Now showing items 1-20 of 3380

    • The Ultimate Power of Religiosity-Local Religiosity and CEO Gender Pay Gap

      Vashahi, Maryam; Faculty of Business Programs
      In this study we focus on the effect of local religiosity on the probability of hiring female incoming CEOs while transitions, and how local religiosity relates to female CEO compensation. Given that all major religions facilitate patriarchy contributing to gender stratification, justifying men’s hierarchical superiority to women, we predicted that local religiosity is negatively related to appointing and remunerating female CEOs. We found no evidence that local religiosity relates to the probability of appointing a female incoming CEO. Moreover, using both a longitudinal as well as propensity scored matched sample, results indicate that local religiosity slightly negatively relates to the level of CEO compensation for male CEOs as opposed to the positive and significant association with the level of female CEO remuneration. Contrary to predictions, local religiosity shifted pay discrimination against female CEOs in secular states to their favor in religious states.
    • Leisure as a Coping Resource for Parent Caregivers of Children Living with Autism

      Laughlin, Erin; Applied Health Sciences Program
      This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of life challenges and leisure as a stress-coping resources among parent caregiver of children living with autism. These parent caregiver experiences were obtained through in-depth interviews of four mothers of children living with autism. Data were then qualitatively analyzed to ascertain meaningful themes. The results of data analysis demonstrated that parent caregivers face a number of barriers related to their leisure participation in four areas: (a) caregiving responsibilities and demands, (b) COVID-19 related barriers (c) time-related barrier and (d) interpersonal barrier. Although the participants of this study identified several barriers as parent caregivers, the findings show that they were able to negotiate some of these barriers to participate in their leisure experiences that enhanced their stress-coping efforts. The findings also revealed that leisure was used as a stress-coping resource in four ways: (1) rejuvenation through leisure, (2) mood enhancement through leisure, (3) distance from stressors through leisure, and (4) social experiences through leisure. This study discussed the importance of recreation therapists advocating for leisure education and casual forms of leisure among parent caregivers for effective coping with caregiver-related stress. This study provided practical implications for recreation therapists and other health care professionals in a related field to better understand the unique needs of this population and encourage leisure participation as a resource of stress-coping.
    • Self-Reported Focus of Attention During Different Batting Conditions in Varsity Baseball Players.

      Creelman, Brant; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The motor learning literature has demonstrated that one’s focus of attention, whether internal or external should be dependent on the task objective, which is referred to as goal- instruction coupling. The present study was the first study to investigate baseball batting focus of attention strategies across different environmental conditions while also comparing the participants responses to their coaches interpreted instructions. The present experiment examined Ontario University Athletics level baseball batters focus of attention (internal, external, or ‘other’) across three different batting conditions (practice, on deck and in game), compared to their coaches interpreted instruction (interpreted by the athletes) under the practice and in game conditions. The participants completed a questionnaire identifying their focus of attention strategies under the different batting conditions as well as their coaches interpreted focus of attention instruction under the practice and in game conditions. The results showed that a condition that favours an internal focus had the participants predominately report using an internal focus of attention (practice condition), while as a condition that favours an external focus had the participants report using an external focus of attention (in game condition); therefore, supporting the goal-instruction coupling theory. A majority of coaches also preferred a focus of attention strategy depending on the batting condition and task objective, except for the coaches interpreted focus of attention strategy during the in-game at bats. Overall, these findings demonstrate the value of goal-instruction coupling for optimizing one’s focus of attention strategy selection as well as demonstrating that participants were more likely to share a similar focus of attention strategy with their coaches preferred focus of attention.
    • Analyzing Twitter Sentiment and Hype on Real Estate Market: A Topic Modeling Approach

