Archive for the 'Research' Category

Research examines impact of urban forms on energy use

Dr. Yekang Ko’s article, “ The effect of urban forms on residential cooling energy use in Sacramento, California” was recently published in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. The abstract notes that “higher population density, east–west street orientation, higher green space density, larger vegetation on the east, south, and especially the west sides of houses, appears to have statistically significant effects on reducing summer cooling energy use. This study quantifies the built environment impact on the energy demand of air conditioning and informs planners as they craft urban planning and design policies for energy conservation.”

Another article by Ko, “Urban form and residential energy use: A review of design principles and research findings,” which ran in the Journal of Planning Literature made the journal’s “Most-read Articles” list and was featured in the APA Planning Magazine as “an example of a solid literature review.”

McNair Scholar presents civic involvement research

Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

William Addington presenting

William Addington speaks about his research at UTA's McNair Scholars Program 2014 Sumer Research Presentations

McNair Scholar and Interdisciplinary Studies senior William Addington was one of sixteen students participating in UTA’s McNair Scholars Program Summer Research Presentations last week. His presentation, titled “Enabling Civic Discourse: Community Group Inclusion in Arlington, Texas,” examined public participation in city governance as well as facilitating factors and barriers to such participation.

Addington said the Interdisciplinary Studies program prepared him well for the task of turning in a research proposal, which was due in late May. He finalized his topic after brainstorming ideas from his interest area of urban planning and narrowing it down with his mentor Dr. Michan Connor.

The McNair Scholar Program, which prepares undergraduate students for graduate study, provides financial support over the summer to enable the students to work on their research. GRE-preparation classes and speaker sessions focused on the graduate school experience are additional components. Addington is working on finishing his research paper, which he will present at a McNair Scholars Conference at the University of North Texas in Spring 2015.

The McNair Scholars Program is “a lot of work but definitely a worthwhile learning experience,” Addington said. “It’s good to learn about research and grad school early on and get used to it.”

Publication highlights

Nonprofit and Human Service LeadersAlumnus Dr. Larry Watson, an Assistant Professor at UT Arlington’s School of Social Work, co-authored a recently published book “Developing Nonprofit and Human Service Leaders: Essential Knowledge and Skills.” Watson holds a Doctorate of Public and Urban Administration from SUPA.

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s article, “Exploring the Participation of Women in Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions in Developing Countries,” was published in the August issue of Voluntas. The abstract notes that the researchers “find that in the case of the cooperative types of MFIs [microfinance institutions], increases in average loan sizes are associated with decreases in female participation in the administration and governance. Further, the findings demonstrate that with increases in the participation of women borrowers, the number of women in organizational governance also increases.”

SUPA student to present research

William AddingtonMcNair Scholar William Addington, an Interdisciplinary Studies student, will present his research as part of the McNair Scholars Research Presentations. He will be among sixteen students from several disciplines presenting their summer research projects. Addington’s presentation is at 2:15 p.m., August 7th, in Room 101, College Hall, University of Texas at Arlington.

Research on nursing home service quality in the news

Dr. Darla HamannDr. Darla Hamann’s research on nursing home service quality was featured in a news item on McKnight’s, a business news magazine covering the long-term care field.

The item notes that she analyzed nursing home employees’ managerial decisions and how they are linked to quality of service, and found that “[e]mpowering nursing assistants and family members of nursing home residents in decision-making results improved service.”

Hamann’s article about this research “Does Empowering Resident Families or Nursing Home Employees in Decision Making Improve Service Quality?” was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol. 33.

Dr. Jesus Trevino to lead GIS Workshop

This workshop is for UTA students, faculty and staff, and SUPA alumni:

GIS Workshop_July 2014

Dr. Martinez-Cosio’s research wins award

Dr. Maria Martinez-Cosio was awarded the 2014 Current Research Award from the Community Development Society. The award was given to Dr. Martinez-Cosio and her co-author, Dr. Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, in recognition of work on their book “Catalysts for Change: 21st Century Philanthropy and Community Development.” Dr. Martinez-Cosio was also appointed to a U.S.-Canadian research collaboration, “Philanthropic Action of Canada’s Grant-Making Foundations: Investigating their Social Innovation and Catalytic role in Societal Change,” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her role will be to share the typology she developed on private foundations engaged in community development in the U.S. and help develop points of comparison with Canadian foundations.

