Recent Submissions

  • History in the age of the avatar : reconciling video games to promote historical learning

    Wagoner, Georgina C.
    Video games are ready to advance beyond their recreational origins and make a worthwhile contribution to public discourse. The social sciences are the most appropriate field to lead the way for new genres of video game. A comprehensive "history video game" will require the combined efforts of social science professionals, game designers, and programmers. To this audience, I propose certain criteria to incorporate into game narrative and game design. These criteria fall within three categories that help to organize this thesis: goals of history, social studies themes, and civic dispositions. These criteria were adapted from among the 2010 National Curriculum Standards of Social Studies, Indiana Academic Standards in World History and Civilization, and in Geography and History of the World. Additionally, I use my experience of nine years of teaching social studies in an alternative high school to reflect on skills and knowledge that are relevant and useful to developing an understanding of the world and a perspective on time. For a rationale of video games as worthwhile discourse, I compare and contrast theories of book history with video game structure in general and predict the relatedness of the new genre of a "history video game." This reveals the distinction between the goals of literary works and historical works. It highlights the issues of transforming game design from its traditional narrative structure to a structure serving the interests of the history discipline. Further, I evaluate how the criteria of social studies themes apply to the four most popular examples of video game series that were designed with a historical premise: Sid Meier's Civilization, Total War, Assassin's Creed, and The Sims Medieval. Finally, I examine mechanics of game play that promote cognitive development that directly relates to civic dispositions. The act of learning history is a reflective and growing process that is well-suited to the structure of game mechanics if game design is adapted to the needs of historical learning. Creating and using avatars forces respect for multiple perspectives. The ability to replay scenes and examine "what if' scenarios dissociates history from the dogmatic view that history is destiny.
  • Challenges of high school journalism advising; a study and guidebook to improve publications

    Tichenor, Alisha.
    The purpose of this Capstone Project is to develop a guidebook for high school journalism advisers with the aim of helping to make their advising experiences and publications more successful. Research reveals that the majority of high school journalism advisers do not possess formal training in journalism prior to their first journalism teaching assignments. After becoming journalism advisers, most of the training these individuals receive is through summer workshops or from more experienced advisers. The significance of unqualified journalism teachers teaching students is very problematic for education. Primarily, bad instruction by these teachers could cause more damage to students than none at all. Not only do many high schools have unsatisfactory publications but many talented students become disinterested in the subject and the profession misses an opportunity to recruit new talent. Underqualified teachers also run the risk of not emphasizing the significant role the press plays in our country which was founded on the freedom of expression. While the problem of underqualified journalism advisers is significant, there are steps that can be taken to help these teachers get to a more desired state. Research reveals that journalism advisers can greatly benefit by taking journalism and communication courses at the university level and that attendance at annual high school journalism conferences with staff members is also a great way to increase teachers' knowledge in the area of journalism. If high school journalism advisers also receive the appropriate schooling and have access to resources, like the guidebook I produced, I believe that the success rate of high school journalism programs across the country will increase. The guidebook for high school journalism advisers discusses in detail the importance of adequate desktop publishing technology and equipment, the need to meet deadlines, principles of good design, photography and journalistic writing, why journalism workshops are helpful, an understanding of high school journalism curriculum 1 and press rights, and understanding the responsibilities of managing a budget and the role journalism plays in society.
  • Billy Bob Jack

    Sayyah, Joseph F.
    No abstract
  • Strengthening aid to the Evansville underclass in their efforts to transition into a lifestyle of self-sufficiency: a comprehensive strategy utilizing

