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DeSales University Faculty Publications

Dr. Aidin Amirshokoohi

Amirshokoohi, A. (2016). “Impact of STS Issue Oriented Instruction on Pre-Service Elementary Teachers’ Views and Perceptions of Science, Technology, and Society.” International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 11(4) 359-387.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of Science, Technology, Society (STS) issue oriented science methods course on pre-service teachers' views and perceptions toward STS issues and instruction as well as their levels of environmental literacy. The STS issue oriented curriculum was designed to help pre-service teachers improve their knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes toward STS issues. A mixed methodology design was utilized in this study with a sample of 93 elementary pre-service teachers. The quantitative segment of the study employed a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design incorporating a treatment and a comparison group. The qualitative component included both the observation data and interview data collected shortly after the completion of the pre and post-surveys. The quantitative and qualitative data sets were used in conjunction to present a comparative case study where the outcomes for the two groups (comparison and treatment) were compared. The sample consisted of four sections of an elementary science methods class, two of which received the experimental treatment while the other two sections received the comparison treatment for 16 weeks. A pretest on variables of environmental literacy, STS views, and STS teaching views was administered to all subjects prior to the treatments to establish the equivalency of the two groups. A posttest was also administered to all subjects at the end of the semester. The experimental group outperformed the comparison group on all the aforementioned variables and a statistical significant difference was attained at the .05 level with respect to each variable. Furthermore, the results of pre and post interview data collected on environmental literacy, STS views, and STS teaching views further corroborated the quantitative data. The findings suggest that the STS issue focused program positively influenced pre-service teachers' level of environmental literacy as well as their perceptions and attitudes toward STS issues and instruction of such issues to elementary students. The findings of this study revealed that pre-service teachers gain considerably from an STS framework for teaching and learning.

Autieri, S., & Amirshokoohi, A., & Kazempour, M. (2016). “The Science-Technology-Society Framework for Achieving Scientific Literacy: an overview of the existing literature.” European Journal of Science & Mathematics Education, 4(1) 75-89.


This literature review intends to highlight some of the critical research that has been synthesized on the perspectives of both teachers and students and their attitudes to teaching and learning in an STS-themed learning environment. The first portion draws on the perspectives of elementary and secondary school teachers both locally and abroad. The information collected is intended to illustrate some of the major successes, as well as barriers to implementation in several different classrooms. The review will present data focusing on the overall attitude and educational successes of students that participate in an STS-enriched learning environment. By examining the current research on STS, it is
expected that a clear picture will be created demonstrating the place of STS in the overall science curriculum. The conclusion of the review will also aim to indicate disparities still present in the growing body of STS research and areas of future focus.

Dr. Pranshu Gupta

P. Gupta and R. A. Mata-Toledo. “Cybercrime: In disguise crimes,” Journal of Information Systems & Operations Management, Romanian-American University, vol. 10, no. 1, 2016.


Cybercrime is commonly defined as any criminal act in which a perpetrator breaks or hacks into a computer or computer network in order to illegally obtain sensitive information or disseminate destructive computer software. Common examples include Internet fraud, identity theft, credit card account theft, or access to information that can cause harm to an individual or corporation. Web technology has played an important role in giving rise to such crimes. Hacking into a computer these days is like taking snapshots or x-rays of someone's body - there is vast amount of personal information stored in the computer. A person may have actual research or potential ideas for it (the brain), memorable pictures (the heart), work files (making a living) and some additional information stored on the computer. On the surface the hacker is not physically hurting anyone in this scenario, but this is not true in general. The damage caused by these crimes cannot be easily measured. Physical violence is a visible form of crime but cybercrimes are committed in the 'unseen' world of Internet that may be 'accessible' by the world. In this case we could say that this is not physical violence because nobody is physically hurt; however, this is not an encompassing definition of violence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), violence can be defined as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation." In addition to these, violence can also include exposure to ridicule or defamation of character. In this sense, cybercrimes can cause more psychological harm and deprivation than any other crime committed against a person. The trauma caused by cybercrime can have a long term effects on a person's mental, physical health, and financial affairs. In this paper the authors consider some aspects of how the computer can be used as a tool to commit violent and criminal acts and some key factors to mitigate these risks.

