• Grandparents, great parents: negotiating the role transition to custodial grandparent

      Burnett, Leanne Alaine (2012-05)
      An ever increasing number of grandparents in the United States are taking on the responsibility for providing primary care for their grandchildren. Focus group interviews conducted in two urban communities in Alaska were the basis of this study examining how grandparents negotiate the role transition as they become custodial grandparents. Role theory was used to inform the analysis of the data. The two major themes which emerged suggested these transitions were effected by role conflict and role timing. The grandparents participating in the study indicated that involvement in peer support groups helped them to more successfully negotiate this difficult role transition.
    • How much does a man cost? A dirty, dull, and dangerous application

      Hatfield, Rebecca A.; Taylor, Karen; DeCaro, Peter; Carlson, Cameron (2017-05)
      This study illuminates the many abilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). One area of importance includes the UAV's capability to assist in the development, implementation, and execution of crisis management. This research focuses on UAV uses in pre and post crisis planning and accomplishments. The accompaniment of unmanned vehicles with base teams can make crisis management plans more reliable for the general public and teams faced with tasks such as search and rescue and firefighting. In the fight for mass acceptance of UAV integration, knowledge and attitude inventories were collected and analyzed. Methodology includes mixed method research collected by interviews and questionnaires available to experts and ground teams in the UAV fields, mining industry, firefighting and police force career field, and general city planning crisis management members. This information was compiled to assist professionals in creation of general guidelines and recommendations for how to utilize UAVs in crisis management planning and implementation as well as integration of UAVs into the educational system. The results from this study show the benefits and disadvantages of strategically giving UAVs a role in the construction and implementation of crisis management plans and other areas of interest. The results also show that the general public is lacking information and education on the abilities of UAVs. This education gap shows a correlation with negative attitudes towards UAVs. Educational programs to teach the public benefits of UAV integration should be implemented.
    • I have a secret: choosing the persons to whom secrets are revealed

      Ahmadova, Natavan (2006-05)
      This Human Science research on secrecy is focused on the choices individuals make in choosing with whom they will share a secret. Specifically, this research probes the lived experience of women regarding their decision making about secret sharing and about choosing a person with whom to share a secret. In-depth, conversational interviews were conducted with five women. Narrative analysis was used to interpret the capta, resulting in three main themes. The findings show that characteristics such as trusting the potential secret keeper, predicting their possible reaction, and what benefits might be derived from self-disclosure are important for the participants in choosing to whom they will reveal secrets.
    • "I'm a winner": the influences of group exercise on identity construction in cancer survivors

      Schirack, Marsha A.; Arundale, Robert; Cooper, Christine; Skewes, Monica (2010-05)
      This research addresses the lived experience of individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer and who have participated in an oncology rehabilitation program as part of their treatment. Specifically, it examined the influence of the rehabilitation program in reshaping the participant's sense of identity. The study employs conversational interviewing to access the participant's understandings of the experience of the exercise program during cancer treatment, and utilizes thematic analysis in identifying three major themes emerged: 'I'm a Proactive Person', 'We're in the Same Boat', and 'There are Second Chances... You Better Make the Best of it'. Directions for future research include a study incorporating men and women, longitudinal studies, and research examining participants with a greater age range.
    • Identity crisis: how ideological and rhetorical failures cost Egyptians their revolution

      Abou Ghalioum, Ramzi; DeCaro, Peter; O'Donoghue, Brian (2019-05)
      The Egyptian uprising, which began on January 25, 2011, and ended on February 11, 2011, culminated in the ending of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign as dictator. After free elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood ascended to power in the country, they were ousted in a military coup d'état only one year after their ascension to power and were replaced by former military general Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi. The symptoms which led the country to rise up against Mubarak continue to exist under el-Sisi today, indicating that no revolution really took place. This paper answers the question, "why did the revolution fail?", offering a rhetorical reason for the revolution's failure. The uprisings, which were billed as decentralized, offer unique opportunities for analysis of rhetorical strategy. This paper uses the reconstitutive-discourse model, a critical model which examines a rhetor's reconstitution of their audience's character, to examine the rhetoric of three different parties in the revolution. First, it examines the rhetoric of all protestors irrespective of source via Twitter and on the ground protestors; next it looks at the rhetoric of Wael Ghonim, who is credited with instigating the uprisings, and Mohammed ElBaradei, an influential figure who became interim vice-president in the aftermath of the uprisings. The study found that first, the uprisings were not really decentralized and indeed has leaders. Further, rhetorical failures on the part of its leaders caused the uprisings to fail in their goal of democratic revolution.
    • Intercultural mentoring: how international students identify and foster key socialization relationships

