Friday, October 26, 2012

Fielding Graduate Melle Starsen presented research at the 2012 Film and History Conference-Film and Myth in Milwaukee, WI

Hidden messages: Archetypes in Blaxploitation films, Melle Starsen

Many movie critics and researchers have rebuked Blaxploitation films (1970-1975) as sexist, racist, and, most of all, degrading to black audiences and the black community. However, this empirical study of blaxploitation films has determined that far from presenting a negative image of the black community, many of the entries in this genre do in fact provide embedded archetypes that present consistent messages for black audiences about the need to eschew exploitation of their own people and communities and instead, support education, crime-reduction programs, and community outreach to improve the communities. The films, though accused of being violent and brutal, actually present messages about the need for black communities to stand together and right the wrongs of the past by supporting an almost sovereign nation-within-a-nation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ronald William Ball completes dissertation in the School of Human and Organizational Development

The Relationship of Academic Self-Concept and Social Competence in Learning-Disabled Early Adolescents, Ronald William Ball

This correlational study was designed to measure the possible relationship of two social science constructs and five demographic variables in learning-disabled early adolescents. Sixty-seven learning-disabled early adolescents in grades 7 and 8 served as subjects. Data gained from two construct variables (Academic Self-Concept and Social Competence) and five demographic variables (Age, Ethnicity, Language, Gender, and Grade level) was gathered and statistically analyzed. Based on the data analysis, there was not a statistically significant relationship with the two construct variables of Academic Self-Concept and Social Competence. Statistically significant correlations occurred in three relationships. Gender was significantly correlated with both the constructs of Academic Self-Concept and Social Competence. English-Language Learners and the construct of Academic Self-Concept was also significantly correlated.

Key Words: learning-disabled students; academic self-concept; social competence; learning disability; early adolescence; special education; English-Language Learners; middle school students

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zella Mae Muro completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

Moving Forward: Technical Development for Female Semiconductor Engineers, Zella Mae Muro

Many technical industries struggle to achieve a workplace that fosters both male and female leadership advancement. This feminist action-oriented study addresses gender inclusion in an organization that had an engineering population where 24% are female and of that, only 5% of the female engineers had achieved senior-level status. The over-arching goal of this study was to develop an in-house leadership training program, as a pipeline system, for mid-level female engineers to progress to senior-level positions. The program had been in place for over a year and included multiple components: (a) manager preparation sessions that focus on program awareness and management roles, (b) leadership workshop with senior-level female guest speakers, and (c) a set of Learning Series with unique objectives to serve program participants. The Learning Series included numerous topics and activities: job shadowing with principal-level engineers, developing leadership skills, building a community of trust and practice, establishing mentorships, advocacy from the General Manager, career planning, applying technical career ladder tools, and preparing for senior roles. As part of this ongoing action research project, the participants, technical female members and their managers, attended focus group and individual interviews to identify the benefits and challenges of the program. Overall, participants reported four times more benefits than challenges and unanimously agreed that the program was very powerful. Participants were also asked to recommend strategies for making program improvements, and their feedback will be used in the next cycle of program development. At the onset of the study, the female engineers were asked to develop individualized leadership goals and to establish a set of rubrics for achieving those goals and assess the related skills. From this rubric, a pre- and post-skill assessment Likert survey was developed. Its results showed the female engineers and their managers rated the women’s post-assessment skills as being higher at the end of the program. Taken together, these findings suggest the leadership training program was successful in preparing technical female engineers for leadership roles, and at the closure of this study, the number of female engineers who participate in the senior-level Technical Leadership Pipeline program had more than doubled.