Dr. Tahereh Hojjat


Shahpari, H., & Hojjat, T. A. (2016). Islamic Economy and Social Mobility: Cultural and Religious Considerations. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

In an era of globalization and cross-cultural awareness, an interest in the relationship between economics and religion, politics, and social behavior is alive and well. In particular, the Islamic economy has become a focal point of interest for economists and government leaders around the world interested in understanding the relationship between religion and economics among primarily Islamic regions.

Islamic Economy and Social Mobility: Cultural and Religious Considerations analyzes the social, cultural, religious, and political implications of the Islamic economy at the global level. Highlighting the foundations upon which Islamic ideology is formed and how it impacts socio-cultural and economic systems both within and outside of primarily Islamic regions, this publication is an ideal reference source for economists, sociologists, international relations professionals, researchers, academics, and graduate-level students.

Dr. Renee Koval

Koval, RD., Mcdonagh, J., Grubaugh, A., Young, W., Corcorna, B., Lee, A., Dumas, b., and Edlund, B. (2016). Implementation of recovery programming on an inpatient acute psychiatric unit and its impact on readmission. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 27(2), 101-108.


BACKGROUND: Recovery-oriented models of care are evidence based and have been shown to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes as well as decrease the percentage of readmissions to inpatient psychiatric units.

METHODS: This quality improvement project was implemented on a 16-bed inpatient adult mental health unit in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Percentages of readmissions were compared throughout the course of implementation of the recovery model. Readmissions during the months of July-September were tabulated over 3 subsequent years and compared readmission percentages before recovery implementation, during the early stage of recovery implementation, and finally, during ongoing recovery implementation.

RESULTS: A decrease in readmission percentages was seen with implementation of recovery-oriented care when comparing the same 3-month period over 3 years.

CONCLUSION: After implementation of recovery-oriented care measures, there was a decrease in percentage of readmissions to the unit. In addition, this decrease was sustained and was shown to improve over time as recovery-oriented programming was further developed on the unit. These data suggest that Veterans Affairs Medical Centers should consider adding tools and procedures to successfully implement recovery programming on inpatient units and efforts should include direct involvement of patients in their own recovery journey, revision of policies and procedures to reflect the importance of recovery, thorough training of frontline staff regarding recovery principles, and transfer of recovery information directly from inpatient units to outpatient providers.

Dr. Katherine Ramsland


Ramsland, K. (2016). Confession of a serial killer: The untold story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer. Hanover: ForeEdge.

In 1974, Dennis Lynn Rader stalked and murdered a family of four in Wichita, Kansas. Since adolescence, he had read about serial killers and imagined becoming one. Soon after killing the family, he murdered a young woman and then another, until he had ten victims. He named himself “B.T.K.” (bind, torture, kill) and wrote notes that terrorized the city. He remained on the loose for thirty years. No one who knew him guessed his dark secret. He nearly got away with his crimes, but in 2004, he began to play risky games with the police. He made a mistake. When he was arrested, Rader’s family, friends, and coworkers were shocked to discover that B.T.K. had been among them, going to work, raising his children, and acting normal.

This case stands out both for the brutal treatment of victims and for the ordinary public face that Rader, a church council president, had shown to the outside world. Through jailhouse visits, telephone calls, and written correspondence, Katherine Ramsland worked with Rader himself to analyze the layers of his psyche. Using his drawings, letters, interviews, and Rader’s unique codes, she presents in meticulous detail the childhood roots and development of one man’s motivation to stalk, torture, and kill. She reveals aspects of the dark motivations of this most famous of living serial killers that have never before been revealed.

In this book Katherine Ramsland presents an intelligent, original, and rare glimpse into the making of a serial killer and the potential darkness that lives next door.

