Dissertation Defense Announcements

Candidate Name: Ifunanya Okocha
Title: "The Evaluation of an Educational Intervention on Food Label Literacy Among Parents of Children in an Outpatient Pediatric Clinic"
 April 07, 2021  1:00 PM
Location: Virtual
Abstract:

Childhood obesity has been on the rise for decades with negative impact on health, psychology of the people and with significant economic cost to the society. Some risk factors attributed to obesity are quality and quantity of food, sugary drinks, and sedentary lifestyle. This project evaluates the effect of an educational intervention to improve parents’ nutrition label literacy as parents make healthy food choices for their children.

The literature review discussed the causes and consequences of childhood obesity, and importance of nutrition label literacy in prevention of childhood obesity. This quantitative descriptive study was conducted at an outpatient pediatric clinic among parents. One of the aims of the project was to identify the participants’ nutrition label illiteracy by administering a Food Label Literacy for Applied Nutrition Knowledge (FLLANK) pretest. Thirty participants completed the pre and post intervention questionnaire. 73.3% of the participants had a least a 2-year college degree and 60% made more than $45,000/ year. The results showed that irrespective of socioeconomic status, the participants improved in their nutrition label literacy after the educational intervention. It is important for healthcare providers to initiate early intervention in nutrition literacy in prevention of childhood obesity.



Candidate Name: Ifunanya Okocha
Title: The Evaluation of an Educational Intervention on Food Label Literacy Among Parents of Children in an Outpatient Pediatric Clinic
 April 07, 2021  1:00 PM
Location: Virtual
Abstract:

Childhood obesity has been on the rise for decades with negative impact on health, psychology of the people and with significant economic cost to the society. Some risk factors attributed to obesity are quality and quantity of food, sugary drinks, and sedentary lifestyle. This project evaluates the effect of an educational intervention to improve parents’ nutrition label literacy as parents make healthy food choices for their children.

The literature review discussed the causes and consequences of childhood obesity, and importance of nutrition label literacy in prevention of childhood obesity. This quantitative descriptive study was conducted at an outpatient pediatric clinic among parents. One of the aims of the project was to identify the participants’ nutrition label illiteracy by administering a Food Label Literacy for Applied Nutrition Knowledge (FLLANK) pretest. Thirty participants completed the pre and post intervention questionnaire. 73.3% of the participants had a least a 2-year college degree and 60% made more than $45,000/ year. The results showed that irrespective of socioeconomic status, the participants improved in their nutrition label literacy after the educational intervention. It is important for healthcare providers to initiate early intervention in nutrition literacy in prevention of childhood obesity.



Candidate Name: Michelle "Mimi" Starnes
Title: Safe Opioid Prescribing in Primary Care Through Implementation of Evidence-Based Guidelines
 April 05, 2021  1:00 PM
Location: Virtual
Abstract:

Many people are affected by chronic pain. The use of opioids for pain has resulted in an increase in the number of opioid-related overdose deaths. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) created opioid prescribing guidelines to help providers safely prescribe opioids for chronic pain. The purpose of this project was to create an electronic medical record (EMR) template and urine drug test (UDT) alert to increase the providers’ adherence to the CDC opioid guidelines in a small, hospital-owned, family practice clinic. A pre/post implementation chart review tool was used to evaluate the medical records of 60 patients prescribed chronic opioids. The tool was used to determine if providers were adhering to the guidelines. Measures included the number of patients who completed an annual UDT, signed control substance agreement (CSA), documented pain diagnosis, quarterly office visits, and if providers reviewed the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) every 3 months. Adherence improved in the post-implementation data compared to pre-implementation. There were statistically significant increases in CSA (p=.000), PDMP reviewed (p=.000), annual UDT (p=.005), and quarterly appointments (p=.006). Although not statistically significant, there was an increase in documented pain diagnosis (p=.492). Implementation of an EMR template and UDT alert led to an increase in provider adherence to opioid prescribing guidelines.



Candidate Name: Rachel Koontz
Title: What is in my Patient’s Pantry? Addressing Food Insecurity in Primary Care: A Quality Improvement Project.
 March 30, 2021  9:00 AM
Location: Virtual via Zoom: Meeting ID: 949 1321 6912 Phone: +1 929 205 6099
Abstract:

