Spring ‘23 Doctoral Graduates Honored by Dean

Spring 2023 College of Sciences doctoral graduates were celebrated at the COS Pre-Commencement Celebration on Thursday, May 4, 2023. Dean Maggy Tomova, Ph.D., honored their accomplishments with remarks and a toast. She said, “These credentials establish you among your contemporaries as someone who is willing to make sacrifices and embrace challenges in their pursuit of knowledge. There is so much more adventure waiting for you ahead.” These graduates are now ready for the next step in their careers.  

Spring 2023 College of Sciences Ph.D. graduates standing outside the Student Union in front of a vibrant mural
Spring 2023 College of Sciences Ph.D. Graduates

Here is the full list of College of Sciences Ph.D. graduates. 

Big Data Analytics 

Jianbin Zhu, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Chung-Ching Wang, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Automated Machine Learning: Intelligent Binning Data Preparation and Regularized Regression Classifier” 


Alex Burnstine-Townley, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Lei Zhai, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Rapid Fabrication of Nanoparticles on Carbonaceous Nanofibers” 

Ahmed Comas, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Andres Campiglia, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Tobacco related Samples via High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Laser Excited Time Resolved Shpol’ Skii Spectroscopy” 

James Janesko, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Andres Campiglia, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “A Developmental Investigation of Separation and Analysis of Molecular Mass 302 Da Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons using High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Chiral Stationary Phase” 

Jessica Kindell, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Candice Bridge, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Error rate determination of latent print chemistry via 1D and 2D gas chromatography” 

Christopher Nix, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Erin Saitta, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Following Faculty Engaging in Collaborative Action Research to Approach Curricular Change in Undergraduate Biochemistry” 

Anthony Santana, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Andres Campiglia, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Instrumental Approaches for High Resolution Photoluminescence Spectroscopy and its Applications to Environmental Analysis” 

Clinical Psychology 

Rachel Bassett, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Daniel Paulson, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Bridging the gap between Black Americans’ and White Americans’ completion of advance care directives: The role of religion and spirituality in end-of-life planning” 

Conservation Biology 

Kevin Guilfoyle, Ph.D., faculty advisor, John Fauth, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Refining the Use of Stable Isotope Analysis in Detecting Wildlife Laundering” 

Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology 

Michael Miuccio, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Joseph Schmidt, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Locating the Attentional Template Using Theta-Gamma Coupling” 

Ashley Phelps, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Joseph Schmidt, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Neural Dynamics of Categorical Representations Used for Visual Search” 

Industrial and Organizational Psychology 

Emily Broksch, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Mark Ehrhart, Ph.D. 

Dissertation, “Employee Volunteering: Integrating the Volunteering and Helping Literatures Using a Latent Profile Approach” 

Wheeler Nakahara, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Steve Jex, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Stress Appraisals of Organizational Change: The Role of Adaptability and Communication” 

Integrative and Conservation Biology 

Ian Biazzo, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Pedro Quintana-Ascencio, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Canopies, the Final Frog-tier: Exploring Responses of a Specialist Treefrog to Prescribed Fire in a Pyrogenic Ecosystem” 

Gustavo Stahelin, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Katherine Mansfield, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Variation in Genetic Structure and Dispersal of Juvenile Green Turtles” 

Integrative Anthropological Sciences 

Alexandria Orozco, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Tosha Dupras, Ph.D., Scott Branting, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Lived Experience at Plinkaigalis, Lithuania: An Integrated Approach Using Stable Isotope, Spatial, and Statistical Analyses” 


Yaxuan Wang, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Marianna Pensky, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Clustering of Diverse Multiplex Networks”

Modeling and Simulation 

Daryn Dever, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Roger Azevedo, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Capturing and Scaffolding the Complexities of Self-Regulation During Game-based Learning” 

Megan Wiedbusch, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Roger Azevedo, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “The dynamical measurement and modeling of metacognition and engagement using self-report and multimodal data with advanced learning technologies” 


Christopher Arose, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Subith Vasu, Ph.D., Robert Peale, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Spectrally Selective Pyroelectric Detectors for THz Sensing” 

Olga Harrington Pinto, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Maria Womack, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Observation and Analysis of the Chemical Compositions and Physical Properties of Comets and Centaurs” 

Molla Manjurul Islam, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Tania Roy, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Neuromorphic Artificial Visual Systems using 2D Materials” 

Jennifer Larson, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Yanga Fernandez, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Impact on Infinite Asteroids: Analysis of Ejecta Outcomes in Small Body Binary Systems” 

Zackary Parsons, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Xiaofeng Feng, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Probing the Structure-Activity Relationships of Electrocatalytic Nanomaterials using Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy” 


Ashley Sobke, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Amanda Koontz, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Becoming Racially Aware: A Social Process of (Re)constructing an Alternative White Identity” 

Strategic Communication  

Darius Lana, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Deanna Sellnow, Ph.D., Jennifer Sandoval, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “It’s in the Design: Student Perceptions of Intercultural Interactions in Online Communication Classrooms” 

Lakelyn Taylor, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Deanna Sellnow, Ph.D., Jihyun Kim, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Christian Perspectives on Natural Disasters Using a Religious Systems Approach” 

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