black inhabitants of the United States. The Negro Convention Movement, herein referred to as the Black Convention Movement, functioned on state and national levels, as the chief black insurgent network. As radical black rights groups continue to rise in the contemporary era, it is necessary to mine the historical origins that influence these bodies, and provide contexts for understanding their social critiques. This dissertation centers on the agency of the participants, and reveals a black insurgent network seeking its own narrative of liberation through tactics and rhetorical weapons. This study follows in the footing of Dr. Howard Holman Bell, who produced bodies of work detailing the antebellum Negro conventions published in the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, this work inserts itself into the historiography of black radicals, protest movements, and racial debates of antebellum America, arguing for a successful interpretation of black insurgent action. Class, race, gender, religion, and politics, all combine within this study as potent framing devices. Together, the elements within this effort, illustrates the Black Convention Movement as the era’s premier activist organization that inadvertently pushed the American nation toward civil war, and the destruction of institutionalized slavery.

Committee:

Walter Hixson, Ph.D. (Advisor); Elizabeth Mancke, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Zachery Williams, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Kevin Kern, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Daniel Coffey, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

African American Studies; African Americans; American History; Black History; Black Studies; Gender; History; Journalism; Minority and Ethnic Groups; Religion

Keywords:

African American History; African Diaspora; Black History; Black Studies; Insurgency; Antebellum United States; Civil War; Resistance Studies; Gender; Newspapers; Ohio Compromise; Protest Movements; Black Church, Christianity; Canada; United States

Bhattarai, SmrityDigital Architecture for real-time face detection for deep video packet inspection systems
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2017, Electrical Engineering
Face detection and optional recognition is a highly researched area in digital image processing. Face detection allows gathering of statistical data from video sequences, with applications in a variety of areas such as bio-metrics, information security, and video surveillance. The growing abundance of video sensors that are connected to the internet require high-throughput real-time processing of a multitude of digital video feeds, where each feed provides independent real-time statistics of the number of persons shown in the feed. Typical applications include pedestrian counting, public transit monitoring, crowd control, and sporting events. Video surveillance and security applications in particular can benefit from real-time algorithms that can process large amounts of data. Thousands of video sources must be monitored for extracting situational awareness information for homeland security and public safety applications, and the manual monitoring of such a vast amount of data is nearly impossible. Algorithms for both face detection [1–4] and recognition [3, 5–7] take two main approaches involving the local detection of facial features based on a geometric model of the human face [8] and a holistic based feature recognition, where the image data is treated as an entity without isolating different regions of the face. The main challenge in feature based facial detection is identification and location of human faces regardless of their pose, facial expression, orientation, imaging condition or presence of structural components [9]. Some advanced image-based pattern recognition techniques have been developed to handle difficult scenarios like multiple faces, faces of different sizes, and even detection in heavily cluttered backgrounds. [8] In this thesis, we explore how hardware computing architecture for detection of an image, as a face or non-face, is designed. The computing architecture is first designed, modeled, and tested in MATLAB simulink using Xilinx blockset. Images were later tested using a Virtex-6 FPGA ML605 Evaluation Kit. A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a user or a designer after manufacturing. The system uses the features of a face and non-face, which were previously extracted by training the set of face and non-face patterns. The system is fully feature based and does not require any assumptions for processing. In this approach, all the images are treated in the same way. They are not separated into different categories before processing them. The system is basically a combination of different modules like convolution, sub-sampling, bias add, scaling, neuron and decision combined in a specific format to classify the images as a face or non-face on the basis of the output. The algorithm is simple without any need for preprocessing of the image. The performance trade-off exists between the computational precision, chip area, clock speed, and power consumption.

Committee:

Dr. Arjuna Madanayake (Advisor); Dr. Ryan C Toonen (Committee Member); Dr. Kye-Shin Lee (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Electrical Engineering

Keywords:

