Monday, July 9, 2018

Lanthanum and the Rare Earth Metals; the Changing Face of Medicine and Pollution

Dr. Wayne Briner
Abstract:  In a recent study Dr. Briner has shown that the rare-earth metal Lanthanum does not produce toxic effects strictly by way of calcium channels, as has been long believed. Why should we care? And what is Lanthanum anyway?  In this presentation Dr. Briner will explain how the face of pollution is changing, how the substances we use in medicine are changing.  These changes are also challenging how the fields of pharmacology and toxicology evaluate the effects of drugs and toxins. 

Bio: Wayne Briner received PhD in 1987 in physiological psychology followed by a postdoc at Tulane and LSU schools of Medicine.  Afterwards employed by a private research group, the University of Nebraska and now AU for a career in higher ed and the sciences spanning over 30 years. Has published over 50 peer reviewed articles in nationally and internationally ranked journals. Has consulted for the VA and the NSF.  Is a regular editor for the journal Toxics and occasionally for the journal Toxins.  Regularly reviews for the journals Food and Chemical Toxicology, Toxicology letters and Neurotoxicology.  Is a full member of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine and the Society of Toxicology.


Email: For questions or research interest you may contact Dr. Wayne Briner at


Friday, June 15, 2018

Steps to Research in Academic and Business Settings

Dr. Murad Abel
Research is an essential part of conducting business and engaging in the scientific community. Students, academics, and business leaders participate in research to gain critical knowledge about particular topics they do not understand well. These topics can be anything from the discovery of new vaccines to having a greater insight of a target market. Following the steps in the research process will help ensure that you are adhering to a rigorous scientific method.

1.) Understand Your Problem: It will be pretty challenging to design a study if you don't at first understand the nature of the problem. While you may have a ballpark understanding of the problem, actually pinpointing that problem into a sentence can be excruciatingly frustrating. Sometimes you will need to review the evidence, conduct interviews, and complete some non-scientific experimentation to define the situation or problem better. The more knowledge and experience a person has, the easier it will be to grasp what is going on.

2.) Conduct Background Research: You can better understand what type of study to conduct if you are aware of the current research. You may just find that the problem has already been solved or is close enough that you can draw some inferences for your business without the additional expenses associated with new research. Keep strong notes of the studies you find because your literary review will provide a detailed discussion of current findings on the topic.

3.) Formulate Your Research Question: Your research question is the centerpiece of any study. A quick glance at the research question will tell you precisely what question the study will attempt to resolve. As you build your study, the design will reflect back on the research question(s). Typically research questions are labeled as R1 and R2 and are very explicitly written so they can be measured.

4.) Design Your Study: The study design is based on the need to answer the research question. If the study seeks to evaluate some phenomenon statistically, but the variables are not well known, then an exploratory design might be beneficial. It is always wise to look at similar studies on the topic to get a better understanding of the design you need to use.

5.) Gain Approvals and Funding (If Needed): Depending on which entity you work for you may need different types of approvals. On an academic level, you may need a university's Research Board or International Review Board to provide approvals. Company employees may need to obtain permission from senior management. Whether you are working with private, government, public, personal, or corporate money, it is wise to have it before you move into spending it.

6.) Obtain Necessary Materials: Sometimes you will need special equipment, while at other times you will use online surveys, existing data, historical information, etc. It is helpful to know where you are going to obtain this information, pay for the services you need, and collect written permission to access information.

7.) Conduct the Study: Conducting your study will take time and careful effort. Make sure that you follow procedures correctly to hold up against scrutiny. If you waver from your processes outlined in the study, you may need to go back and reauthorize those changes with funding and oversight boards. The more consistent you are with each piece of data collection, the stronger your study will be regarding validity.

8.) Evaluation of the Data and Your Results: Once you have collected your data you will need to find a way to evaluate it to disprove the null hypothesis. Disproving the null hypothesis means the alternative, or the one you seek, is justified via a specified confidence level. There is software available like SPSS or even free software like Microsoft Excel that that can do the necessary work.

9.) Report, Publish, and Share: The ultimate goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge by sharing your results. The most common methods are to conduct a presentation at a conference or have it published in a peer-reviewed journal. Even if you cannot do these examples, you can still have it posted on the web for others to see.

BIO: Dr. Murad Abel is a full-time faculty member and research fellow at Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business & Technology™. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science degree. He may be contacted at

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Developing the Peace Process by Dr. William Woods

Dr. William Woods
Description : In January 2018 Dr. William Woods was presented with the Peace and Justice Award by the Martin Luther King  Jr. committee of Clinton, IA. Dr. Woods was honored with the distinction because of his authoring of the Iowa Peace Week Proclamation for the State of Iowa and several service
projects that he designed and participated in with his students. The projects included food drives for a homeless shelter, raising almost $5000 for a homeless shelter, providing sewing machines and training for widows in Ghana, funding for shelter, clothing, food and education for orphans in Kenya, and a toy drive for Lakota Sioux Children in South Dakota. His students also provided $1000 for victims of the hurricane that hit St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands in 2017.