    Allen, Greg K.
    The American underclass, a particular segment' of the poor in America, remain in conditions of poverty even in favorable overall economic conditions. Much assistance has been provided to the underclass and there is much debate surrounding the originating and sustaining factors involving the underclass. For the most part, the actual effort to aid the underclass, despite the tremendous effort expended, appears to be less than effective. However, several faith-based programs seem to be experiencing success integrating the underclass into mainstream lifestyles. This project presents an overview of three major theoretical positions on the nature of persistent poverty, an investigation of the assistance currently being provided in the United States, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of these programs in moving members of the underclass into the mainstream. The philosophies and methodologies of the successful faith-based programs are also presented. A plan to strengthen assistance to members of the underclass in their attempt to transition into mainstream society in Evansville is proposed. It is based on a theoretically sound stance consistent with the successful faith-based programs and utilizes currently available resources in the Evansville area. 1 The social pathologies associated with the underclass include intergenerational poverty, illegitimate births, and criminality. These characteristics are generally associated with a worldview lacking hope.
  • Community Awareness Police : an educational after school program, a directed project

    Robinson, Karla A.
    Juvenile crime has been steadily increasing in this country. The nature of the offenses committed by those under the age of 18 are becoming more violent, while the number of juvenile victims also continues to rise. Communities across the nation are looking for ways to deter this problem. Schools as well as various social service agencies are implementing a wide array of programs aimed at keeping kids away from drugs and violence. This paper will review some of the programs that have been used in other communities, taking the more successful aspects and using those in an outline for a program to implemented locally. The program, titled 11 Community Awareness Police" will target students from three local middle schools and will focus on educating the participants about our community. The goal of this program is to entertain as well as educate the participants on an assortment of topics selected to provide information that will enable the students to make positive choices when faced with difficult decisions later in life.
  • Second Self Through Second Life : Mask or Mirror?

    Scott, Kristi N.
    This study focuses on people who use Second Life and are self-reported introverts or extrovert s and how these personality traits may produce predictable differences in a person's participation in virtual life. Previous research has examined introverts and extroverts and showed varying levels of sociability. This thesis, however, looks at whether or not such variance exists between the self-reported personality and the virtual character created by the introvert or extrovert in a virtual world like Second Life. This paper builds on previous research about introverted and extroverted personalities and especially the comparisons between self and online personalities using the virtual world (Amichai-Hamburger & Wianapel, 2002; Amichai-Hamburger, Kaplan & Dorpatcheon, 2008; Bargh, 2002; Gergen, 1991; Gonzales, 2008; Marcus, 2006; McKenna, 2000; Messinger, Ge, Stroulia, Lyons, Smimov, & Bone, 2008). In a study of Second Life, 109 participants have been surveyed in order to probe further empirically into the virtual life of introverts and extroverts. The focus of the survey research is aimed at discerning whether or not the personality traits of introverts and extroverts for subjects transfers to the personalities they create for their Second Life avatars. The examination will seek to provide a foundation for further exploration in the future by providing a framework of virtual reality personalities as "masks," which is performance in the virtual world that is unlike their self, or "mirrors," which is the transfer of their "real life" personality to the virtual world context. This approach is meant to provide insight into a new computermediated world filled with avatars that is rich with possibilities and information.
  • Breaking the Habit : A Study of Changes in the Benedictine Women's Religious Order in Ferdinand, Indiana, Since 1965

    Nurrenbern, Carol Gentry
    During the decade of the 1960s, Catholic women's religious orders experienced a mass exodus of members. The Benedictine community in Ferdinand, Indiana lost 88 members in 1968 alone. The instability in this Benedictine women's religious order during the 1960s was a unique occurrence since the Benedictine way of life had remained virtually the same for 1500 years. So many women left religious orders during this time that the infrastructure of religious communities changed dramatically. The Benedictine community experienced massive changes in their way of religious life due to changes in the Catholic Church as a result of Vatican Il and because of the social changes happening in the 1960s. Background research was conducted on the topics of Vatican II, the feminist movement, and changes in religious orders. Interviews were conducted with members of the Benedictine community who were in leadership roles; with women who had left the Benedictine convent in the 1960s during the time of the Grand Exit; and with nuns who had entered the Benedictine community during the 1960s and remain in the order today. The principal causes of women leaving religious orders during the sixties were due to changes mandated by Vatican II such as the shedding of the distinctive religious habit and shifting theology, and the social changes that provided increasing opportunities for women in society. Women interviewed who had left the convent were unaware of the impact of the social changes. They recalled leaving the community for personal reasons. Current nuns interviewed perceived the social changes as the motivating factors for upheaval in women's religious communities, and these changes forced the Benedictine community in Ferdinand, Indiana to rethink and redirect a way of life that had remained constant for 1500 years. Now the community has a better sense of theology, a renewed sense of mission, and a renewed dedication to a life of seeking God.
  • Identification of Factors Which Motivate High School Athletes