      Mehrpour, Farzad; Faculty of Business Programs
      This study examines the relation between sentiment and hype (intensity of coverage) on Twitter and the local housing market prices across 10 U.S. cities of the S&P/Shiller-Case Composite Home Price index from 2010 to 2021. Using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic modeling algorithm, we identify seven unique topics related to the housing market based on people's tweets: Households, Economic policy, Commercial real estate, Price and rate, Residential housing, Investing, and Future trends. We gather and analyze data on house price indexes, fundamental economic factors, and sentiment and hype scores for the discovered topics. The study finds that the sentiment of Price and rate, Residential housing, and Future trends are significantly and positively related to future house price changes. In contrast, the lags of sentiment of Commercial real estate and Investing have a negative relation with house price. Moreover, we document that hype scores not only have a positive relation with house price changes for all topics but also outperform sentiment scores for forecasting housing market prices. Overall, the study highlights the potential benefits of integrating social media data into existing economic models to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the factors driving fluctuations in the housing market.
    • A multifaceted approach to understand highly-identified fans’ experiences of sport activism

      Dalal, Keegan; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The pandemic altered the socio-contextual environment. During this time, society was exposed to structural violence experienced by Black individuals at the hands of the police. The subsequent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests coincided with the return of professional sport in 2020 and became embedded in its programming. This thesis sought to answer how sport activism influences highly-identified fans’ lived experiences of sport. As an interpretivist, it was essential to acknowledge the importance of sociohistorical factors contributing to fans’ experiences. Therefore, semistructured interviews served to answer how fans restructure their consumption in response to changing needs, motives, and socio-contextual environments to contextualize the guiding research question. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) reflexive thematic analysis to make sense of the data. Chapter 2a utilized U&G and SDT and revealed that participants had difficulties satisfying their needs, especially their relatedness, due to the pandemic-imposed restrictions meant that participants. Sport transformed into a social activity and a means to escape the reality of the pandemic through increased sport consumption. Individuals who increased their sport consumption primarily to socialize and escape did not sustain these habits as the pandemic lessened, whereas autonomously-motivated individuals maintained their elevated consumption levels. Chapter 2b utilized social identity theory and social identity complexity to examine fans’ experiences of sport activism via their social identities. Participants interpreted the BLM protests through their multiple identities, informing their response to the intersection of sport and activism. All participants noted some form of social identity threat resulting from sport activism – either from the sender (i.e., the organization, team, or athlete) and/or the subsequent conversations that resulted from the demonstrations. Participants with less complex (i.e., less inclusive) structures faced heightened identity threats. Participants with more complex (i.e., more inclusive) group characterizations used sport activism as a vehicle to further action and typically expressed tolerance toward the outgroup. Chapter 3 synthesized the two studies' findings noting that seeking relatedness increased social identity threats or conformity behavior and that mentions of escape were used by participants as a maintenance tactic to oppose BLM in sports while distancing their white identity from their stance.
    • Exploring the Decision-Making Process Behind the Loss of a Clinical Placement: Second-Year Nursing Students in the Special Care Nursery

      Tyrer, Kayleigh; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The purpose of this study was to explore how a Special Care Nursery (SCN) in a southern Ontario hospital decided to stop taking second-year nursing students for clinical placement. A qualitative intrinsic case study approach was utilized to guide and analyze twelve participant interviews. Participants were recruited using both purposeful and snowball sampling. Sharan Merriam (1998) was utilized as a theorist for the methodology and framework of this case study. Additionally, Leah Curtin’s (2014) six-questions for ethical decision-making in nursing management were used to develop the semi-structured interview guide. An overarching theme of Conflicting Messages was found, with three subsequent themes of 1) Contributing Factors, 2) Level that Decisions Happen, and 3) Outcomes of Decision-Making. Findings of this study indicated that the decision to cease placements in the SCN was likely made due to a culmination of factors, but a defined cause and process for decision-making was not found. Factors that were identified by participants as being influential in the loss of this placement included clinical instructors not supporting students, high unit acuity, negative attitudes towards students, uncertainty with the student scope of practice, nurse burnout, and systems issues. There was uncertainty surrounding who was involved in making this decision, which was attributed by participants to a lack of communication and collegiality between frontline staff and those in management positions. This led to unilateral decision-making, and a lack of departmental cohesion. Additionally, preferential placement opportunities were found to be offered to medical learners over nursing students. Implications were identified as wide reaching, including unit recruitment concerns, lack of exposure to the specialty of neonatal nursing, and the inability of nurses to fulfill their professional obligations of knowledge sharing. Ultimately, it was identified that the use of Curtin’s (2014) decision-making model alone lacked a formal process to guide how decisions in nursing management should be made, although it raises context specific questions that aid in understanding an issue at hand. The development of a comprehensive model for decision-making in nursing leadership would be beneficial to provide structure for how important choices are made in healthcare and improve transparency in decision-making.
    • Junior Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Through Texts, Technology, and Collaboration