      Rossi, Elizabeth A.; Taylor, Karen M.; Richey, Jean A.; DeCaro, Peter A. (2014-05)
      Mentoring is a widely studied relationship because of the critical job it serves for socialization and integration into the university system. Mentoring relationships can serve as sources of academic, social, and emotional support. Support while adapting to a new environment can heighten overall satisfaction an individual feels as well as increase the individual's overall success. Mentoring for domestic students entering the university is clearly valuable, but becomes more complex for international students. Intercultural communication is an interaction that takes place between individuals or groups who are from different cultural backgrounds. Understanding how diverse our world is can bring better awareness to all who come to the university for learning and teaching. Also, understanding how exchange students from dissimilar countries maneuver throughout the socialization process and how mentors helped can allow organizations to encourage mentoring of international students. This understanding can help faculty and administrators formulate a process where exchange students can rapidly move through the socialization process and become integrated members of the organization. Although extant research has investigated the ways mentorship can be a helpful resource for newcomers in expediting the socialization process, this particular study looks at how those key relationships were identified and transformed over time. The scope of this research offers the University of Alaska a better understanding of different types of mentors and how they help international students. It also shows how mentorship bonds are formed and maintained over time between individuals who are from different cultural backgrounds.
    • Interpreters perspective on intercultural communication

      Seyidova, Gulchin F. (2007-05)
      Although Translation/Interpreting Studies and Intercultural Communication Studies appear to be closely related fields of studies, both seem to have ignored their potential connectedness. In Interpreting Studies, scholars and practitioners have begun to recognize that interpreters have intercultural communication functions and do not simply automatically convey messages across parties. In Intercultural Communication Studies, scholars have neglected examining intercultural communication in the interpreting context. This study explores professional Azerbaijani interpreters' lived experiences of intercultural challenges they face in the interpreting setting to help better understand both the communication processes involved in interpreting, and interpreting as a scene for intercultural communication. Conversational interviews were employed to access lived human experiences of the researcher and the co-researchers, and thematic analysis of the capta revealed four broad themes regarding intercultural challenges encountered by interpreters during interpreting: 'the interpreter is not a robot, ' 'the interpreter has her/his sex, religion, and culture, ' 'the interpreter is between two cultures, ' and 'it depends.' These themes are intertwined and point to the conclusion that cultural difference should not be ignored in the interpreting setting.
    • 'It's a magnifying glass': the communication of power in a remote field station

      McDermott, Victoria; May, Amy; Taylor, Karen; Richey, Jean (2019-05)
      Remote field stations play a critical role in advancing our understanding of the world and how humans cause environmental change. Remote field stations are sentinels of Earth's climate, environment, and biodiversity that provide scientists with the infrastructure to collect data in inaccessible areas of the globe. These research stations are considered isolated, confined and extreme (ICE) environments which provide people with unique opportunities and intensely stressful potentially life-threatening situations to overcome. Traditionally, remote field stations have been considered harassment hell for men and women, alike. There is little research on the impact of remote field stations on communication and factors that influence power communication within remote field stations. In the present study, the researcher traveled 10 hours north of Fairbanks, Alaska to Toolik Field Station in the Brooks Range of the Alaskan Mountains. The researcher interviewed 20 participants, 15 males and 5 females, willing to talk about their experiences in remote field stations and especially their experiences at Toolik. Using theories of power construction, standpoint theory, and contrapower harassment this study sought to understand how remote field stations impact communication dynamics and the influence of gender on communication within a remote field station. Findings in the present study suggest that gender is a crucial factor that impacts power dynamics in remote field station. Through the data collected in this study, three areas of opportunity were identified for overall camp improvement, including group cohesion, reintegration coping strategies and overcoming gender barriers.
    • Keeping The Home Fires Burning: The Effects Of Military Induced Separations On Marital Intimacy From A Female Perspective