    Trible, Linda M.
    Three hundred student athletes from high schools in southwestern Indiana responded to a questionnaire designed to-identify psychological and sociological factors which motivate them to participate in organized sports at the freshman, junior varsity and varsity levels, and to determine if such information could be incorporated into the academic environment. Students described the reasons they participate, the influences of coaches and parents, their feelings toward training and competition, and whether they felt their athletic careers would continue upon graduation from high school. Various theories regarding motivation in general, and motivation of athletes specifically were reviewed and applied to the responses of the local students. The achievement goal theory, in particular, seems to hold the key as to why some students are disposed toward setting realistic goals and adapting their behavior toward fulfillment in an athletic environment. Students who are disposed toward self-improvement and skill development, and who are exposed to a mastery-oriented climate are more likely to experience enjoyment and satisfaction from participation in sports. They are also more likely to continue their participation after graduation from high school. While many contributing factors are present, the thrill of competition, as well as the socialization and enjoyment involved with organized sports in general, provide the impetus for a majority of students to participate on athletic teams.
  • Effects of Economic Change on Chinese Values and Worldview

    Gogel, Attilia Landini
    The introduction of a commodity economy has altered Chinese society profoundly and permanently. The evolving process that brought China to the present economic resolution finds roots in past and recent events which promise the irreversibility of the current trend The response to this economic decision has transformed the structure of family, education, and communities. The new set of values the Chinese haw adopted to pursue, "Socialist Modernization," attempts to meld the needs of the community with the individual's striving for material wealth. This new socio-economic experiment illustrates a command economy tempered by individualism. This paper analyzes the present transition front command to commodity economy and its effect on social interaction in China by probing the continuity in the pattern of government pressures on the life of its citizens from historical times to the present. It verifies the permanence in values and beliefs by ascertaining the historical constants of Chinese worldview. It illustrates the restructuring impetus which I witnessed and its chaotic implications. It depicts the fermenting of today's society by including excerpts from the lectures about social issues I audiotaped at Shanghai Teachers University, as well as impressions from visits to Shanghai institutions. The Chinese arc striving to find a harmonious balance between the needs of the individual and those of society, starting from the Far Left, the total anarchy of the Cultural Revolution of the late Sixties, without a sudden jolt to the Right as it has happened in the aftermath of many European populist rebellions. They are therefore covering a ground never explored before. This new perspective promises additional hope for social harmony.
  • Collective and Innate Origins of Life, Culture and Morality

    Tang, Jayne Kroeger
    This capstone explores the idea that life, culture and morality have collective and innate origins. Evidence suggests that a tendency toward self-organization is imprinted in the genetic makeup of certain, if not all, life forms. In this view, culture and morality are partly products, of an innate tendency toward collective qualities found in human beings and certain other species. Using literature from evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology and evolutionary anthropology, and also drawing upon complexity theory, this capstone expl9res the evidence of the collective and innate origins of life, culture and morality in three chapters. The conclusions of this study will not come as revelations to those who are familiar with evolutionary biology or evolutionary psychology. However, evidence presented in this capstone does offer a new perspective regarding the collective and innate origins of life, culture and morality in relation to the traditional historical treatment of this subject.
  • Paired Class Learning Community : A Study and Example of Study Skills Course Paired with Credit-Level Course