Visiting Scholar assessing street addressing systems

Post and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Maher AlshammariDr. Maher Alshammari, a visiting scholar at the School of Urban and Public Affairs, is somewhat acquainted with SUPA faculty and the UTA campus. Alshammari earned a Master of City and Regional Planning degree as well as a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Pubic Policy from SUPA. He is currently on sabbatical leave from his position as Assistant Professor at the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

While at SUPA, the scholar is working on his research titled “A Comprehensive Street Addressing System for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory Study of Replicating the US System in the Kingdom.” He will examine the challenges of improving the system for identifying buildings, streets and neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia; evaluate previous approaches to the system; and review the system used in the U.S. Additionally, Alshammari will use a survey to identify elements of an ideal addressing system suitable for Saudi Arabia. The research goal is to determine how a well-organized street addressing system could serve Saudi Arabia.

Alshammari particularly appreciates the guidance of Professor Ard Anjomani, who was the chair of his dissertation committee, as well as the resources available through the Institute of Urban Studies and the UTA Library, while he works on his research. He will be at SUPA until January 2015.

Director’s research spotlights Native American history

by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Donna Akers’ research focuses on Native American history, aiming to connect the legal and extra-legal historical actions of the U.S. government and its citizens with consequences for Native Americans. She is currently working on an article titled “Decolonizing the Master Narrative: Treaties and Other American Myths” to be published in the spring edition of the Wicazo Sa Review. She says the article discusses how U.S. college-level history text books tell a less-than-truthful version of westward movement without portraying the authenticity of the Native American experience of warfare, taking of land, conquest and exploitation.

Akers, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is also working on a book, Genocide in America: The Destruction of Native Americans by the U.S. Government, to be published in 2014. She has authored two previous books about Choctaw history and culture.

A mainstream narrative in elementary school that contrasted greatly with the history she had learned from family spurred her study of Native American history, Akers recalls. Her Choctaw grandmother’s comment that “we don’t interfere with the stories they tell themselves” also stayed with her and provided additional motivation to pursue graduate school. “I wanted to write about Native American history from an indigenous point of view. Native scholars call this field Decolonization History and it is considered a counter-narrative to mainstream U.S. history,” Akers says.

Akers, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA) at UT Arlington in addition to serving as the Director of School’s INTS program, spoke about her research to SUPA’s Ph.D. Colloquium earlier in the semester and presented a lecture titled ‘How to Discover Your Native Roots’ in November as part the University’s Native American Heritage Month.

Research addresses barriers faced by nonprofit organizations

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

File photo

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s paper “Community Organizing for Health Care: An Analysis of the Process” was published in the Journal of Community Practice, Vol 21.

A blog post discussing Bezboruah’s paper and its relevance notes, “New research from The University of Texas at Arlington presents three ways to overcome common barriers that nonprofits face when building capacity to address community needs.”

The blog post states, “Bezboruah offers three conclusions to overcome the nearly universal barriers of exclusion of low-income individuals, stake-holders’ misaligned ideologies and approaches, and public apathy. And they’re not all that different from previous community-based participatory initiatives.”

The post found on  Georgia Nonprofit NOW, a blog from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, outlines Bezboruah’s conclusions as noted below:

Grassroots identification of the problem: Allowing the service beneficiaries to identify the needs of their community will translate to more appropriately informed results as potential solutions and the organizational processes develop.

Identification of community specific solutions through collaborative discussions: With the leadership of a facilitator and the inclusion of all stake-holders — community members, service providers, public officials, and beneficiaries — in the development of goals and objectives, consensus can be achieved, creating more holistic solutions to the community-identified issues.

Building public buy-in: Advocacy is an essential piece of nonprofits’ responsibility in their communities (and even more broadly for more universal issues). Through the “use of community resources to educate the public and generate opinion about the critical problems faced by the community,” awareness and support can be built among stake-holders and the general public alike.