Key Words: Technical female engineer, semiconductor manufacturing, technical leadership pipeline development program

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lauri A. Francis completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

Teacher Leadership for the 21st Century: Teacher Leaders’ Experiences in Supporting the Pedagogical Practice of Academic Rigor, Lauri A. Francis

The purpose of this research study was to ascertain teacher leaders’ experiences with supporting their colleagues’ pedagogical practice of academic rigor, a core tenet of 21st century skills (Blackburn, 2008; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2010a). This phenomenological study permitted six teacher leaders in New York to share their experiences through a protocol writing activity, two interviews, and a reflection. Participants described their experiences within three domains: realization, engagement, and disengagement, identifying the pedagogical and andragogical issues that impact their ability to nurture the implementation of rigorous instruction. Examination of the results revealed that teacher leaders’ ability to support their peers in providing rigorous instruction was predicated upon teacher leaders’ ability to (a) position themselves as reflective practitioners, (b) encourage engagement within the professional learning community, and (c) advocate for socially relevant instruction.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Terry Howard Hildebrandt completes dissertation in the School of Human and Organizational Development

Journeys of Heterosexual-Identified Individuals With an Evangelical Christian Background From Anti-Gay to Pro-Gay, Terry Howard Hildebrandt

A qualitative research study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with 12 heterosexuals with an evangelical Christian background who had changed from anti-gay to pro-gay in their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding same-sex sexuality (also known as homosexuality) and lesbian and gay people. Interviews were analyzed using categorical content analysis to reveal 10 key themes along with 11 additional subthemes. In addition, holistic form narrative analysis was done to reveal two primary patterns with multiple process steps defining the structure of the journeys from anti-gay to pro-gay. Primary findings included that a personal crisis, typically unrelated to same-sex sexuality, preceded the changes in beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The crisis created critical reflection on their previously held beliefs and assumptions regarding what they had been taught by their prior evangelical churches. The crisis and subsequent growth also created openness later in their journeys for participants to rethink their moral positions on same-sex sexuality and challenge their previously held assumptions about lesbian and gay people. Sociocultural context played an important role in shaping beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors concerning same-sex sexuality and lesbian and gay people. Contact experiences with lesbian and gay people both at work and at church played an important role in their journeys. The journeys from anti-gay to pro-gay are theorized as conversion processes with transformative learning. Two primary patterns emerged in the journeys depending upon whether the participants accepted evangelicalism in childhood or later converted to evangelicalism as adults. Process models for the journeys from anti-gay to pro-gay are proposed for both patterns.

Key Words: homosexuality, homosexuality (attitudes toward), same-sex sexuality, conversion, gay and lesbian, transformative learning, anti-gay, pro-gay, religion-based bigotry, prejudice, homophobia, heterosexism, evangelical, Christian, heterosexual, heterosexual allies, advocacy, LGBT, GLBT, holistic form, narrative inquiry, qualitative study, biblical hermeneutics

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tara Collins Samples completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

The Protective Effects of Resilience Against Suicide Behaviors Among Trauma Exposed Low-Income African American Women: A Moderated Mediation Study, Tara Collins Samples

Low-income African American women are exposed to a disproportionate number of potentially traumatizing events, and have been demonstrated to experience high levels of childhood maltreatment and subsequently develop symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Previous studies have also demonstrated that Major Depression (MDD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms mediate suicidal behavior among adults exposed to childhood maltreatment. The current study sought to explore the moderating role of psychological resilience on ameliorating this mediation. A logistic-regression based path-analysis framework was used to investigate the moderation of resilience through the mediation of PTSD and MDD on the relationship between child maltreatment and adult suicidal behavior. The results from this study suggest that resilience may be a protective factor mitigating the risk of suicidal behavior associated with childhood maltreatment in the presence of PTSD but that resilience does not ameliorate the impact of MDD on suicidal behavior associated with childhood maltreatment. Results further demonstrate that the resilience is most effective for individuals exposed to one and two types of childhood maltreatment, but is less protective at higher levels of maltreatment.