Food insecurity (FI) has negative health effects throughout the lifespan, yet there is a disconnect between national recognition of FI as a health issue and FI screening in the clinical setting. The purpose of this project was to determine if an educational intervention increased knowledge of FI’s role on health, the screening and referral process, and using ICD-10 coding to document FI. A pretest-posttest design was used, sampling clinicians across five clinical sites. Participants received virtual education and completed a pre-, post-, and 3-month follow-up survey to measure knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to address FI issues. A retrospective ICD-10 coding report for FI was obtained to measure frequency of use per clinic site. Thirty-one clinicians completed the pre- and post-survey, and twelve clinicians completed all three time points. Participants’ knowledge of FI and knowledge of referral resources was significantly improved from the pre- to post-survey (p <0.001, p < 0.000 respectively). Clinicians showed a significant change in their intent to ask patients about FI (p < 0.000) and to refer patients to community food resources (p < 0.000); this remained at the 3-month follow-up (p < 0.001). There was not a significant change in the use of the ICD-10 code for FI throughout the measurement period. The results of this project support findings in the literature that a point-in-time educational training on FI could improvement clinicians’ knowledge, as well as their willingness to screen patients for FI and connect them to food resources.



Candidate Name: Amanda Reid
Title: Chemoenzymatic preparation of probes for in vitro and cellular elucidation of complex bacterial polysaccharides
 April 12, 2021  1:30 PM
Location: Zoom
Abstract:

Bacteria play a major role in our health and wellbeing. The microbe-host interaction is often mediated by sugar polymers at the cell surface. An incredibly diverse amount of glycan variation exists throughout these structures, which makes identification of surface components difficult. The composition of the surface is unique to bacteria and acts as molecular fingerprint which can distinguish even subspecies apart. Better methods to decipher what those glycan identities are or how to reproduce them may help develop future advancements towards exploiting them as therapeutic targets. The major challenge addressed herein is to simplify the tools used to track the formation of these natural materials. To do this, we expand on the chemoenzymatic preparation of a tagged lipid substrate central to early stages of biosynthesis for many surface polysaccharides. Further, we identify conditions in which these unnatural substrates can be used in vitro. Lastly, we develop methodologies to detect BP and polysaccharide intermediates in live cells. These tools have facilitated robust detection and reconstruction of glycan assembly building blocks. This research may lay the ground work for future applications technologies towards novel therapeutics, such as glycoconjugates vaccines.



Candidate Name: Abby Holland
Title: Evidence-Based and Makerpsaced: Preservice Teachers' Dispositions, Perceptions, and Preparedness to Teach Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
 March 29, 2021  12:15 PM
Location: Zoom
Abstract:

The purpose of this action research project was to explore the perceptions, practices, and roles that a team of six (6) preservice teachers developed regarding make-based learning and teaching students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. During the course of the study, participants enrolled in a seminar course that involved weekly clinical visits to the makerspace inside a separate public school for students with exceptional emotional and behavioral needs. They also spent one afternoon per month designing and carrying out projects in a university makerspace. Data collection included observation forms that participants completed after the clinical school visits, written assignments, and individual interviews. Narrative analysis and structural coding were used to analyze data. Three beliefs emerged across participants: (1) making can benefit students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, (2) evidence-based practices have limited value in a classroom, (3) instructional time in a makerspace should be used for making.



Candidate Name: Claire Mansfield
Title: Changing the Conversation on Passive and Active Job Seekers: A Continuum-Based Approach
 April 09, 2021  1:30 PM
Location: Virtual
Abstract:

As employers leverage recruitment activities to compete for active job seekers, they may also seize opportunities to recruit those who are not actively searching for jobs (i.e., passive job seekers). The literature currently focuses on active job seekers and has created a false dichotomy between active and passive job seekers. This study aims to change the conversation on passive job seekers and emphasize that all individuals fall on a continuum of job seeking behavior frequency. There is currently a lack of theoretical insight into the cognitive processes involved in the recruitment of active and passive job seekers, and misalignment between theoretically and practically relevant constructs and the measures currently being used. This study aims to identify the factors and mechanisms that attract talent across the job seeking behavior frequency continuum and establish a more thorough understanding of the factors that influence candidates’ actual job choices. The first contribution of this study to the field of recruitment is the reconceptualization of active and passive job seeking as different levels of job seeking behavior frequency on a continuum. The second is the extension of expectancy theory to the recruitment of job seekers across the continuum. The third contribution of this research is that it moves the needle to more closely approximate a measure of actual job choice decisions and provides a better understanding of how candidates make job choice decisions. This research may also inform the tailoring of organizational policies and practices to best attract job seekers on the passive end of the continuum, which could lead to advantageous recruitment outcomes.