    Swain-LeDoux, Camilla Diane
    In the context of a program for academically under-prepared students entering USI, the project examines possible advantages to pairing a study skills course with a credit-level course rather than teaching study skills in a stand-alone format as has been the norm. During five semesters of trying study skills paired with Introduction to Psychology, an immediate increase in grades or pass rates is not seen. However, retention rates of those that do pass the course successfully far exceed the average retention rates of the university.
  • Spinning Wheels and Reenactments of the Past

    Kuchenbrod, Kelly S.
    My father was born 150 years too late. His interest in the 1830's and that way of life has sparked excitement for me also. He is an excellent woodworker and has built and repaired several log structures. He built a spinning wheel from scratch and then challenged me to learn to use it. The capstone project focused on the spinning wheel he built. The main component of the project was a children's book. The book was written from a five year old prospective, as if my daughter were telling the story. It was illustrated with pictures taken by me or of me as I learned to spin and showed the art of spinning to others. The book illustrates some of the aspects of spinning and preparation of wool yarn. The behind-the-scenes work of historical interpreters was also shown. My hopes are that the book will find a niche at state parks, museums, and interpretive centers to illustrate and explain spinning and pioneer reenactments. While working on the children's book, a journal, travel log, and scrapbook were kept. These served as my personal records of my time and effort spent working on the project. The scrapbook contains pictures and other memorabilia of the places I have visited as I advanced as a spinner and demonstrated to people the art of spinning. In order to learn to spin, process the wool, and make yarn, I have interviewed several experienced spinners. These people were excellent resources for my spinning project. I also got a subscription to Spin Off, a magazine for spinners. It gave tips to beginners and advanced spinners as well as historical information and interesting stories and reviews. A bibliography of several books is included. The books, magazines, and interviews helped me with the basics and taught me history and folklore associated with spinning. Joyce Hamon, my chair, was my source of guidance and information concerning readability and age appropriateness for the children's book. After spending the summer and the fall of2001 spinning, volunteering as a demonstrator at various events, visiting other spinners and spinning at home, I obtained enough pictures to complete the children's book. I traveled 1819 miles and volunteered 82 hours demonstrating the art of spinning. This does not include the many hours spent spinning in my living room as I tried to master the spinning wheel.
  • Sculpt EVV : An Innovative Community Revitalization Partnership Between the City of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana

    Walker, Larura M.
    Blight and stigma have plagued a core inner-city neighborhood of Evansville, Indiana for decades. The area formally known as Haynie's Comer was this neighborhood. Through implementation of a revitalization plan including various public and private entities and coordination with the University of Southern Indiana, changes to the vitality of the neighborhood have already begun. The partnerships between the city of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana and the inclusion of an annual national outdoor sculpture competition, SculptEVV, have been initiated. Continued partnership in the revitalization of efforts will turn this once blighted area and currently "income-depressed" city from poverty to prime allowing for significant change and stability. This thesis is a reflection of past, current, and proposed future efforts to continue that work. It will establish the need and desire to continue the work. In conclusion, I have defined the ways in which the partnership and work can continue to provide a positive outcome for the city of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana.
  • Meeting the Needs of a Rising Global Competence : Study Abroad as a Requirement

    Vernon, Nicole M.
    Global competence is a necessity for students at institutions of higher education to be successful in their careers, no matter which path of study or career field they choose. Students who choose to pursue an International Studies degree at USI should be required to study abroad in some capacity, as they will be the next leaders in the internationally diverse work force. In order to devise a suitable plan which would cover these issues and find appropriate solutions to the reasons why study abroad is not currently a requirement, research was conducted in these areas: reasons why students study abroad while attending a higher education institution, positive and negative effects of study abroad, sources of funding for those who are financially hindered from studying abroad, solutions for other barriers that hinder students from studying abroad, and how studying abroad shapes higher education. Also, research was conducted on those public higher education institutions that are similar in size to USI which currently have study abroad requirements (and alternate equivalents), as well as models of learning outcomes. Finally, a survey was given to all International Studies majors to gauge their attitudes on study abroad. A summary of findings, including national initiatives to promote the growth of study abroad and how this can help to establish a study abroad requirement at USI, was explored in a thorough literature review. International Studies majors' positive attitudes toward a study abroad requirement was discovered through the conducted survey and various models that can be applied to establishing a study abroad requirement at USI are reviewed.
  • Manual for Volunteerism

