Theses & Dissertations

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This collection is exclusively made up of theses, dissertations, and project reports submitted as a requirement for completing a graduate degree at UPR-Mayagüez. If you are a UPRM graduate student and you are looking for information related to the deposit process, please refer to


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 3026
  • Publication
    Perception of code-switching (Spanish and English) use in-person versus on social media
    ( 2024-05-16) Aldebol Ruiz, Camila ; Rivera, Rosita ; College of Arts and Sciences - Art ; Soto, Sandra ; Vicente, Nancy ; Department of English ; Isaza, Clara
    This research studies the perception of codeswitching (Spanish and English) in Puerto Rico and if there is any change in perception if the codeswitching takes place online or in person. It examines if formal language instructions influence the perception of codeswitching and whether there are generational differences in perception. Data was collected using a questionnaire, quantitative and qualitative questions. The results showed that codeswitching was acceptable to most participants. The acceptability of codeswitching was conditioned on how the codeswitching was done. There are rules that need to be followed in order for the codeswitching to be accepted. The rules all centered on flow and grammatical correctness. It was also deemed unacceptable when used in professional or academic environments. The participants who viewed codeswitching as unacceptable were concerned with the “correct” or “standard” use of language. They thought the mix of languages could cause confusion and lead to miscommunication. Social media platforms are informal and because of this there was a higher percentage of acceptability when using codeswitching online, but the acceptability was still constrained by the rules of usage mentioned above. Formal language instruction had no clear influence on the perception of codeswitching, whether online or in person.
  • Publication
    For our students: Motivated English teachers impacting Puerto Rico one lesson at a time
    ( 2024-05-10) Ramirez Martinez, Yarisel A. ; Soto, Sandra ; College of Arts and Sciences - Art ; Rivera, Rosita ; Contreras, Edward ; Department of English ; Acuña, Salvador
    This qualitative study explores Puerto Rico’s English teachers' motivation in the educational setting. Through in-depth interviews and deep analysis, readers delve into the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that drive teachers to be outstanding in their profession. The results in this study reveal a series of key motivators for teachers, such as students and their will to empower them, making a difference in Puerto Rico, and following a religious calling. This study sheds light on the importance of understanding and nurturing teachers' motivation to enhance job satisfaction, performance, and ultimately, student success. Additionally, this study discusses some implications for educational policy and practice to better understand English teachers’ motivation in Puerto Rico. This study explores three English teachers’ life stories and how these helped them grow into becoming educators. The findings in this study dive into some demotivational factors the interviewed teachers experience in Puerto Rico and its Public Education system. As well as that, readers can understand how burnout is also part of the subjects presented and explored with the conversations with these English Teachers. These results help better understand Puerto Rican English teachers’ motivation to continue in the field and how is demotivation or burnout affecting them.
  • Publication
    Critical literacy strategies in higher education
    ( 2024-05-13) Khamom, Htaik ; Soto Santiago, Sandra ; University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez ; College of Arts and Sciences - Art ; Quintero, Maria ; Rivera, Rosita ; Department of English ; Zapata Medina, Rocío
    The field of critical literacy continues to increase in demand as various communities globally are subjected to exploitation both in the present and past, one of which being English language learners. This thesis explores specific topics found in literature, materials, application of critical literacy, particularly to learners’ personal and social lives, and learners’ perceptions of their personal and social environments from a critical literacy and critical pedagogy perspective. This study was designed as a qualitative case study. It included individual interviews with five participants in order to learn their perceptions on critical education. It also included a collection of participants' written responses on selected readings over a period of a semester that were used as data to analyze. Findings from the study indicate that both fiction and nonfiction can be instrumental in encouraging engagement. It also suggested that the use of literature with socially embedded themes can promote learners to critically connect with texts. Additionally, the realities of our communities may be a deterrent to learning but should still be implemented as topics in order to help acclimate learners to these real world occurrences. Most participants also shared that they strongly prefer group work because it helps them engage in learning. They also preferred the guiding role of the educator in the learning environment as opposed to a leading role. Furthermore, this research found the establishment of strict mandatory reading and annotation of assigned texts prior to the live class discussions, and the foregrounding of the wide range of critical texts usage that are relevant to the specific population of learners as strategies to promote critical literacy.
  • Publication
    Standardized education as the serum: Roth’s 𝘋𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵 as a representation of how standardized education molds compliant citizens
    ( 2024-05-10) Sánchez Silva, Yaritza ; Chansky, Ricia ; College of Arts and Sciences - Art ; Lamore, Eric D. ; Soto Santiago, Sandra L. ; Department of English ; Valentín, Javier
    The objective of this thesis is to draw connections between standardized education in Puerto Rico and the young adult dystopian novel Divergent to understand why the policies that serve as foundation for course planning in the archipelago are problematic. The analysis will focus on discussing how, through a model of education that hinders critical and divergent thinking, the elite shape compliant citizens that will not feel capable of challenging social impositions. The project is based on an autoethnographic analysis of teaching in the contemporary Puerto Rican context, applying close reading techniques to discuss the connections between the social structure and dynamics in Divergent and Puerto Rico. Being a divergent teacher is presented as an alternative to challenge oppression and provide students an opportunity to develop their thought processes, so that they can feel capable of understanding and questioning the social dynamic in which they live.
  • Publication
    Screaming into digital spaces: Slender man, sad girls, sick women, and depression
    ( 2024-05-10) Tacoronte Cruz, Vashti ; Chansky, Ricia ; College of Arts and Sciences - Art ; Rodriguez, Linda ; Vicente, Nancy V. ; Department of English ; Alvarez, Jaquelina
    This hybrid thesis project brings together the fields of digital folklore, autoethnography, creative writing, and mental health in order to craft a deep, personal exploration of the twenty-first-century issues of depression and isolation. Central to this endeavor is the use of digital media as a tool for the creation of safe spaces where young women are allowed to express and discuss their challenges with mental health. Through the analysis of the digital series EverymanHYBRID, this work applies the lenses of Sad Girl Theory and Sick Woman Theory to dissect and understand the portrayal of mental illness, using the character of Slender Man as a symbolic representation of depression. Furthermore, these theoretical frameworks guide the creation of a new narrative that not only serves as a safe space for those grappling with depression but also challenges societal stigmas surrounding mental health. This narrative aims to provide comfort and visibility, highlighting the importance of storytelling in digital environments as a means of support and resistance against the isolation often associated with depression. Through this project, I demonstrate how digital folklore can be a powerful platform for discussing, understanding, and destigmatizing mental health.