Candidate Name: Yutian Gui
Title: Secure Cryptographic Designs Resilient to Side-channel Attacks
 April 09, 2021  9:30 AM
Location: https://uncc.webex.com/uncc/j.php?MTID=mc9205ba51ce84d328de5d2c1ae3a0e8b
Abstract:

The rapid development of IoT devices and distributed computing brings convenience and high efficiency to modern society. To enhance the security of hardware devices, quite a few cryptographic algorithms were proposed and applied. These encryption algorithms show good resilience to brute-force attacks, but are still vulnerable to side-channel attacks.
Side-channel attacks are non-invasive and passive attack that shows high efficiency on secret data extraction and brings a lot of difficulties for detection and defense. Unlike the brute-force attack and the cryptanalysis attack, that targets the weakness in the encryption algorithm, side-channel attacks utilize weaknesses of implementation and use statistical models such as differential analysis and correlation analysis to steal secret information.
In this work, we explore different side-channel attacks and propose feasible countermeasures for mitigation, including power-based analysis, electromagnetic-based analysis and Direct Memory Access(DMA) attack.
For power/EM based side channel attacks, we first demonstrate multiple attacks on both software-based implementation and hardware-based implementation, including template attack, power-based correlation analysis, and EM-based correlation analysis. To mitigate the risk, we propose a key update scheme to provide resilience to correlation-based side-channel attacks for encryption engine and prove the efficiency by experiments. To protect the process of key generation and key storage from the tampering attack, we use a secure coprocessor to generate and store secret keys.
For DMA attack, we propose a lightweight scheme to provide resilience without any physical and protocol-level modification. The proposed scheme constructs a unique identifier for each DMA-supported PCIe device based on profiling time and builds a trusted database for authentication. The efficiency is also tested and proved by experiments.



Candidate Name: Amber Rose Harper, MSN, FNP-C
Title: EFFICACY OF AN EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION ON LATINAS’ CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING KNOWLEDGE
 April 06, 2021  9:00 AM
Location: Virtual Zoom Meeting
Abstract:

Latinas’ lack of knowledge regarding cervical cancer screening (CCS) guidelines has a significant impact on CCS adherence and ultimately impacts their health outcomes related to cervical cancer. Studies have demonstrated that small media, culturally relevant educational interventions are highly effective in improving Latinas’ knowledge of CCS (Moran et al., 2016; Thompson et al., 2019; Warner et al., 2018). The purpose of this scholarly project was to implement and evaluate the efficacy of a small media educational intervention on Latinas’ knowledge of CCS and human papillomavirus (HPV) and evaluate the participants’ satisfaction with the intervention. A convenience sample of 50 Hispanic female patients between the ages of 21-65 was obtained from a community health center in the Southeast region of the United States. The fotonovela utilized in the Thompson et al. (2019) study was the intervention used for this project; it was offered in Spanish and English and included information on CCS and HPV. A pre- and post-test questionnaire assessing the participants’ CCS and HPV knowledge was administered. In addition, the post-questionnaire included questions that evaluated the participants’ satisfaction with the fotonovela. Following implementation of the fotonovela, participants significantly increased their average post-test CCS and HPV knowledge scores (Pre: 50.6; Post: 83.6, p<.000). All 50 participants (100%) reported overall satisfaction with the fotonovela. The findings of this project were both statistically and clinically significant indicating that the fotonovela is an effective and favorable educational intervention, thus its implementation is warranted in healthcare settings that provide care to Latinas.



Candidate Name: Christie Nelson
Title: THE PREDICTORS OF COUNSELOR MORAL AND ETHICAL REFLECTION: SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE, MEDITATION, CLINICAL EXPERIENCE, AND ETHICAL CLIMATE
 March 26, 2021  10:00 AM
Location: Zoom
Abstract:

While research on the ethical decision-making process in counseling continues to evolve, ethical violations committed by counselors persist, evidenced by an increase in the number of adverse incidents resulting in closed insurance claims and millions of dollars paid to the public on behalf of counselors (Healthcare Providers Service Organization, 2019). Knowledge of ethical codes and legal statutes, along with available decision-making models have been insufficient in guiding counselors’ ethical decision-making (Burns, 2019; Burns & Cruikshanks, 2019; Lambie et al., 2010; Lambie et al., 2011). Other factors must be considered to better understand this complex process. The purpose of this study was to examine how spiritual intelligence, meditation practice, clinical experience, and ethical climate were related to moral and ethical reflectivity among counselors in North Carolina. A simultaneous multiple linear regression was utilized to examine the role of counselors’ (n = 700) spiritual intelligence, meditation practice, clinical experience, and quality of the ethical climate to predict their moral and ethical reflection. Results indicated that spiritual intelligence, meditation, and ethical climate were significantly positively correlated with moral and ethical reflectivity. Additionally, the model accounted for 12% of the variance in moral and ethical reflection. Implications for the field of counseling are discussed.