Face detection, Convolutional Neural Network, Image processing

Seeley, Marisa AInteractions of Additives on Surfaces via Temperature Programmed Desorption
Master of Science in Engineering, University of Akron, 2017, Chemical Engineering
Motion under load between any two surfaces that are in contact with each other most likely will develop damage. Lubricants are used between two surfaces in contact to reduce the amount of damage which occurs. Within these lubricants, additives are included to further enhance the beneficial properties such as anti-wear. The overall goal of this project is to build reaction mechanisms and achieve activation energies for the surface reactions that take place. The analogs di-tert-octyl polysulfide (DTOPS) was used for the sulfur class, triphenyl phosphate (TPP) was used for the phosphorous class, and zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) was used for the SP class. Additionally, mineral oil (MO) and fully formulated (FF) oil provided additional information within the scope of this research. Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) was used to identify the reaction species as they desorb from the surface. These surfaces were then analyzed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis, Fourier transfer infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Tribological tests such as high frequency reciprocating rig (HFRR) testing studied the wear between two surfaces. The HFRR testing was performed with neat additives, which resulted in the sulfur class to perform the worst, the phosphorous class next, and the SP class performed the best. The HFRR data are used to calculate activation energies in the tribological contact based on the time and temperature that the wear regime begins. The TPD data are used to calculate the activation energies in the bulk desorption inside of a vacuum chamber. The activation energies are compared to see how they change from tribological contact to the bulk desorption. Suggested reaction mechanisms that follow the results are presented.

Committee:

Gary Doll, Dr. (Committee Chair); Paul Shiller, Dr. (Committee Member); Edward Evans, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Chemical Engineering; Engineering

Keywords:

Temperature Programmed Desorption; TPD; lubrication; tribology; friction; wear; desorption; kinetics; reaction mechanisms;

Hotz, CarlMOMENT REDUCTION ANALYSIS OF BUILT-UP I-SECTION EXPOSED TO UNIFORM CORROSION
Master of Science in Engineering, University of Akron, 2018, Engineering
With an aging infrastructure in the United States it is becoming more pressing to understand corrosion and the effects it has on structures. This knowledge will allow structural inspectors to determine the best course of action to take when dealing with a corroded member and insight so as to not take a member out of service prematurely. There are many types of corrosion that effects steel structures the form that is being studied in this report is uniform corrosion. Uniform corrosion occurs when the corrosion process attacks the surface of the steel uniformly thinning the material. This report looks at the effect uniform corrosion has on built up I sections subjected to a bending moment, and the reduction in moment strength associated with a percent loss in cross sectional area. To accomplish this lab tests were conducted on beams that were corroded in a controlled environment. With a known reduction in cross sectional area the beams were exposed to a bending test and the results were compared to moment values calculated using equations present in the American Institute of Steel Construction Steel Manual. In addition to bending tests tension tests were conducted on non-corroded tension specimens, corroded tension test specimens and corroded specimens that the corrosion byproduct was cleaned off by a chemical process. Finally finite element models were created to as another check and to see if the corrosion process could be modeled by assuming idealized uniform loss in area from corrosion

Committee:

Anil Patnail, Dr. (Advisor); Craig Menzemer, Dr. (Committee Member); David Roke, Dr (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Civil Engineering

Keywords:

Uniform Corrosion, I-Section, Structural Engineer, Moment Reduction, Finite Element Modeling, Tension Test, ASTM B117, Corrosion Tests, Environmental Chamber