Dr. Joshua Slee

Slee, J. B., Alferiev, I. S., Nagaswami, C., Weisel, J. W., Levy, R. J., Fishbein, I., & Stachelek, S. J. (2016). Enhanced biocompatibility of CD47-functionalized vascular stents. Biomaterials, 87(May 2016), 82-92. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.02.008


The effectiveness of endovascular stents is hindered by in-stent restenosis (ISR), a secondary re-obstruction of treated arteries due to unresolved inflammation and activation of smooth muscle cells in the arterial wall. We previously demonstrated that immobilized CD47, a ubiquitously expressed transmembrane protein with an established role in immune evasion, can confer biocompatibility when appended to polymeric surfaces. In present studies, we test the hypothesis that CD47 immobilized onto metallic surfaces of stents can effectively inhibit the inflammatory response thus mitigating ISR. Recombinant CD47 (recCD47) or a peptide sequence corresponding to the Ig domain of CD47 (pepCD47), were attached to the surfaces of both 316L-grade stainless steel foils and stents using bisphosphonate coordination chemistry and thiol-based conjugation reactions to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of CD47-functionalized surfaces. Initial in vitro and ex vivo analysis demonstrated that both recCD47 and pepCD47 significantly reduced inflammatory cell attachment to steel surfaces without impeding on endothelial cell retention and expansion. Using a rat carotid stent model, we showed that pepCD47-functionalized stents prevented fibrin and platelet thrombus deposition, inhibited inflammatory cell attachment, and reduced restenosis by 30%. It is concluded that CD47-modified stent surfaces mitigate platelet and inflammatory cell attachment, thereby disrupting ISR pathophysiology.

Farwell, S. N., Kanyi, D., Hamel, M., Slee, J. B., Miller, E. A., Cipolle, M. D., & Lowe-Krentz, L. J. (2016). Heparin decreases in tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-induced endothelial stress responses require transmembrane protein 184A and induction of dual specificity Photophase1. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(10), 5342-5354. doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.681288


Despite the large number of heparin and heparan sulfate binding proteins, the molecular mechanism(s) by which heparin alters vascular cell physiology is not well understood. Studies with vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) indicate a role for induction of dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) that decreases ERK activity and results in decreased cell proliferation, which depends on specific heparin binding. The hypothesis that unfractionated heparin functions to decrease inflammatory signal transduction in endothelial cells (ECs) through heparin-induced expression of DUSP1 was tested. In addition, the expectation that the heparin response includes a decrease in cytokine-induced cytoskeletal changes was examined. Heparin pretreatment of ECs resulted in decreased TNFα-induced JNK and p38 activity and downstream target phosphorylation, as identified through Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. Through knockdown strategies, the importance of heparin-induced DUSP1 expression in these effects was confirmed. Quantitative fluorescence microscopy indicated that heparin treatment of ECs reduced TNFα-induced increases in stress fibers. Monoclonal antibodies that mimic heparin-induced changes in VSMCs were employed to support the hypothesis that heparin was functioning through interactions with a receptor. Knockdown of transmembrane protein 184A (TMEM184A) confirmed its involvement in heparin-induced signaling as seen in VSMCs. Therefore, TMEM184A functions as a heparin receptor and mediates anti-inflammatory responses of ECs involving decreased JNK and p38 activity.

Pugh, R. J., Slee, J. B., Farwell, S. N., Li, Y., Barthol, T., Patton, W. A., & Lowe-Krentz, L. J. (2016). Transmembrane protein 184A is a receptor required for vascular smooth muscle cell responses to Heparin. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(10), 5326-5341. doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.681122


Vascular cell responses to exogenous heparin have been documented to include decreased vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation following decreased ERK pathway signaling. However, the molecular mechanism(s) by which heparin interacts with cells to induce those responses has remained unclear. Previously characterized monoclonal antibodies that block heparin binding to vascular cells have been found to mimic heparin effects. In this study, those antibodies were employed to isolate a heparin binding protein. MALDI mass spectrometry data provide evidence that the protein isolated is transmembrane protein 184A (TMEM184A). Commercial antibodies against three separate regions of the TMEM184A human protein were used to identify the TMEM184A protein in vascular smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. A GFP-TMEM184A construct was employed to determine colocalization with heparin after endocytosis. Knockdown of TMEM184A eliminated the physiological responses to heparin, including effects on ERK pathway activity and BrdU incorporation. Isolated GFP-TMEM184A binds heparin, and overexpression results in additional heparin uptake. Together, these data support the identification of TMEM184A as a heparin receptor in vascular cells.

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