      Cynar, Deborah J.; McWherter, Pamela (2008)
      In this study, a convenience sample of 56 female, married, military wives in northwestern community responded to a survey questionnaire concerning intimacy promoting communication skills, marital satisfaction, and military induced separations. The results indicated a strong correlation between marital satisfaction and intimacy promoting communication skills. This study also explores the difference between the type and frequency of military induced separations and their influence on marital satisfaction and intimacy promoting communication skills. To further describe this military population, several post hoc tests for difference found significance between military branch affiliation, and between those who had or had not received premarital counseling on levels of perceived marital satisfaction, and intimacy promoting communication skills. Further, no significant difference was found to exist between education level or employment status of the at home spouse on levels of perceived marital satisfaction and intimacy promoting communication skills. A description of the implications of the findings, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
    • Leading and following at a 21st century university: identifying desired outcomes for a student leadership program

      Trabant, Tonya Denise (2004-05)
      Leadership has been discussed, debated, practiced, and researched for millennia. In the 20th century alone, no less than ten types of leadership were defined and empirically studied. In the higher education context, student leadership development is addressed from a wide variety of theoretical and programmatic approaches and co-curricular leadership programs have been one of the fastest growing areas in higher education in the past decade. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Leadership Program was initially structured as adaptations of other models. Critical to the future success of the program is the reformation of elements to fit UAF's unique context and an adequate outcomes assessment plan to determine that elements are functioning as intended. In order to develop an understanding of leading and following at UAF, program stakeholders participated in focus group interviews, individual interviews, and a written assessment. Participant observation was also used to gather rich data about the institutional culture of leadership at UAF. Data was thematically analyzed as well as categorized using national standards. One final result is a model of desired student leadership competencies for the UAF Leadership Program.
    • Learning To Teach Where You Are: Preparation For Context-Responsive Teaching In Alaska's Teacher Certification Programs

      Vinlove, Amy Louise; Richey, Jean; Hornig, Joan; Hirshberg, Diane; Rickard, Anthony; Roehl, Roy (2012)
      Context-responsive teaching is defined in this project as teaching that responds to individual student needs and interests, linguistic backgrounds and family characteristics, the local community and the local natural environment. Context-responsive teaching, as defined in Chapter 1 of this dissertation, consolidates into one concept the pedagogical knowledge, skills and dispositions associated with culturally responsive teaching, place-based teaching, differentiated instruction, and purposeful collaboration with parents, families and communities. The research completed for this project examines current practices relative to preparing context-responsive teachers in Alaska's elementary and secondary teacher certification programs. A survey examining context-responsive teacher preparation experiences was developed and distributed to practicing teachers in Alaska who received their initial teaching certification from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), or the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), and who graduated in 2006, 2007 or 2008. The experiences of the graduates were juxtaposed with information on the three programs gathered through interviews with teacher educators currently working at UAA, UAF and UAS. Current practices at the three institutions are examined in relation to a literature-based framework of "best practices" in context-responsive teacher preparation. Following a presentation of the data gathered in this mixed-method investigation, nine research-based recommendations are offered for strengthening context-responsive teacher preparation in the state of Alaska.
    • Life on two continents: understanding different roles of Chinese grandparents who have grandchildren born in the U.S.