Jain, DharamdeepHumidity Driven Performance of Biological Adhesives
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Science
Biological adhesives are sticky secretions or structures produced by several organisms in nature to serve roles such as locomotion, prey capture and defense. These adhesives stick in a variety of environmental conditions and can maintain their adhesion exceptionally well. The present work focuses on understanding one such environmental factor, `humidity’ and presents its correlation with the material composition in influencing the adhesion mechanism in two diverse biological attachment systems: Capture silk and Gecko setae. Understanding adhesion in these natural systems is essential with respect to humidity since many synthetic materials including glues fail in presence of water. The first and second studies focus on the glue laden capture silk produced by web building spiders. In the first study, we explored the capture silk of cobweb weaver `black widow spider’ known as `gumfoot glue’. We first investigated the chemical composition of the glue and for the first time reported that it is majorly a combination of hygroscopic organic salts (low molecular mass compounds, LMMCs) and novel glycoproteins, apart from previously known peptides. Next, we correlated the glue composition with humidity based macro and molecular level studies and showed the synergistic role of LMMCs and glycoproteins in adhesion across the range of humidity conditions. Based on the first study which showed the presence and importance of diverse LMMCs in capture silk adhesion, we designed our second study in understanding the role of LMMCs in the capture silk. Based on hypothesis that LMMC’s compositions control the maximum adhesion and viscosity trends across species, we designed the study in which by using Solution-State NMR, we first analyzed the water-soluble extract of glues for four different spider species from diverse habitats and found extract belonging to each species is a distinct combination of organic LMMCs present in varied proportions. Next, we studied the water uptake of glues and their isolated LMMCs compositions. The results showed that hygroscopic strength of LMMCs alone can’t explain the adhesion response of glues. We believe it is the chemical interactions of diverse LMMCs with glycoproteins that controls the adhesion mechanism of capture silks in presence of humidity. In the third, fourth and fifth studies, we switch to a different adhesive system and present investigations based on the hairs present on gecko feet, known as `setae’. In the third study, we first time established the chemical composition of hairs by characterizing molts from gecko feet and showed the presence of ß-keratin and unbound lipids. Also, we showed lipids in hairs were more mobile as compared to lipids in epidermal skin based on which we proposed structural arrangement of lipids and keratin in the setal hairs. The fourth study focused on understanding the role of surface lipids detected in the third study. By means of shear adhesion and contact angle experiments, we found those lipids do not affect adhesive and anti-adhesive properties respectively. The existing hypothesis of ß-keratin softening and leading to higher adhesion in presence of humidity was tested in our fifth study. By series of water uptake and NMR measurements, we found ß-keratin absorbs water and gets soft at a macro and molecular level. Friction cell based shear adhesion measurements on setae supported the hypothesis and showed an increase in adhesion with increase in humidity. The research studies presented provides a detailed account of correlation of environmentally relevant parameter, `humidity’ with the building blocks of capture silk and gecko setae and their adhesion performance. The results provide design insights in developing synthetic materials such as adhesives that can work in different humidity environments.

Committee:

Ali Dhinojwala, Dr. (Advisor); Mesfin Tsige, Dr. (Committee Chair); Todd A. Blackledge, Dr. (Committee Member); Miyoshi Toshikazu, Dr. (Committee Member); Joy Abraham, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Biology; Biophysics; Materials Science; Polymers

Keywords:

Biomimicry, Adhesion, Spider Silk, Capture Silk, Geckos, Setae, Water, Lipids, Keratin, Glycoproteins, Hygroscopic Compounds

Alin, MaishahEffect of rejuvenators on rheological properties of asphalt binders
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2018, Civil Engineering
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement is usually used to replace the expensive virgin binder in the asphalt mixture design. Ohio Department of Transportation allows 10% RAP in the mixture design as higher percentage of recycled binder will make mixture aged. In recent years the cost of virgin binder is increasing at extremely rate. This has garnered attention to maximizing the use of RAP to minimize the production and manufacturing cost. This research project is a part of a project of Ohio Department of Transportation. The goal of ODOT’s project is to assess the feasibility of RAP in the surface course of municipal and local roadways. The objective is to develop cost effective mix design and quality control recommendations for RAP use on local roadways in Ohio that does not adversely affect the performance or durability of the asphalt mixtures. This study evaluates the effect of three rejuvenators (SylvaroadTM RP 1000, Industrial Soybean Oil and Hydrolene H90T) to restore the viscoelastic properties of PG 64-22 when mixed with recycled asphalt binder. Rejuvenators are known to reversing the aging effect in aged asphalt binder. Therefore, use of rejuvenators will allow higher percentage of RAP being used in asphalt mixture design. In this study PG 64-22 is the virgin binder and the three rejuvenators are SylvaroadTM RP 1000, Industrial Soybean Oil and Hydrolene H90T. The RAP binder percentage was used 40% of total binder’s weight. At first recycled binder was extracted from RAP material using centrifuge method and recovered by Abson method. PG 64-22 and RAP binder is mixed with two selected dosage (low and high) for each of the rejuvenators. In order to evaluate the effect of the rejuvenators at different dosages testing had been done on unaged binders, short term aged binders, and long term aged. Short term aging has been simulated using the Rolling Thin Film Oven Test (RTFO) and the long-term aging has been simulated using the Pressurized Aging Vessel (PAV). Finally, virgin binder, recycled blend without the rejuvenators and with two different dosage of rejuvenators were tested at different aging conditions using the Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR), and the Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR). DSR was used to evaluate viscoelastic properties at high temperatures and Bending Beam Rheometer was used to determine the effect of rejuvenator at low temperature. These observations had been used to determine an optimum dosage for each of the rejuvenators. The results had suggested that Sylvaroad exhibited the best softening capability at lower dosage. Whereas Hydrolene was unable to leave significant effect even after using higher dosage. Comparison of observations affirmed that at higher dosage Industrial Soybean Oil reverse the aging effect significantly in recycled blend.

