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Friday, May 22, 2015

MA Biblical Studies Thesis Defence: "Tracking Changes: A Proposal For A Linguistically Sensitive Schema For Categorizing Textual Variation Of Hebrew Bible Texts In Light Of Variant Scribal Practices Among The Judaean Desert Psalms Witnesses”
David Sigrist

9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Alumni Hall, RSC

Supervisor:  Dr. Martin Abegg, Jr.
Second Reader:  Dr. Dirk Buchner
Exam Chair:  TBA


The Judaean Desert discoveries have revolutionized our understanding of the textual development and transmission of the Hebrew Bible. Accordingly, after almost seventy years of research, four theories of textual transmission have become predominant. Nevertheless, in recent years the need to incorporate Second Temple scribal practices and historical linguistics into current philological methods and text-critical approaches has come to the forefront. 

This thesis proposes a linguistically sensitive schema for categorizing variation of Hebrew Bible texts, which serves to incorporate historical linguistic insights alongside existing philological models. Using such a schema this thesis presents three case studies from the Psalms to test whether or not the identification of variant scribal practices, as discernible from computational linguistics, can sufficiently explain the variation found among Judaean Desert psalms witnesses. The conclusion affirms the validity and utility of such a schema and perspective for Hebrew Bible textual studies.

Monday, June 1, 2015

MSN Thesis Defence: "Investigation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale’s Questions in the Assessment of Postpartum Depression in Men”
Asha Parmar

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Governors’ Hall, RSC

Supervisor:  Dr. Richard Sawatzky
Second Reader:  Dr. Magdalena Theron
Third Reader:  Reina van Lagen, RN, MSN
Exam Chair:  Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham


The contemporary man is envisioned as an actively involved, nurturing, and compassionate father. As men become more involved in childcare and society’s expectations change, their transition to fatherhood is also one that may need to be followed more closely during the postpartum period.  It is important to understand that as men become more gender equal in their parenting roles, they may also be facing new vulnerabilities during the postpartum period, such as postpartum depression (PPD). A depressed parent could have a negative impact on the entire family, including childhood development; therefore men should be included in postpartum screening for depression in order to enhance family centered care and health. This study was designed to investigate whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), which is widely used to screen for PPD in women, is an appropriate tool for men.  Six men in their first year postpartum were interviewed between January 2013 and June 2013. The participating men were from a small northern community in the Peace Country region of Alberta, Canada named Grande Prairie. They were married or common-law, employed, and had regular weekly contact with their children. In order to understand how men interpreted the EPDS, cognitive interviews were conducted following guidelines by Willis (2005) to examine the following four cognitive methods of retrieval:  comprehension, decision making, memory recall, and response making. Interviews were transcribed and a content analysis of data pertaining to the cognitive methods of retrieval was conducted to determine how men interpreted the EPDS questions. The results revealed valuable insights regarding the methods of retrieval and how men interpreted the questions on the scale.  Information about comprehension revealed extreme interpretations of various words and phrases while decision making seemed to be affected by follow-up discussion or ambiguity of the responses provided. Memory recall was affected as participants’ had difficulty remaining within the context of the last seven days.  For some of the EPDS questions, response making was influenced by participants’ inability to relate to a particular scale item’s emotion or event or by participants’ tendency to deny their current challenges. The findings provided valuable information regarding the use of  the EPDS paternal PPD screening. It is recommended that nurses consider men’s interpretations of the EPDS questions as part of the PPD screening. Further research is needed to confirm appropriate EPDS cutoff scores and the use of the EPDS in different populations.

Monday, June 8, 2015

MSN Thesis Defence: "Predicting the Length of Stay in Older Adults Undergoing Transapical Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation”
Sharon Wang

9:00 am - 11:00 am
Board of Governors’ Hall, Reimer Student Centre

Supervisor: Dr. Rick Sawatzky
Second Reader: Dr. Sandra Lauck
Third Reader: Dr. Jenn Gibson
Exam Chair: Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham


Background.  Aortic stenosis (AS) is a valvular heart disease that predominantly affects older people.  Valve replacement is the treatment of choice for severe symptomatic AS.  However, some elderly patients cannot undergo open surgical aortic valve replacement due to their higher surgical risk.  Over the past decade, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has emerged as the recommended therapy for selected higher surgical risk patients.  In the absence of adequate transfemoral (TF) vascular access, the transapical approach (TA TAVI) is an alternative surgical option.  Contemporary literature reports that length of hospital stay (LOS) after TA TAVI is longer than that after TF TAVI, but little is known about the factors associated with this difference.  Objective.  The objective of this study was to identify the individual characteristics, procedural details, and post-procedure factors predictive of LOS after TA TAVI.  Method.  62 predictor variables were identified based on literature review, available clinical data, consultation with experts.  A retrospective review of 128 consecutive medical charts was then conducted to collect relevant data.  Univariate descriptive statistics, bivariate ordinal logistic regression and multivariate ordinal logistic regression analyses were performed to describe the sample and examine predictors of LOS.  All relevant Research Ethics Board (REB) approvals were obtained prior to the commencement of this study.  Results. The average age of the study’s sample was 78.8 years.  57.4% were female elderly patients.  The mean and median LOS after TA TAVI was 11.1 days and 7.0 days, respectively.  Based on the trimmed multivariate model, increased age of patients and duration of stay in the critical care unit were associated with prolonged LOS.  Having chronic lung disease and requiring a temporary pacemaker upon the completion of TA TAVI also significantly increased the odds of having longer LOS postoperatively.  Additionally, patients with higher value of hemoglobin were less likely to have longer LOS after TA TAVI.  In addition, predicted risk of mortality based on the Society of Thoracic Surgeons risk score (STS) was significantly associated with LOS after TA TAVI, though the sample involving this variable was much smaller due to missing data (N= 57).  Conclusion.  This study identified several important individual characteristics, procedural details, and post-procedure factors that are associated with increased LOS following TA TAVI.  Its findings may alert nurses to heed the implications of these predictors in TA TAVI patients and initiate nursing interventions to reduce the risk of prolonged LOS related complications.  Future studies are recommended to confirm these findings and the effects of STS score and other potential predictors.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

MA in Biblical Studies Thesis Defence: "Employing Deuteronomy: An Analysis of the Quotations and Allusions to Deuteronomy in the Dead Sea Scrolls"
Josh Matson

1:00pm- 3:00pm
Lynn Szabo Atrium, Upper RNT

First Reader: Martin Abegg
Second Reader: Andrew Perrin


The study of quotations and allusions to the Hebrew Bible in religious texts, including the Greek New Testament, Rabbinic Literature, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, has only recently began to be methodically approached and analyzed. Although previous studies on quotations and allusions to the Hebrew Bible in the Dead Sea Scrolls are amply available, no such study has sought to approach the subject from a perspective of universality. Instead such studies have focused on a single manuscript or manuscript family, making conclusions that are only applicable to the studied manuscripts. This study seeks to identify and analyze universal conclusions that have been obtained by a study of the quotations and allusions to Deuteronomy in all of the Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts. This is accomplished through an in-depth study of the history of studies on quotations and allusions in the various religious texts mentioned above, a detailed explanation of the methodology utilized in this study, and an analysis of sixteen universal conclusions that are utilized by the authors/scribes of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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