      Qiao, Tianyu; 乔天钰; DeCaro, Peter A.; Taylor, Karen M.; Kan, Rosalind (2014-05)
      The present research explored the roles Chinese grandparents play regarding their grandchildren born in the United States. Due to the differences in language, cultures and family values in China and the U.S., these Chinese grandparents balance their lives between two continents and experience possible disconnect in communication with their U.S.-born grandchildren. In order to understand the lived experiences of these Chinese grandparents and to develop co-constructed meaning of their intercultural interactions, this research employs qualitative narrative analysis as the primary method. Eight conversational interviews were conducted and four emergent themes were discussed. This research shows that Chinese grandparents do encounter difficulties, cultural conflicts and disconnect with their grandchildren because they split their time between living in China and the U.S. There are insights provided to mitigate these problems.
    • Living A Tattooed Life: The Female Experience

      Cleveland, Kara G.; Brown, Jin (2008)
      The present research is rooted in Human Science, and employed the epistemology of Constructionism, as well as the theoretical perspective of Social Construction of Reality. I used Narrative Inquiry as methodology and conversational interviewing as my method of collecting data. I interviewed six women who provided narratives of their lived experience of constructing their identities through tattoos. Three emergent themes, along with three sub-themes, are discussed in regards to the lived experiences of tattooed women: (1) becoming tattooed constructs who you are; (2) becoming tattooed develops relational identity with (a) friends, (b) the tattoo community, (c) family; and (3) the communication of "tattoo remorse" is differentiated from an earlier recognition of tattoo regret. This research provides insight into the lived human experience of tattooed women through their own natural language.
    • Mass media theory and women's zines on the world wide web

      Wagaman, Jennifer Elaine (2000-08)
      Two mass media theories, 'Spiral of Silence theory' and 'Uses and Gratifications theory, ' have been used to explain and evaluate media usage from a feminist perspective. These theories both succeed and fail when used to analyze the World Wide Web as a mass medium. In order to effectively examine so-called 'fringe' groups and their publications on the Web, a new theory is needed that considers the more user-driven interface that the Internet and the World Wide Web provide for users. Using a modest case study of women's Web zines, (online underground magazines) this paper attempts to show how some young women use the World Wide Web to publish a different proportion of ideas and opinions than those currently available in the mainstream mass media, and goes on to show that the two current mass media theories used most by feminists are inadequate for the study of the World Wide Web as a mass medium. This paper takes into consideration historical theoretical approaches to the mass media, as well as the social constructionist principles important to looking at the media from a feminist point of view. Finally, it lays a framework of theoretical assumptions that should be considered when examining the Web as a mass medium.
    • Music: a portrait of woman

      Wellman, Amy R.; DeCaro, Peter; Richey, Jean; Anahita, Sine (2012-08)
      Music in today's society is ubiquitous. It is in the car, the cinema, on television, in the doctor's office, in the home, on the other end of the phone; it really is everywhere. Music arguably is a large part of culture and as such, has the ability to construct social realities. In hopes to understand how media constructs the image of the female, a contextual analysis was performed on the lyrics of the top twenty-five country and pop songs according to Billboard.com. This was done using Grounded Theory through the employment of coding. Results showed that although country and pop music depict women in a slightly different manner, they both for the most part depict women in traditional gender roles. Furthermore, the propitiation and adherence to traditional gender roles sustain and conciliate patriarchy. Therefore the depictions of women in the music lyrics were then analyzed as processes of patriarchy.
    • Networks of change: extending Alaska-based communication networks to meet the challenges of the anthropocene

      Hum, Richard E.; Taylor, Karen; Chapin, F. Stuart, III; Koskey, Michael; Brower, Pearl Kiyawn Nageak; Carlson, Cameron (2017-08)
      The Anthropocene is a contested term. As I conceptualize it throughout this dissertation, the Anthropocene is defined by an increased coupling of social and environmental systems at the global scale such that the by-products of human processes dominate the global stratigraphic record. Additionally, I connect the term to a worldview that sees this increased coupling as an existential threat to humanity's ability to sustain life on the planet. Awareness that the planet-wide scale of this coupling is fundamentally a new element in earth history is implicit in both understandings. How individuals and communities are impacted by this change varies greatly depending on a host of locally specific cross-scale factors. The range of scales (physical and social) that must be negotiated to manage these impacts places novel demands on the communication networks that shape human agency. Concern for how these demands are being met, and whose interests are being served in doing so, are the primary motivation for my research. My work is grounded in the communication-oriented theoretical traditions of media ecology and the more recent social-ecological system conceptualizations promoted in the study of resilience. I combine these ideas through a mixed methodology of digital ethnography and social network analysis to explore the communication dynamics of four Alaska-based social-ecological systems. The first two examples capture communication networks that formed in response to singular, rapid change environmental events (a coastal storm and river flood). The latter two map communication networks that have formed in response to more diffuse, slower acting environmental changes (a regional webinar series and an international arctic change conference). In each example, individuals or organizations enter and exit the mapped network(s) as they engage in the issue and specific communication channel being observed. Under these parameters a cyclic pattern of network expansion and contraction is identified. Expansion events are heavily influenced by established relationships retained during previous contraction periods. Many organizational outreach efforts are focused on triggering and participating in expansion events, however my observations highlight the role of legacy networks in system change. I suggest that for organizations interested in fostering sustainable socialecological relationships in the Anthropocene, strategic intervention may best be accomplished through careful consideration of how communicative relationships are maintained immediately following and in between expansion events. In the final sections of my dissertation I present a process template to support organizations interested in doing so. I include a complete set of learning activities to facilitate organizational use as well as examples of how the Alaska Native Knowledge Network is currently applying the process to meet their unique organizational needs.
    • Not just small potatoes: a comparison of four agricultural education models in alaska