Committee:

Ala R. Abbas (Advisor); Anil K. Patnaik (Committee Member); Junliang Tao (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Civil Engineering; Transportation

Keywords:

reclaimed asphalt pavement, rejuvenator, asphalt, optimum content, aging process

Engerer, Pamela J.Teacher Actions Secondary Science Students Reckon as Teacher-to-Student Classroom Respect
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2017, Secondary Education
Conducted over 5 weeks, this multiple case study involved seven secondary science students in an urban, STEM-focused high school. Observations, documents, and interviews were used to obtain feedback on teacher-to-student respect from the student point-of-view in answer to the question: What actions by teachers do students reckon as representations of teacher-to-student respect in the classroom? The purposes were: to understand a complex phenomenon, to add to the educational knowledge base, and to inform constituencies (Newman, Ridenour, Newman & DeMarco, 2003). Two themes, person-to-person respect and learner-to-learner respect, emerged along with seven categories of teacher actions of respect: Gives, Lets, Treats, Listens, Understands, Helps, and Answers. Students reckon as respect any teacher action that affectively or cognitively meets or exceeds students’ respect desires or respect expectations by encouraging or supporting students as persons or as learners. Two respect-reckoning questions and two meaning-making questions were representative of the types of questions students ask themselves; despite use of similar mechanisms, students reckon respect and make meaning variably. Interpreted via Goodman’s (2009) framework, person-to-person (interpersonal) respect serves as a gateway to learner-to-learner respect. Of the three categories of interpersonal respect (Gives, Lets, and Treats), Gives serves as a precursor to Lets and Treats. By respecting a student, a teacher earns that student’s respect. Though investigated via science, results are presented via art in a play: Between the Bells.

Committee:

Francis Broadway, Ph.D. (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Science Education; Secondary Education; Teaching

Keywords:

Aesthetic; Art; Chemistry; Conflict resolution; Critical incident; Democratic; Expectation; Experience; Interaction; Multiple case study; Public STEM high school; Respect; Science; Secondary education; Teacher-to-student respect; Transactional analysis

Dreisbach, Melissa DThe Effects of a Classroom Based Yoga Intervention on Test Anxiety, Academic Performance and Attention in Third Grade Students
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2017, Physical Education-Sports Science/Coaching
ABSTRACT With increased pressure on school districts to increase state test scores, time allocated for physical activity has been drastically decreased in order to provide more learning time for core subjects (Ardoy et al., 2014; Coe et al., 2006; Donnelly & Lambourne, 2011; Ma et al., 2014; Sallis et al., 1999). Thus, extreme pressure is placed on young students. This stress can lead to a high level of anxiety, an inability to focus, stay on task. Consequently, when students do not have a proper outlet to expend excess energy, there is great potential for classroom management problems for teachers (“Test + stress = problems for students,” 2000). Therefore, students and teachers need a mechanism to deal with lessen these pressures. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of a classroom based yoga intervention on student’s test anxiety, academic performance, and attention level within a traditional mathematics class. Forty-four third grade students in two different classrooms participated in the study. The study had a pre- and post-test phase. A pre-Measurements of Academic Progress (MAP), Children Test Anxiety Scale (CTAS and Children’s Stroop test was given prior to the yoga intervention. The yoga intervention was given 4 days a week for 6 weeks to the intervention group only. The control group had no modifications added to their daily lessons. A post-intervention assessment was given using the same aforementioned instruments. The classroom iv teacher was asked to report any observations she made about her students during the intervention. The participants were also asked to write about their opinions and experiences they had during the intervention. The intervention group was compared to the control group to assess the level of anxiety, academic performance, and attention level. It was found that the intervention group improved more academically on a state math test than the control group.. The academic performance was statically significant. Anxiety levels decreased in the intervention group, while the anxiety levels increased for the control group. Overall for anxiety, the girls revealed a larger benefit from the yoga intervention with the intervention group. The attention results showed no difference between the intervention and control., but the boys did see a greater ability to focus after the intervention. The intervention grouped lowered their time on the test. The findings indicated that a yoga intervention can increase academic performance and lower anxiety. Further research is need to investigate the gender differences and the effect of a yoga intervention on attention level.