 Presentation Link: (Click Here)

Author Bio:
Dr. William G. Woods holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership from Capella University. He is a full-time core faculty member and a Professor in the Forbes School of Business and Technology. He has been with Ashford University since 2005. He is the recipient of the 2018 Martin Luther King Peace and Justice Award. In 2017 he authored the State of Iowa "Peace Week Proclamation" signed by the Governor. He serves as Chair of the Faculty Senate at Ashford University. He became the Senate Chair in July 2017. He served as the chair of the Senate Graduate Curriculum Committee from 2012-2017. He has served as a Board of Directors Associate Member for Vibrant Credit Union and is an Executive Board member for the Bridgepoint Education Political Action Committee. He serves on the Council of Advisors for the Golden Key International Honour Society. He is a regular speaker at Golden Key Regional and International Conferences. He is a Regional Director for the World Association of Academic Doctors. He is the recipient of the City of Clinton, IA 2012 Human Rights Award. He has created successful fundraisers that supported education for widows in Ghana, education, shelter and food for children in Kimondo, Kenya and funding for impoverished children of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota.
He has been married for 32 years, loves teaching, camping, skateboarding, bike riding and surfing. Most of all, he loves his wife, kids and grandchildren.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Dynamic Nature of Emotional Intelligence: A Case Study of Middle-Level Managers

Abstract:  This study investigated how emotional intelligence was learned and applied among middle-level managers through the implementation, documentation and integration of an emotional intelligence training intervention for middle-level managers. The study further investigated how middle-level managers integrated what they learned in the workshop through the use of their strategic action plan. The study also explored how middle-level managers described emotional intelligence before and after the emotional intelligence workshop. The researcher explored middle-level manager’s actions through the use of the mindfulness theory, conducted face-to-face interviews, and analyzed archival documents, observation notes, and perceptions of emotional intelligence.

This study’s findings revealed that middle-level managers integrated what they learned in the emotional intelligence workshop in different ways. Middle-level managers perceived emotional intelligence differently after they completed the emotional intelligence workshop. Two themes in particular were critical to understanding how middle-level managers implemented emotional intelligence: the need for time to implement what was learned and the use of a strategic action plan to learn how they implemented what was learned. Middle-level managers described how important time was to implement what they learned during the workshops. Additionally, their use of a strategic action plan helped to reinforce what was learned in the workshop. Finally, middle-level managers described how emotional intelligence was integrated in their personal lives.

Link to Research:

Reference: Davis, A. (2016). The Dynamic Nature of Emotional Intelligence: A Case Study of Middle-Level Managers (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from MARPS, Practicums, and Applied Dissertations.
Author Bio: Dr. Adrianna Davis has over 8 years of Leadership Development Consultant experience and serving in progressive levels of leadership at various education institutions. She has had the great privilege to consult with Adventist Health Systems to develop leadership and innovation courses for two Master degree programs. Recently, she was invited to lead a round table discussion on curriculum development and design thinking at the All Means All conference. She was once a panelist for the first intercultural dialogue between Nova Southeastern University and Lebanese American University. There she led several discussions on cultural diversity and cultural awareness. Her tenure as a Leadership Development Consultant, afforded her an opportunity to lead and train adult learners in various roles to include new Senior Management & Executive leaders.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Road to Biculturalism within United States Businesses

This study aims to explore how U.S. immigrant employees view their journey to biculturalism through employment. The literature does acknowledge that some immigrants may be innately resistant to biculturalism due to strongly being culturally independent; therefore, this research also investigates how being culturally independent within the U.S. workforce affects such individuals’ employment experiences and satisfaction. Study’s results provide researchers and organizational leaders preliminary insight in facilitating biculturalism within the workplace through diversity initiatives.

Keywords: Biculturalism, multiculturalism, acculturation, assimilation, social integration, cultural identity, cross-cultural identity, cultural adaptation.

Link to Research:


Zelihic, M., Makowski, C. (2016) The Road to Biculturalism within United States Businesses, "The Economics, Finance, IT, Management, MIS & International Business Research Conference, London," The Journal of American Business Review, Cambridge. (July 2016). Bio:

Dr. Maja Zelihic is a Program Chair for the Masters of Organizational Management, in the Forbes School of Business at Ashford University. She has a Ph. D in General Business with an emphasis in Organizational Management. In addition to being a Program Chair in the MAOM program, Dr. Zelihic is a Chair of Professional Development and Scholarship committee at Ashford University, which is a committee that recommends professional development content and provides recommendations concerning faculty research. She is a Program Chair; Innovation Track at ABSEL (Association for Business Simulation & Experiential Learning).

