Congratulations, Spring 2018 Ph.D. Graduates!

The College of Sciences celebrated its new Ph.D. graduates in a reception hosted by Dean Michael Johnson, Ph.D. Twelve students were recognized at the ceremony with their family members and faculty advisors by their side. Associate Dean Jana Jasinski, Ph.D., honored each student individually by presenting their research and a brief description of their dissertation. Afterward, the group toasted their hard work with a champagne toast.

Congratulations to all our Spring 2018 Ph.D. graduates! Photos from the event can be viewed here.


Shree Ram Acharya, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Talat Rahman, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “From Excited Charge Dynamics to Cluster Diffusion: Development and Application of Techniques beyond DFT and KMC.”

Daniel Franklin, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Debashis Chanda, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Dynamically Tunable Plasmonic Structural Color.”

Richard Jerousek, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Joshua Colwell, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Determining the Small-scale Structure and Particle Properties of Saturn’s Rings from Stellar and Radio Occultations.”

Mahtab Khan, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Michael Leuenberger, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Electronic, optical and magnetic properties of Graphene and single-layer Transition metal dichalcogenides in the presence of defects.”

Jenna Jones, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Yanga R. Fernandez, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Investigating Compositional Variations of S-Complex Near-Earth Asteroids: (1627) Ivar”


Abidah Almutairi, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Cherie Yestrebsky, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “In situ treatment systems for remediation of polychlorinated biphenyl contaminated building materials.”

Julie Donnelly, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Florencio Hernandez, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Integration of Fundamental Research and CER: The Role of Authentic Experiences in Teaching, Learning, and Doing Science.”

Christopher Grabill, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Stephen Kuebler, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Nanoscale characterization and mechanism of electroless deposition of silver metal.”

Nanami, Kikuchi, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Dmitry Kolpashchikov, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Split Aptameric Turn-On Fluorescence Sensor For Detection Of Sequence Specific Nucleic Acid”

Xiaoyan Lu, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Lei Zhai, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Polyelectrolyte Complex Based on Poly(Acrylic Acid): Mechanical Properties and Applications”

Yadong Zhou, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Shengli Zou, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Optical Properties of Single Nanoparticles and Two-dimensional Arrays of Plasmonic Nanostructures”

Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology

Victoria Claypoole, Ph.D., faculty advisor, James Szalma, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Understanding Human Performance and Social Presence: An Analysis of Vigilance and Social Facilitation.”

Joanna Lewis, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Mark Neider, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Oculomotor Mechanisms Underlying Attentional Costs in Distracted Visual Search.”

Jennifer Louie, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Mustapha Mouloua, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Working Memory Capacity and Executive Attention as Predictors of Distracted Driving.”

Andrew Wismer, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Corey Bohil, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Categorical Change: Exploring the Effects of Concept Drift in Human Perceptual Category Learning.”


Sarah Sacra, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Jana Jasinski, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Domestic Stalking, Violation of Protective Orders, and Homicide in Chicago: The Influence of Social Disorganization and Gender Inequality.”

Modeling & Simulation

Julian Montaquila, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Bruce Caulkins, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “A Behavioral Model of Law Enforcement Applicant Characteristics Derived from a Simulated Cheating Task: Implications for Pre-Employment Hiring Practices”

Congratulations! The full photo album is available here.

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