      De Silva, Christina Victoria; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      With the rich cultural diversity of Ontario’s classrooms, educators must work to ensure their teaching practices support and represent their students. This study sought to gather teachers’ perspectives of culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP), resources available, and how teachers can be better supported to be culturally responsive to their learners. It also aimed to engage students using texts, technology, and collaboration to help them understand diversity and inclusion. This research was built upon the ideas of Ladson-Billings (1994), Freire (2005), and Gay (2018). The study employed the generic qualitative research method to collect data on a project with two educators and three Junior students over a period of 12 weeks. Data collection included field notes, interviews, planning sessions, and one-on-one interactions with the researcher. Results indicated that educators have a good understanding of CRP but lack access to current, representative resources. Further, findings indicate a shift in teaching practices and student learning when culturally responsive practices are used. Students also possessed a good understanding of diversity and inclusion when engaged in culturally responsive texts and technology. Junior educators and students indicated a positive classroom experience when learners were represented in classroom materials and lessons. Lastly, educators are willing to learn new strategies and resources that are culturally responsive, but professional development workshops are not always accessible and applicable to their classrooms. Overall, this research suggests implications for practice, research, and theory that can all be used to effectively support Ontario educators in using CRP within their classrooms.
    • Can we Speak Sustainability into Existence? Shareholder Engagement and Corporate Innovation Strategy

      El Ajel, Oussema; Faculty of Business Programs
      The Voice strategy applied to engagements on ESG issues might affect firms’ reporting decisions and symbolic ESG performance, but what about real decisions? In this study, we investigate the effect of environmental shareholder activism on target firms’ innovation strategies, particularly their green and dirty innovation output. We posit that the relationship is theoretically ambiguous and can be driven either by better monitoring and higher scrutiny by shareholders and stakeholders or by shorttermism, legitimacy gains, and career concerns. We utilize the Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG) to construct our empirical strategy. We also use a hurdle model coupled with propensity score matching and a difference in difference specification in an attempt to estimate an unbiased average treatment effect for the treated (ATT). The results of the first stage show no evidence of a relationship between shareholder environmental activism through shareholder proposals and a firm’s likelihood of engaging in either type of innovation. In the second stage, we find weak evidence for a negative relationship between environmental shareholder activism and dirty innovation. The estimated economic magnitude of this potentially causal relationship ranges from a 25% to a 53% reduction in dirty innovation output among target firms. However, we are unable to obtain reliable estimates for the relationship between environmental shareholder activism and green innovation. Through a cross-sectional analysis, we further show that firms subject to a higher regulatory environmental scrutiny through the TRI reporting requirements drive the negative relationship between environmental shareholder activism and dirty innovation, and we also find weak evidence for the superior ability of institutional activist to influence firms’ dirty innovation output. Our findings contribute to the voice versus exit debate by showing that voice can be effective in curbing firms’ negative environmental externalities but might not result in the provision of public goods. We inform the debate on shareholder proposal rules by showing that environmental shareholder proposals, often excluded by SEC rule 14a-8, have the potential to promote sustainability in the private sector.
    • Three Papers on Patient Experiences with Symptom Persistent Lyme Disease in Canada

      Ciotti, Sarah; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This dissertation consists of three empirical papers on patient experiences with symptom persistent Lyme disease in Canada. Lyme disease infection rates are rising across the country, a phenomenon attributed to climate change and the northern migration of ticks. The focus of this dissertation can advance knowledge in this area by addressing a gap in the current academic literature (a lack of patient voices). It is important that researchers continue to seek representation of patients’ embodied experiences in health research to advance equity and inclusion in healthcare. Study 1, an autoethnographic study, explores one researcher’s embodied experiences with co-occurring identities as a researcher, health professional, and patient living with chronic illness (symptom persistent Lyme disease). Study 2, a case study, explores the experiences of one young person, who is a patient with symptom persistent Lyme disease in Canada through collaborative research. Study 3, a qualitative study utilizing descriptive exploratory methodology, explores mothers’ experiences with symptom persistent Lyme disease in Canada. The findings from all three papers suggest that the government and public health agencies across the country should, on an ongoing basis, endeavor to advance public education on the risks of tick-borne illnesses. Further, the findings from each paper suggest that health professionals would benefit from continued education and training on tick-borne illness, and that ongoing collaboration between health professionals can be beneficial in the care and treatment of patients’ persistent Lyme disease symptoms. Finally, this dissertation highlights the benefits of collaborative healthcare (between alternative and Allopathic medicine) and may inform policy and decision-making focused on the prevention and treatment of Lyme disease in Canada.
    • Uncovering the Psychological and Physiological Factors that Influence Performance and Choking Under Pressure

      Marini, Matthew; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Research suggests that there are more complex psychophysiological influences occurring when an athlete chokes under competitive pressure (Hill et al., 2010; Mesagno et al., 2015). Although the main choking under pressure theories have been researched independently for decades, both Hill et al. (2010) and Lewis and Linder (1997) suggested that these theories are no longer mutually exclusive, with the potential to converge providing insight into the same psychological and physiological factors that influence performance and choking under pressure. Therefore, this dissertation examines the psychological and physiological factors that influence performance and choking under pressure for those who are susceptible to choking, while also exploring different contexts for performers under pressure. This dissertation also investigates how sport psychology interventions such as a pre-performance routine, that integrate breathing, muscle relaxation, attention and self-talk, could help to improve the psychological and physiological factors that influence performance and choking under pressure. In conclusion, all three studies provide insight into the psychological and physiological factors that influences performance and choking under pressure. In particular, the results from study 1 suggested that athletes who are choking susceptible have a lower working memory capacity, and self-confidence, as well as higher cognitive and somatic anxiety than those athletes who are non-choking susceptible. In study 2 results provided insight into how pressure is experienced by athlete and non-athlete performers, and how pressure may be experienced differently between performance contexts. The results from study 3 demonstrated that learning to use a pre-performance routine at the proper time during competition, could help to improve factors contributing to performance under pressure and ideally could help to alleviate a choke.
    • Settlement Workers Supporting Older Immigrant Women in a Smaller Urban Setting

      Fernandes, Bruna; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Canada relies on immigration to support economic, population and cultural growth. Immigrants face unique challenges related to settlement and integration into Canadian society. Settlement services can offer opportunities to mitigate challenges related to immigration for older immigrant women. However, there is a scarcity of literature exploring the experiences of settlement workers and the needs of older immigrant women in a small urban area. This study addressed gaps in the literature by answering the following question: How do settlement workers support older immigrant women in a smaller urban region setting? A constructivist lens coupled with a qualitative description approach was used. Six semi-structured interviews were conducted with settlement workers. Participants were asked about resources available to them, gaps in the services they provide, utilization of services, barriers to access, and needs of older immigrant women. Data was thematically analyzed. Four major themes emerged from the data: older immigrant women described from the perspective of settlement workers, potential barriers older immigrant women face in accessing services, the know-how of being a settlement worker, and the art of being a settlement worker. In the experiences of settlement workers, older immigrant women have more needs than other immigrant groups, such as younger and male immigrants; they also believe older immigrant women feel comfortable in seeking support from them. In the smaller urban setting, this support becomes crucial as there is usually less informal support available to them. The results of this study improved the understanding of the challenges encountered by settlement workers while working with older adult immigrant women in small urban region areas. Settlement workers identified the need for additional funding to support older immigrant women.
    • Long Term Care Staff's Perspectives of Mindfulness Programs in LTC Homes

      Ryder, Jaclyn; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Older adults in long-term care (LTC) face numerous physical and mental health challenges, multiple life transitions and changes, and most recently the effects of COVID-19, all of which can have serious negative effects on their mental health. Previous research suggests that mindfulness can reduce feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, and perceived pain, while boosting self-esteem and improving sleep quality among older adults. Despite the promising use of mindfulness with older adults there is a lack of empirical research to examine how mindfulness could be used in LTC. The proposed research question that guided this study is: What are LTC staff’s perspectives of mindfulness programs in LTC? The objectives of this study were to understand LTC staff’s knowledge of mindfulness, to explore the feasibility of implementing mindfulness programs in LTC, and, to understand what a mindfulness program might look like in LTC. Using a narrative methodology, I employed semi-structured interviews to explore the perspectives of 11 LTC employees in Ontario. Final analysis and interpretation generated 4 key findings that align with the research question: 1) LTC staff’s perspectives of mindfulness in LTC begins with their own understanding and experience of mindfulness, 2) LTC staff see the benefits of mindfulness practice for themselves and for others in LTC, 3) Implementing mindfulness in LTC, 4) The positive impact of COVID-19 on mindfulness in LTC. These findings suggest that mindfulness practices are not systematically structured within LTC and are instead used in combination with contemplative practices. Staff who teach mindfulness did not mention any formal training in it, but instead, learned from personal experiences. While COVID-19 impacted LTC homes negatively, the findings suggest that the pandemic brought more awareness to mindfulness programming in LTC.
    • Does Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income “Accumulate” Risk?

      Gong, Shuai; Faculty of Business Programs
      Our paper links the dynamics of other comprehensive income (OCI) with crash risk. Our study is motivated by the fact that crash risk research in the banking sector is sparse and the findings about the relevance of other comprehensive income (OCI) are inconclusive. We focus on AOCI because, first, it is the accumulation of different market risks that banks are exposed to, and second, it contains information about managers’ discretion and banks’ opacity. Using a sample of COMPUSTAT banks, we test whether the market risks and managers’ discretion contained in AOCI have predictive power on future crash risk. By comparing banks and non-banking firms, we find that AOCI is predictive of stock price crash risk in one-year-ahead for banking sector, whereas such association does not exist for non-banking firms. Then we show that the strength of this association varies. We find that the association between AOCI and crash risk in the banking sector is more pronounced when banks have extreme OCI or medium AOCI and when banks suffer more accumulated unrealized losses. We provide evidence that the significant association between AOCI and future crash risk only exists for commercial banks, not for savings banks. We find that the association between AOCI and future crash risk is more pronounced when commercial banks operate in extreme interest rate environment, have higher leverage ratio, and have more opacity. We further find that the association tends to be weaker when external monitoring is highly effective. Our paper contributes to a better understanding of the risk relevance of OCI and the unique effects of financial reporting on crash risk in the banking sector.
    • Understanding Employee Attrition Factors in the Information Technology Sector: A Text Analytics Perspective