Dr. Zelihic is the recipient of Western International University Excellence Award for Contributions to Faculty Peer Development, two-time University of Phoenix Faculty Scholarship award, recognized as one of the top 10 Forbes School of Business faculty members in 2013, recipient of the University Fellows grants award in 2014(as part of a team of four), and again the recipient of the University Fellows Grant award in 2016 as the principal investigator.

In 2016 Dr. Zelihic was honored to be the recipient of both the 2016 Excellence in Scholarship Award (nominated by her peers) and Forbes School of Business President's Award for the Excellence in Scholarship.

Dr. Zelihic has published more than 20 articles in various refereed journals, such as the Springer’s Quality and Quantity Journal, Life Science Journal, Journal of American Business Review, Journal of Strategic and International Studies, Global Business, and International Management International Journal. Dr. Zelihic is an editorial advisory board member of The Journal of Global Business Management and a peer reviewer at the University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute and Journal for Excellence in Business Education.

To name just a few of her international presentation endeavors, Dr. Zelihic presented at the International Symposium of the New Technologies in Sports, delivering a lecture on sports management in April, 2011 in Sarajevo, Bosnia; 2015 IX International GUIDE Conference -Buenos Aires, Argentina; 2015Multidisciplinary Academic Conference, Orlando, Florida; and she is a three-time attendee and presenter at the Finance, Economics, MIS, & Global Business Research Conference, Miami, Florida. Furthermore, in 2016 Dr. Zelihic presented at the XI International GUIDE Conference and IX International EdTech IKASNABAR Congress in Madrid, Spain.

In July 2016, Dr. Zelihic presented as the key speaker at the Economics, Finance, MIS & International Business Research Conference in London presenting her research on Biculturalism in the US workforce.

In October 2016, Dr. Zelihic was a part of an educational team with Astria Learning assisting with University of Zambia’s transition to an online program. She conducted training and lectures on online platform and education. In March 2017, Dr. Zelihic presented in Lusaka, Zambia at the UNZA’s Executive Leadership Seminar in collaboration with Astria Learning on Leading Change, Why People Resist topic.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Acoustic Events Semantic Detection, Classification, and Annotation for Persistent Surveillance Applications

Acoustic Events Semantic Detection, Classification, and Annotation for Persistent Surveillance Applications


Understanding of group activity based on analysis of spatiotemporally correlated acoustic sound events has received a minimum attention in the literature and hence is not well understood. Identification of group sub-activities such as: Human-Vehicle Interactions (HVI), Human-Object Interactions (HOI), and Human-Human Interactions (HHI) can significantly improve Situational Awareness (SA) in Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS). 

In this paper, salient sound events associated with group activities are preliminary identified and applied for training a Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) whose features are employed as feature vectors for training of algorithms for acoustic sound recognition. In this paper, discrimination of salient sounds associated with the HVI, HHI, and HOI events is achieved via a Correlation Based Template Matching (CMTM) classifier. To interlinked salient events representing an ontology-based hypothesis, a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) is employed to recognize spatiotemporally correlated events. Once such a connection is established, then, the system generates an annotation of each perceived sound event. This paper discusses the technical aspects of this approach and presents the experimental results for several outdoor group activities monitored by an array of acoustic sensors.

 Author Bio:

 Dr. Amjad Alkilani is a program chair for the Forbes School of Business & Technology™ at Ashford University. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer & Information Systems Engineering from Tennessee State University; M.S. in Software Engineering from California State University-Fullerton, and B.S. in Computer Science from Mutah University. Before he joined Ashford University he worked as an assistant professor with University of Central Missouri, and before that he was a teaching assistant at Tennessee State University. In addition to his teaching experience he held several positions with different software companies and government agencies: Sr. Software Engineer with State of Tennessee, PM & Sr. Technical Trainer with CBM Integrated Software – Irvine CA, Software Developer with Los Angeles County, and Software Analyst/Developer with A-Z Group Inc. in Irvine CA.

Dr. Alkilani is a recognized expert in enterprise software development related subjects, and his research focus is on solving real-life problems through intelligent systems methodologies.

 Link to Research:


 Alkilani, A., and Shirkhodaie, A., “Acoustic Events Semantic Detection, Classification, and Annotation for Persistent Surveillance Applications”, SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, April 2014.

 Linked-In Address: