Congratulations to the Summer 2021 Doctoral Graduates


Jordan Dowell, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Chase Mason, Ph.D. and Pedro Quintana-Ascencio, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Genetics and Evolution of Specialized Metabolism In Wild and Cultivated Helianthus.”

Christopher Long, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Katherine Mansfield, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Long-Term Changes in Juvenile Green Turtle Abundance and Foraging Ecology in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida.” 


Sajia Afrin, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Lei Zhai, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “In Situ Production of Metal Nanoparticles on Carbon Rich Polymer Derived Ceramic Fibers, and Nanoparticles Suspension Casted Superhydrophobic Coating.”

Anthony Altomare, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Melanie Beazley, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Inositol Phosphates and Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents: Understanding Contaminants in Complex Environmental Systems.”

Nilab Azim, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Lei Zhai, Ph.D. and Swaminathan Rajamaran

Dissertation: “Polymer-Based and Functionalized 3D Microelectrode Array Biosensors.”

Ashley Geraets, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Erin Saitta, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Developing GTA instructional skills; How does a mixed reality teaching simulator impact GTA instruction?”

Mohammad Rostampour Kakroudi, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Karin Chumbimuni Torres, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Highly Reproducible Electrochemical Sensors towards Wearable Applications and Pharmaceutical Analysis.”

Nicholas Thurn, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Michael Sigman, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Classification of Ground Truth Fire Debris Samples Using Neural Networks.”

Clinical Psychology

David Brush, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Daniel Paulson, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “A longitudinal examination of depression among older adults: The role of working memory and sleep.”

Manuel Herrera Legon, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Daniel Paulson, Ph.D.

Dissertation: “Measurement Invariance in the CESD-8 and Assessment of Mood Correlates Between American and Mexican Community Studies on the Multisystemic Geriatric Depression Cycle.”

Nicholas James, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Daniel Paulson, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Rethinking Burnout in Informal Caregivers: Development and validation of the Informal Caregiver Burnout Inventory- 10 item form.”

Maria Khan, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Kimberly Renk, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “When Mothers and Fathers Are ‘Gone’: Predicting Intergenerational Pathways of Trauma, Substance Use, and Attachment in Parents Who Are Opioid-Involved

Krystal Morrison, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Deborah Beidel, Ph.D. and Amie Newins, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Family and Child Functioning During Parental Separation: A Two Part Study.”

Jennifer Scheurich, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Kristi Alexander, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Parental Fear of Hypoglycemia, Adherence, and Glycemic Control in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes.”

Industrial Organizational Psychology

Richard Currie, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Mark Ehrhart, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “None of your beeswax: The role of coworker nosiness and interpersonal trust in predicting knowledge provision at work.”

Jamie Striler, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Steve Jex, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Getting Crafty When You’re Bored: The Interaction between Personality and Boredom.”


David Guinovart Sanjuan, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Kuppalapalle Vajravelu, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Computation of Effective Properties of Smart Composite Materials with Generalized Periodicity Using a Two-Scales Asymptotic Homogenization Method.”

Feng Yu, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Teng Zhang, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Regularized Estimations in Some Statistical Problems.”


Faisal Abedin, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Suren Tatulian, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Biophysical Analysis of the Structure and Aggregation of Amyloid Peptide.”

Md Afjal Khan Pathan, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Mihai Vaida, Ph.D., and Talat Rahman, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: “Understanding the Mechanism of Surface Chemical Reactions by Tracking Unstable Intermediate Species.”

Muhammad Waqas Shabbir, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Michael Leuenberger, Ph.D.,

Dissertation title: “Plasmonic properties of nanopatterned graphene.”

Fernand Eliud Torres-Davila, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Laurene Tetard, Ph.D.,

Dissertation title: “Toward In-situ Nanoscale Imaging and Spectroscopy: Applications in Growth and Catalysis of Two-dimensional Materials.”

Brian Zamarripa Roman, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Jacquelyn Chini, Ph.D.,

Dissertation title: “Qualitative Reconceptualizations of Success in Physics from a Feminist Lens.”


Chelsea Belanger, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Shannon Carter, Ph.D.,

Dissertation Title: “The Bikini Line: Race, Gender, and Embodiment in Texas Beauty Pageants.”

Erin Kidder, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Elizabeth Grauerholz, Ph.D.,

Dissertation Title: “Stock Shows and Rodeos: The Crossroads of Commodification, Consumption, and Care of Nonhuman Animals.”

School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs

Daniel Banini, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Jonathan Powell, Ph.D.,

Dissertation Title: “Security Dynamics in West Africa: The Interplay of Ecology, State Legitimacy, and Corruption on State Stability.”

Logan Kerschner, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Thomas Dolan, Ph.D.,

Dissertation Title: “Small Intrusions, Powerful Payoff: Shaping status relationships through interstate intrusions and responses.”

Zlatin Mitkov, Ph.D, faculty advisors, Andrew Boutton, Ph.D., and Konstantin Ash, Ph.D.

Dissertation Title: “Group Level Cues and The Use of Force in Domestic and Foreign Policy Contexts.”

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