Committee:

Seungbum Lee, PhD. (Advisor); Matthew Juravich, PhD. (Committee Member); Alan Kornspan, PhD. (Committee Member); Sean Cai, PhD. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Physical Education

Keywords:

Yoga Intervention, Test Anxiety, Academic Performance, Attention, Third Grade Students

Riotto, Angela MBeyond `the scrawl'd, worn slips of paper’: Union and Confederate Prisoners of War and their Postwar Memories
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2018, History
The following dissertation examines the ways in which Union and Confederate ex-prisoners of war discussed their experiences of captivity between 1862 and 1930. By examining former prisoners’ captivity narratives, this dissertation demonstrates that to the end of their lives, ex-prisoners worked to construct a public image—one of suffering—that differed from the typical gallant volunteer who fought and died on the battlefield. Ex-prisoners shared their stories of captivity as a way of affirming their identities as a distinct type of veteran and to affirm their place as American men, regardless of their time as a prisoner of war. Viewed singly, any of these narratives might be dismissed as a fascinating story of personal suffering and survival, but when they are considered as a body of literature, one can trace the development of a master narrative, both separate from and intertwined with the American public’s postwar memory. This dissertation challenges conventional understandings of postwar reconciliation and adds to recent scholarship on veterans’ reintegration into civilian life. Both Union and Confederate ex-prisoners of war often contradicted this preferred heroic narrative of the war. Some men, as they got older, accepted reconciliation and censored their bitterness and hatred. Others promised to never forget their sufferings and, as a result, remained obstacles to reconciliation. By examining ex-prisoners’ narratives, this dissertation reveals how ex-prisoners did not accept or fit into the ideal trajectory of reconciliation.

Committee:

Walter Hixson (Committee Chair); Lesley Gordon (Committee Co-Chair); Stephen Harp (Committee Member); Kevin Adams (Committee Member); Patrick Chura (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American History; American Literature; History; Military History

Keywords:

prisoners of war; reconciliation; American Civil War; military history; war and society; veterans; Andersonville; Confederate; Union; Henry Wirz; Memory; Memorialization; Memory Studies; Prison Camps; Captivity; Imprisonment; Literary Studies

Chen , Kexun ANTIMICROBIAL RESPONSE OF AND BLOOD PLASMA PROTEIN ADSORPTION ON SILVER-DOPED HYDROXYAPATITE
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Science
Implant-related infection is one of the main causes of orthopedic device failure. Biofilms are very hard to be eliminated once they are formed. Usually surgical revision is needed, but at great economic and personal cost. So, it is crucial to develop orthopedic implants with intrinsic antimicrobial activity. Because of its high biocompatibility and osteoconductivity, hydroxyapatite (HAP) is one of the most extensively used orthopedic biomaterials. Previous research has shown that silver- doped hydroxyapatite (Ag-HAP) has prominent antimicrobial activity. After implantation, the first event is the adsorption of blood plasma proteins. Adsorption changes the conformation of the proteins, consequently, exposing new epitopes. What cells really “see”, is this layer of adsorbed proteins, which will determine how cells respond. However, how protein changes their conformation on HAP and Ag- HAP nanoparticles (NPs) is still not fully understood. Silver-doped HAP NPs were synthesized at different conditions and their antimicrobial properties as well as plasma protein adsorption at their surfaces was tested. It was found that synthesis pH affects the Ag content of Ag-HAP and subsequent Ag+ release from the NPs in solution. This, in turn, affected antimicrobial efficiency. Human serum albumin (HSA) and fibrinogen (Fib) conformation changed with decrease of ¿-helix and increase of IV ¿-sheet content upon adsorption to all NP surfaces. HSA melting temperature was 65-66 °C for all three NPs compared to 76 °C in solution. More adsorption of HSA on NPs than Fib was observed. HSA conformation was affected by amount of proteins adsorbed but Fib was not. The differences are associated to differences in their relative sizes. HSA and Fib conformational changes on Ag-HAP were similar to those on HAP. Thus, I show a synthesis method to improve Ag-HAP antimicrobial activity without deleterious effect on blood plasma protein adsorption compared to HAP.

Committee:

Nita Sahai (Advisor); Abraham Joy (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Nanoscience; Nanotechnology

Keywords:

adsorption, protein conformation change, silver-doped HAP, antimicrobial

Wu, Kecheng Anatase TiO2 Nanotubes Electrode in Rechargeable Magnesium Battery: In Situ Infrared Spectroscopy Studies
Master of Science, University of Akron, 2018, Polymer Science
Lithium-ion battery technology has been proved to be a great success in the application of portable energy storage devices. Current lithium-ion battery technology with low capacity and poor safety performance does not meet the future requirement in portable electric appliances and plug-ion vehicles. Post-Li metallic battery technology, magnesium battery, provides excellent volumetric capacity (3850 mAh/cm3) with relatively high redox potential (-2.4 V vs SHE) as well as high safety in low cost. In this thesis, the focus is on exploring the electrochemical behaviors of anatase TiO2 nanotubes as cathode materials in rechargeable magnesium batteries and studying the electrochemical behaviors of All-phenyl complex electrolyte system during discharge and charge process. TiO2-based host material had been widely studied in the utilization in Li-ion batteries, however, rare reported in magnesium batteries. Here, we used hydrothermal process to synthesize anatase TiO2 nanotubes (NTs), which exhibited high capacity of ~125 mAh/g at 33 mA/g and good capacity retention after 80 cycles with working potential range from 0.5 to 1.8 V. Anatase TiO2 NTs shows great promise as Mg2+ ions host materials, allowing high reversibility of Mg2+ ions intercalation/de-intercalation in rechargeable Mg batteries. All-phenyl complex electrolyte is synthesized through the in situ transmetalation reaction between Grignard reagent (PhMgCl) and Lewis acid (AlCl3), with tetrahydrofuran as solvent. The electrolyte components content species including MgCl+, Mg2Cl3+, PhyAlCl4-y-, etc. The THF solvated structures helps to stabilize the anions and cations. Here, we used in situ infrared spectroscopy technology to study the electrochemical behaviors of electrolyte components and observe the intercalation/de-intercalation process of Mg2+ ions. The understanding of electrochemical behaviors of electrolyte helps to further modify and synthesize a more stable and safe electrolyte with wide potential window for rechargeable Mg batteries.

Committee:

Steven Chuang (Advisor); Yu Zhu (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Energy; Polymer Chemistry

Keywords:

Mg battery, in situ IR, TiO2, cathode material, high performance post Li-ion battery

Cibella, MarcOn Writing 2: An Essay Collection and Loose Sequel to Stephen King's On Writing
Master of Fine Arts, University of Akron, 2018, Creative Writing
On Writing 2: An Essay Collection and Loose Sequel to Stephen King's On Writing, a creative nonfiction thesis, takes horror and suspense legend Stephen King's memoir on the craft and UPS THE ANTE!!! Eighteen years after the debut of King's nonfiction hit comes the sequel fans have been begging for. Gone are the tales of King's childhood, his lessons on writing, and that time he got hit by a van. Now, read of the essays of a different schmuck, none of which have to do with writing, but do deal with traveling in Key West, volunteering at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and trying to keep a relationship together at an IKEA. Each essay is handled deftly with a lot of humor and that innate sadness that is key to the human condition. See what the critics are saying about On Writing 2: "This is worse than A Million Little Pieces." — Melvin Goldfarb, New York Times "My son has really disappointed me this time." — Barbara Cibella, Mother of Author Do yourself a favor and download Stephen King's lawyer's favorite thesis of 2018! Get On Writing 2 today! DISCLAIMER: This is a sequel to Stephen King's On Writing in name only. Please do not sue me.

Committee:

David Giffels (Advisor)

Subjects:

American Literature; Composition; Fine Arts; Journalism; Literature; Modern Literature; Political Science

Keywords:

Creative Writing; Humor; Creative Nonfiction; Political Science; Travel; Key West; Literature; 2016 Presidential Election; 2016 Republican National Convention; Ohio; Relationships

Montgomery, Kaylor LayneA Woman Trapped: Representations of Female Sexual Agency in Early Modern Literature
Master of Arts, University of Akron, 2018, English-Literature

At a time when the moral nature of women was questioned, anxiety surrounding female sexuality invaded many public areas, and various writers took to addressing those anxieties. The possibility for women to fantasize and act on their sexual desires defies norms for the period. The cultural construction that framed female sexuality was a limiting one that barred women from actively engaging in their sexual desires. This thesis focuses on three major genres for the period: ballads, plays, and prose romances. By critically analyzing these genres for their construction of female sexual agency, readers can begin to understand how authors described sexual agency and how they used it to influence their various audience members.