      Silverman, Annie; Taylor, Karen; Richey, Jean; Herron, Johanna (2016-08)
      Agricultural education is a means of increasing food security, increasing willingness to try new fruits and vegetables, improving test scores, and increasing community resiliency. School gardens, which are one form of agricultural education, are the primary focus of this thesis. In order to identify barriers to maintaining school garden programs, semi-structured interviews were conducted at four school sites in the Fairbanks area. In order to compare emerging themes from the interview data in the Fairbanks area to school sites throughout the state, a survey was also administered through Survey Monkey to schools that received the Alaska state Farm to School grant between the years 2011-2014. Using Diffusion of Innovation Theory as a theoretical lens to perform qualitative data analyses, several emerging themes are highlighted including: An increase in student’s nutritional awareness, children’s love of dirt, participant empowerment, the need for more time, a decrease in productivity where uncertainty is present, and the need to further develop communication channels between agricultural education practitioners. Recommendations are made based upon findings to further support the creation and maintenance of agricultural education projects throughout the state.
    • Organizational communication and culture in female predominated workplaces

      Comstock, Sarah Rush (2000-05)
      While equality of the sexes has still not been achieved, the ongoing struggle for parity has paved the way for an influx of females into workplaces. In many organizations this increase has resulted in a higher ratio of females to males. Offices that are predominated by on sex or the other create communication problems, attitudes, and ways of dealing with co-workers on an interpersonal level that organizations with a balance between males and females do not face. This study will explore the perspective of females working in gender predominant organizations, and also observations on organizational culture; intra-organizational communication; communicated support among organizational members; and the overall uniqueness of the organization.
    • Organizational culture and meanings in tension: an analysis of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

      Worley, Shelly Lisa (2000-05)
      The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) is an organization that is responsible for observing volcanic activity in Alaska and surrounding regions. This organization has a great impact on the public and agencies in Alaska because it is responsible for ensuring the safety of many Alaskans, and to many people who live in neighboring regions. AVO is not only responsible for saving lives, but also responsible for notifying agencies that depend on this organization for volcanic crisis notification. This study is an ethnography of the Alaska Volcano Observatory and through interpretation of my data as research too, I provide a sense of place for this organization. Detailed journals of my experience as a member of this organization have been analyzed to understand the culture of the place.
    • People in Alaska's sex trade: their lived experiences and policy recommendations

      Burns, Tara; DeCaro, Peter; Richey, Jean; Sunwood, Kayt; Jarrett, Brian (2015-05)
      Much policy has been created in the last several years regarding people in Alaska's sex trade. Although researchers and government agencies have called attention to the need for evidence based policy about prostitution and sex trafficking, there had been no research about the characteristics of people in Alaska's sex trade or the effects of policy on those people. This research filled that hole. As action research, this study provided a means for the voices of a hidden, criminalized population to reach policy-makers. This research was grounded in a participatory worldview and triangulated data from surveys, interviews, and public records. Emergent themes and participant recommendations were organized to inform public policy.