Key Words: Resilience, Suicide, Buffering Hypothesis, Child Maltreatment, Low-Income African American Women

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fielding faculty member Francine Campone presented at the 2012 Academy of Management Conference in Boston, MA on graduate education for executive coaches

Francine Campone, Director of the Evidence-Based Coaching Program at Fielding, co-presented on Graduate Coach Education: From Wild West to Established Territory with colleagues from the Graduate School Alliance of Executive Coaching Programs. The August 6 session was co-sponsored by the MED, MD, and ODC divisions of the Academy of Management.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bria Milicevic completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Connecting to God, Parents, and Self: The Effect of Moderators on the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Externalizing Behaviors, Bria Milicevic

This quantitative study investigated the association between timing and severity of physical maltreatment and later externalizing behaviors among youth, in addition to possible moderators of this relationship. The study included 132 male and 105 female children involved with the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) project. These participants experienced physical abuse prior to age 4, between 4 and 12-years-old, or during both timeframes. Severity of abuse was also assessed. Parental caring and emotional support, competence, and religiosity were analyzed as moderators of the hypothesized relationship between physical abuse and later externalizing behaviors. Regression analysis revealed no significant differences between timing and severity of physical abuse and later externalizing behaviors at age 12 among the participants. However, the results did reveal a pattern between timing and severity of physical abuse, indicating increased severity levels among participants abused during 0- to 4-years old and during both timeframes. Parental caring and emotional support, competence, and religiosity did not demonstrate any moderation effect on outcomes among the participants. Suggestions for future research and ideas for clinical implication are presented.

KEY WORDS: child maltreatment, physical child abuse, delinquency, aggression, externalizing behaviors, emotional support, competence, religiosity.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jorrie S. MacKenzi completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Vulnerability to Engaging in HIV High-Risk Sex Behavior: Correlates from Russian MMPI-A and Worldview Assessment Instrument, Jorrie S. MacKenzie

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to contracting HIV infection through high-risk sex behaviors. Personality traits and worldview orientation can influence participation in high-risk sex behaviors that result in negative health outcomes for adolescents. Culture and tradition shape adolescent behavior. Adolescents must successfully adapt, cope, and maneuver through the social, political, economic, and religious elements inherent in their environment. These factors significantly influence the quality and depth of adolescent knowledge of HIV transmission and their vulnerability to HIV infection. While prophylactic education is an effective countermeasure to the rapid spread of HIV infection among adolescent populations, it should be sensitive to adolescent personality traits and worldviews that predispose adolescents to substantial risk for contracting HIV. This study focuses on Russian adolescent personality and worldview attitude profiles that may suggest vulnerability to engaging in high-risk sex behavior that would predispose them to HIV infection.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Juanita Story-Jones completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

The Non-Inclusive Educational Practices that Influence African American Teens in America’s Public Urban School System, Juanita Story-Jones

This research was based on the perspectives of African American teen experiences in urban school settings concerning the non-inclusive educational practices in the areas of racism, cultural stigmatization, and inadequate learning and teaching practices that resulted in poor academic performance and graduation achievement outcomes. Important to this research were the voices of African American teens in urban public school settings. Data were collected from 20 male and female African American teens identified as at risk of failing school and 10 former urban school students participating in a GED program after dropping out of school. One-on-one interviews and a round table discussion group constituted the qualitative data source. Three themes developed from the two groups of African American teen participants. First, African American teens expressed the need for improvement of the unsafe, violent, and dilapidated school environments. Second, African American teens expressed the need to voice their opinions, and have equal access to quality learning and teaching practices. Third, the African American teens expressed the need for urban schools and teachers to become more culturally sensitive and centered on positive self-imagery while providing resources and supports to meet individual academic needs. Recommendations made by the participants will be implemented, adding to the ongoing action oriented approach to future research.

African American teens, urban school settings, non-inclusive educational practices, racism, cultural stigmatization, inadequate learning and teaching practices, voice of opinions, equal educational opportunities, action research, case study.

