Introducing 13 New Ph.D. Graduates

In a reception hosted by Dean Michael Johnson, Ph.D., the College of Sciences celebrated its new Ph.D. graduates in the Physical Sciences building. Thirteen students were recognized with family members and faculty advisors by their side. Associate Dean Teresa Dorman, Ph.D., honored each student by presenting their research and dissertation. A champagne toast followed to celebrate the students’ hard work.

Congratulations to our Summer 2017 Ph.D. graduates! Click the photo below to view the photo album.

UCF College of Sciences Summer 2017 Ph.D. Reception


Edwanna Andrews, Ph.D., (faculty advisor: David Gay, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Damned To Hell: The Black Church Experience for Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals”

Mandi Barringer, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, David Gay, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “A Place in the Pew: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals’ Perceptions of Religious Traditions”

Brenda Savage, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, Elizabeth Mustaine, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “The Best Thing Sociology Can Do: The Transformative Potential of a Community Action and Involvement Course”


Sudeep Pandy, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, Romaine Gaume, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Quantification of Non‐Stoichiometry and Impurities in Transparent Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Ceramics by Laser‐induced Breakdown Spectroscopy”

Takat Rawal, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, Talat Rahman, Ph.D.) Disseration, “Predictive Modeling of Functional Materials for Catalytic and Sensor Applications”

Zoe Landsman, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, Humberto Campins, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “The Physical Properties and Composition of Main-Belt Asteroids from Infrared Spectroscopy”

Marta Anguera-Antonana, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, Enrique del Barco, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Spin and Charge Transport in Graphene Based Devices”


Cheng Cheng, Ph.D., (faculty advisors, Xin Li and Qiyu Sun, Ph.Ds)  Dissertation, “Sampling and Reconstruction of Spatial Signals”

Political Science

Jason Christensen, Ph.D., (Security Studies), (faculty advisor, Barbara Kinsey, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Determinants of State Fragility: Violent Group Grievance, Political Legitimacy, and Economic Capacity”


Matthew LaPalme, Ph.D. (Industrial and Organizational Psychology), (faculty advisor, Dana Joseph, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Affective Chickens and Performance Eggs: A Longitudinal Meta-Analysis”

Amanda Lowell, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), (faculty advisor, Kimberly Renk, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Predicting Child Maltreatment Potential in Mothers who are Substance-involved: A Study of Childhood Adversity, Stress, Affectivity, Emotion Dysregulation and Emotion Regulation Strategies as Mechanisms of Action”

Michael Rupp, Ph.D. (Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology), (faculty advisor, Janan Smither, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “Examining the Role of Aging and Cardiovascular Fitness in Goal‐Directed Kinematics”


Alexandra Smith, Ph.D., (faculty advisor, Dmitry Kolpashchikov, Ph.D.) Dissertation, “A Deoxyribozyme Sensor and Isothermal Amplification for Human Sex Determination”

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