      Monshi, Mina; Faculty of Business Programs
      Recently online reviews on websites have provided a precious source of data for businesses. Some of these websites collect customers’ opinions about products and services provided by these businesses, some others such as Glassdoor and Indeed are the websites on which the employees write their opinions about their company. Although this data source is usually used by job seekers to find proper job opportunities, it has been used recently by researchers and business owners for discovering the employees’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors. In this study we collected 825129 comments people left on Glassdoor and Indeed about their current or previous companies in IT section. First, we have applied the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic modelling technique to find out the most cited attrition factors in the comments. We recognized that “Personal Development”, “Financial and Professional Development” and “Cultural Development” are the most frequent factors mentioned by employees in IT companies. Then, by applying a novel topic-based sentiment analysis technique we have tried to figure out the polarity of comments about each of three found factors. The trend of these factors in terms of their frequency and polarity were tracked through the time and also among different IT sections. The assessment of current and former employees’ comments showed that these two groups have some behavioral differences which can help IT companies to unravel the reasons of their recent high attrition rate. Some behavioural differences were also detected among different IT sections. Further analysis showed that there is a statistically significant correlation between the polarity of these factors and quantitative rating review of companies and also their market capitalization.
    • E-Commerce Supply Chain Risk Mitigation and Online Sales Performance

      Sharma Giri, Aayush; Faculty of Business Programs
      This thesis explores the relationship between a retailer's commitment to risk mitigation through adoption of web features and functionalities and its impact on online sales performance. While previous research has examined the impact of various retail service offerings on online sales performance, this study takes a focused approach by investigating the impact of transactional, logistics, and post-sales service offerings. To build a model that incorporates these three service areas, this study employs e-customer journey mapping. The resulting model proposes three major hypotheses, which are empirically tested using hierarchical multiple linear regression and further tested for robustness using binary logistic regression technique. A sample of 398 top retail companies operating in North America is used for the study. The findings of this study reveal that there is a positive relationship between a retailer's commitment to risk mitigation and its online sales performance. Specifically, the results indicate that retailers who proactively adopt risk mitigation strategies are more likely to be categorized as leaders rather than followers in the market. This study contributes to the existing literature on retail and risk mitigation by highlighting the importance of proactive risk mitigation by adoption of web features and functionalities in the context of online retail services. It also provides guidance for practitioners and managers in assessing their market position and directing their risk mitigation strategies accordingly. By adopting effective risk mitigation strategies, retailers can enhance their online sales performance, which is becoming increasingly important in today's digital age. Ultimately, this study emphasizes the need for retailers to prioritize risk mitigation to achieve success in the competitive world of e-commerce.
    • The Ultimate Power of Religiosity-Local Religiosity and CEO Gender Pay Gap

      Vashahi, Maryam; Faculty of Business Programs
      In this study we focus on the effect of local religiosity on the probability of hiring female incoming CEOs while transitions, and how local religiosity relates to female CEO compensation. Given that all major religions facilitate patriarchy contributing to gender stratification, justifying men’s hierarchical superiority to women, we predicted that local religiosity is negatively related to appointing and remunerating female CEOs. We found no evidence that local religiosity relates to the probability of appointing a female incoming CEO. Moreover, using both a longitudinal as well as propensity scored matched sample, results indicate that local religiosity slightly negatively relates to the level of CEO compensation for male CEOs as opposed to the positive and significant association with the level of female CEO remuneration. Contrary to predictions, local religiosity shifted pay discrimination against female CEOs in secular states to their favor in religious states.
    • Transition Metal-Free Hydrosilylation and Hydroboration of Unsaturated Carbon-Heteroatom Bonds