For 12 years, Juanita Story-Jones has supported the idea of improving the quality of educational learning and teaching experiences and self-efficacy development growth for African American teens that were failing and/or dropout from the urban public school system in Philadelphia, PA. During that time, and continuing today, Juanita has been inspired to teach, counsel, and redirect these struggling African American teens towards innovative ways of learning and engagement that encourages them to become motivated towards learning, to become self reliant and caring individuals. The Byron Story Foundation (BSF) was established by her in memory of her son, a promising high school graduate from Philadelphia who was killed in 2002 as the result of handgun violence. BSF provided alternative education, GED preparation, and social development skills to guide and inspire at-risk truant and drop-out students from Philadelphia’s public high schools. Juanita had little time for self-pity. So little, in fact, that just two months after Byron's murder, she launched a nonprofit North Philly alternative education center aimed at steering kids who have been in trouble, as Byron had, toward more successful paths.

Juanita has served the multi-cultural populations in education and counseling with case expertise involving violence, school dropout and truancy, mental health and child abuse, drugs and alcohol abuse, family dysfunction, homelessness, sexual abuse, social/cultural adjustment, and crisis intervention. As a business professional, her goal is to develop skills and validate her experiences and abilities in the human service profession. Juanita completed her Master of Human Service Studies at Lincoln University, with an emphasis in Counseling. She has learned Human Service integration of concepts and practice namely, the role of values/ethics, psychological theory, systems theories, counseling, and other social science models, as well as demonstrated master’s level skills in professional writing, direct clinical service provision, and program management.

She have been instrumental in involving parents and community city leaders in both the public and private sectors in examining and providing intervention strategies to combat the negative impact of youth violence and dropout in urban neighboring schools, homes and communities. She is a member of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corp., District Attorney Violence Prevention Coalition Groups, and Home and School Association.

In 2002-2009 she served as the Director for the Byron Story Foundation, Alternative Education, Violence Prevention and Support Services for Dropout Youth Program in North Philadelphia, PA. In 2009, she became the Clinical Supervisor of Co-occurring Services at Gaudenzia in West Chester, PA, an institution responsible for helping a growing number of people suffering from addictions. She is highly trained in budgeting, human resource development, client assessment and therapy program implementation, staff supervision, individual/group counseling, family advocacy, and training program development in these areas.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fielding faculty members Rae Newton and Kjell Rudestam publish the second edition of their bestselling book, Your Statistical Consultant: Answers to Your Data Analysis Questions

Your Statistical Consultant: Answers to Your Data Analysis Questions (2nd. Ed.), Rae Newton and Kjell Rudestam

Your Statistical Consultant is an authentic alternative resource for describing, explaining, and making recommendations regarding thorny or confusing statistical issues. Written to be responsive to a wide range of inquiries and levels of expertise, this book is flexibly organized so readers can either read it sequentially or turn directly to the sections that correspond to their concerns and questions. Each chapter opens with a list of questions to be addressed, followed by an overview of the chapter. Key terms are bold-faced within the chapter and key points are italicized. Chapter headings are followed by detailed answers to questions, including conceptual explanations and clarifications of the use and nuances of a particular technique or issue. Examples and opinions of contemporary statistical experts are cited throughout the book.

Newton, R. & Rudestam, K. (2012) Your Statistical Consultant: Answers to Your Data Analysis Questions (2nd. Ed.). Sage.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jennifer Anne Knetig completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Mentalization, Social Competence and the use of Social Support in a Military Population: the Impact on Post-Traumatic Stress, Jennifer Anne Knetig

Literatures exploring trauma and resilience in military populations have identified social support as fundamental to building a resistance against developing stress disorders. The etiology of this relationship remains unclear, however. The current study, grounded in the psychodynamic concept of mentalization, work in the areas of social competence, self- disclosure, and Carstensen’s research on aging further clarifies the relationship between social support and post-traumatic stress disorder. Research indicates considerable conceptual overlap between mentalization and two components of social competence: psychological mindedness and empathy. Psychological mindedness, a major aspect of mentalization, was negatively correlated with self-concealment, positively associated with help-seeking and social support, and was inversely associated with symptoms of PTSD in an active duty military population. A review of Carstensen’s work with emotional experience and aging indicates that emotional regulation and the quality of emotional experience improve with age; therefore, age was statistically controlled in this study. An acquaintance sample of 66 active duty military service members was recruited. Bivariate, canonical correlational analysis and path analysis were conducted to analyze the data