    Zirkelbach, Lynne M.
    The purpose of this Capstone Project is to develop a manual for volunteerism that any community could use as a model. Americans have been. urged to take it upon themselves to take charge of their own lives and their country once again through volunteerism. In the twentieth century and beyond, with direction and organization, there is no reason why volunteerism cannot continue to be a useful source of intervention in aiding communities, children, and adults, particularly older adults because of their increasing numbers and needs. Volunteering one's time will not only benefit the community but also the individuals involved. Adults as well as children should be involved in donating their time to a worthy cause. If children are taught about helping others while in their most formative years, they will be more likely to continue helping later in life. The manual for volunteerism discusses in detail how to organize a volunteer program. The manual explains how to target an audience, discusses recruitment of a volunteer coordinator or manager, explains how to perform a volunteer assessment, demonstrates how to plan and budget for a volunteer program, describes how to design volunteer jobs, tells how to develop a recordkeeping system, illustrates the recruitment and screening process for potential volunteers, and suggests ways to retain volunteers.
  • Comparative analysis of corporate and individual enterprise in the settlement of early America

    Johnson, Nancy L.
    This Capstone Project compares and analyzes the methods used by groups and individuals to establish and sustain the early American settlements of Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay. Corporate and individual enterprise were used by English settlers attempting to locate and survive in the New World wilderness Settlers adopted a variety of methods ranging from capitalism to communism. Individuals often found it necessary to form corporate entities whose cooperative methods ranged from stock holding to community of goods. Common property was an extreme measure but a means to an end to assure survival. Through attempts to colonize America in the late 1500's, Queen Elizabeth learned that substantial capital was needed to establish and sustain early American colonization. Joint-stock companies were created to assemble the essential capital. The Virginia Company that established Jamestown and Plymouth set up systems of common property in which many settlers accepted the restricted status of indentured servants in order to see the colony develop. Although the theme of the individual versus the corporate community is strong in these early settlements, another theme evolves. Materialistic and ideological factors become driving forces in this historical evolution of early America. Materialistic forces eventually influenced ideological forces in Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay. A sociocultural evolution took place as the individuals within these colonies adapted to achieve their material requirements. The mode of production, whether farming, tobacco planting, or mercantilism, influenced the general character of the social, political, and spiritual processes of life in these early American colonies. Empirical evidence in this analysis will show that collective, corporate, including communal, arrangements were the springboard to successful early settlement of English America. Whether settlers held economic or religious motives for settlement in North America, European colonization was largely due to the cooperative activity of the mercantile and capitalist classes in England. The corporate phase of colonization, as under the Virginia Company and Massachusetts Bay Company, was often short-lived. Eventually, private initiatives were responsible for the greatest number of English settlements in America.
  • Internationalization of U.S. higher education and its implications for the University of Southern Indiana

    Matsuo, Mari
    The objectives of this paper are to review internationalization at the University of Southern Indiana in the context of historical movements of international education in the United States and contemporary thinking about the internationalization of campuses and to suggest possible strategies to promote further campus-wide internationalization. In this process, the university is also compared with two national models and four peer institutions. Both the progress already made toward internationalization at the University of Southern Indiana and improvements that the university could make in the future are discussed. This paper offers suggestions for the university in areas that include the role of institutional leadership, curricula, degree programs, international scholarship grants, study abroad programs, and faculty involvement in international education.
  • Crab island

    Chapin, Martha W.
    No abstract

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