Chapter One, “Desire, Death, and the Broadside Ballad,” focuses on broadside ballads. Broadside ballads were published on a single sheet of paper and typically featured an illustration alongside their text. This chapter focuses explicitly on murderous wife ballads, which is a sub-genre that featured women who murdered their husband. By the end of each ballad, the murderous wife is executed and silenced. In many cases, the murderous wife would articulate her motive lying behind the want to commit adultery, which shows active agents in control of their sexuality. Having a murderous wife articulate her desire, especially towards someone outside of her marriage, would have been extremely transgressive. Balladeers used these women’s stories to turn a profit and further push against women discovering their agency and to remind listeners of the extremes that can happen to a woman who becomes independent, and they knew that sensationalizing these rare criminal acts would reinforce anxieties among many about these acts happening to other people.

Chapter Two, “Tyrannous Agency: Shakespeare and Female Desire,” moves away from broadside ballads to discuss Shakespeare’s construction of female sexual agency through an examination of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello. As two plays that are vastly opposite of one another both in genre and storyline, they feature similarities in the construction and limitation of female sexual agency. Because they are plays, the dissemination of the play’s formulation of female sexual desire begins to narrow to those who have access to the play in comparison to ballads. Whereas ballads were cheap and available everywhere to listen to and buy, plays only operated in the playhouses, and one had to pay admission to enter said playhouse. By focusing on Emilia, Bianca, Titania, and Hermia, this chapter argues that the female characters in each play featured in this chapter convey a strong message about the supposed importance of women acquiescing control to the men in their lives over their sexuality, which strips them of much sexual agency.

Chapter Three, “Lady Mary Wroth’s The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania and the Challenge of Female Sexual Desire,” complicates the argument about female agency with its focus on The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania by Lady Mary Wroth, a pastoral romance. Urania occupies a unique space in terms of readership. Ballads were ubiquitous, but access to Urania was limited by its temporary publication. The construction of female desire in the text vastly differs from that of the broadside ballads. Although Urania had a limited release, the text attempts to confront the condemnation that surrounds female sexual agency in other genres and entreats the readers to see the issue that plagues the other genres. Although Urania’s representation of sexual agency is limited for women, and women at various points of the romance are isolated from the male counterparts, by giving a voice to the tormented women in the text and allowing them to share their stories, the text advocates for a community to be built that allows women in the early modern period to begin discussing their own stories and hopefully begin to enact change.

This thesis aims to enlighten views on the presentation of female desire in the early modern period. By complicating the concept of sexual agency, I aspire to further understand realities for women of the period through these works. Women were constantly bombarded with denial of sexual agency, and by opening the conversation on this topic, I aim to emulate Urania’s attempt at creating a community by which we, as scholars, can further understand the inner workings of the patriarchal constructions in the early modern period.

Committee:

Hillary Nunn, Dr. (Advisor); Jon Miller, Dr. (Committee Member); Joseph Ceccio, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Literature; Romance Literature

Keywords:

early modern literature, renaissance literature, women writers, lady mary wroth, sexual agency, feminist studies, william shakespeare, broadside ballads, performance, female sexuality, hermia, emilia, urania, hippolyta, bianca

Layman, AmandaThe Problem with Pussy Power: A Feminist Analysis of Spike Lee's Chi-Raq
Master of Arts, University of Akron, 2017, Communication
Applying feminist media theory to the 2015 Spike Lee film Chi-Raq, this thesis explores portrayals of black-female power and sexuality. In three layers this thesis examines: the language used by and toward women of color, the gender roles and power constructs within the film, and finally the either/or dichotomous thinking associated with the four controlling images of Black womanhood, particularly the role of the Jezebel as a promiscuous and socially dangerous character. This thesis seeks to understand how sexualized portrayals of Black women, despite the power associated with their sexuality, are limiting and problematic.

Committee:

Mary E. Triece, Dr. (Advisor); Kathleen D. Clark, Dr. (Committee Member); Kathleen Endres, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication

Keywords:

feminism; communication; rhetorical criticism; rhetoric; Black feminist thought; feminist media theory; feminist standpoint theory; power; sexuality; film

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