      Clarke, Joshua A.; Department of Chemistry
      The hydrosilylation or hydroboration of unsaturated C-O and C-N bonds yields valuable reagents and intermediates for organic synthesis. Traditionally, these reactions have been carried out by transition metal catalysts which are generally expensive and toxic, or stoichiometric reagents which produce a significant amount of waste. As such, transition metal-free catalytic alternatives have steadily gained popularity as a more sustainable alternative. This thesis presents the use of cheap and readily available simple alkali metal bases such as KOtBu and nBuLi as powerful catalysts for the reduction of carbonyls and imines. Notably, aldehydes can be selectively obtained through the reduction of tertiary amides and esters, and amines can be produced from nitriles using a similar method. These conversions have previously been relegated to the domain of late transition metal catalysts. Variation of the silane or borane was found to be highly influential in adjusting the chemoselectivity. For example, in the conversion of amides to aldehydes, use of (EtO)3SiH resulted in overreduction to the amine product, whereas (EtO)2MeSiH allowed for selective reduction to the aldehyde equivalent. In this work, we discuss our investigations into the scope and selectivity of this straightforward yet effective system. Additionally, we introduce a new approach for achieving long-term precise control of reaction conditions at low temperatures.
    • The Role of Retinoic Acid in the Formation and Modulation of Invertebrate Electrical Synapses

      Wingrove, Joel; Department of Biological Sciences
      Communication between cells in the nervous system is dependent upon structures known as synapses. Synapses are broadly characterized as either chemical or electrical in nature, owing to the type of signals that are transmitted across them. Factors that can affect chemical synapses have been extensively studied. However, the factors that can influence the formation and modulation of electrical synapses are poorly understood. Retinoic acid, a vitamin A metabolite, is a known regulator of chemical synapses, yet its capacity to regulate electrical synapses is not as well established. Preliminary evidence from the central neurons of both invertebrates and vertebrates suggests that it is also capable of regulating the strength of electrical synapses. In this study, I provide further insights into how retinoic acid can act as a neuromodulator of electrical synapses. My findings suggest that retinoic acid is capable of rapidly altering the strength of electrical synapses in a dose- and isomer-dependent manner. Further, I provide evidence that this acute effect might be independent of either the retinoid receptors or a protein kinase. In addition, I provide novel findings to suggest retinoic acid is also capable of regulating the formation of electrical synapses. Long term exposure to two isomers of retinoic acid, all-trans-retinoic acid and 9-cis-retinoic acid, reduces both the proportion of cell pairs, and the average synaptic strength between cells that form electrical synapses. In summary, these investigations provide novel insights into the role that retinoids play in the both the formation and modulation of electrical synapses in the CNS.
    • A Teacher/Mother’s Journey Toward Liberation: An Autoethnographic Account

      Raithby, Melissa; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Through my first professional decade as an educator, I simultaneously raised a daughter with special needs. The journey into motherhood challenged what I thought I knew about teaching and learning. This compelled me to move inwards and (re)connect with my body through Yoga. This way of being shifted my ontology and epistemology from positivist into a more interpretive critical standpoint. Researching this shift, I was drawn to autoethnography. It allowed me to understand the socio-cultural context of education in a deeper, more nuanced manner. Weaving the personal and the professional ultimately allowed me to understand the impact of these shifts on my professional identity and classroom practice. Using Freire (1970) and hooks (1994), I draw closer to the potential for liberation in education by placing my own liberation at the center of my practice. My intention in this research is to move more deeply into liberation and to offer my experiences towards the possibility of collective benefit.
    • The Subject Reimagined: Language, Event, and the Event of Language

      Engel, Kenton; Department of Philosophy
      In event phenomenology, the problem of subjectivity and its relation – or non-relation – to event remains a legitimate problem. A legitimate problem because, on the one hand, events are the definitional neuter, or nihil, that erupt into the something of being and subsequently reconfigure this being; while on the other, our experience of ourselves, what constitutes the bedrock of subjectivity, appears as cogent, unified. The purpose of this thesis is to propose a new sort of phenomenological language, carried through in a thoroughly ontological anthropology, that provides a way to connect discontinuity with continuity, the unfamiliar and alien with the familiar, inside subjectivity. Doing so requires abandoning the transcendental residue in Heidegger’s work, relying instead, and primarily, on Francoise Dastur’s ontogenetic analysis of language (and its event) to forge a path forward to an eventful subjectivity.