Congratulations Summer ‘23 Doctoral Graduates! 

This summer, 26 College of Sciences Ph.D. graduates walked across the stage into futures making an impact in academia and industry. They were celebrated by faculty, staff, supporters and the dean at the COS Pre-Commencement Ph.D. Celebration on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. Dean Maggy Tomova, Ph.D., honored their accomplishments with remarks and a toast. She said, “We wish you great success in your future endeavors and offer our most sincere congratulations.” These graduates are now ready for the next step in their careers.  

Summer 2023 Ph.D. graduates

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


Jacob Bryant, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Fernando Uribe-Romo, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Leveraging the Principles of Reticular Chemistry for the Design of Crystallographically and Chemically complex Multivariate Frameworks” 

Lorianne Shultz-Johnson, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Titel Jurca, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Design Principles for Catalyst Probe Reaction Systems” 

AJ Sona, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Erin Saitta, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Supporting the Needs of Graduate Teaching Assistants in Active Learning Chemistry Environments” 

Clinical Psychology 

Emily Bernstein, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Kristi Alexander, Ph.D., Robert Dvorak, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Children’s Knowledge of Intravenous Needle Insertion and Distress: The Indirect Effects of Cognitive Appraisals of Threat and Coping” 

Jessica Flori, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Michael Dunn, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Defining Sober Harms and Factors that Influence Them: Blame it on the Alcohol?” 

John O’Donnell, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Jeffrey Bedwell, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “The Role of Savoring in the Relationship Between Concussion History and Consummatory Reward” 

Roselyn Peterson, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Robert Dvorak, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Assessment of Sexual Protective Behavioral Strategies: Development of the Sexual and Negative Dating Inventory (SANDI)” 

Conservation Biology 

Matthew Atkinson, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Anna Savage, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Impacts of the protist pathogen amphibian Perkinsea on amphibian species and communities” 

John Konvalina, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Eric Hoffman, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Evolutionary History and Adaptation to Salinity in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)” 

Integrative and Conservation Biology 

Sambadi Majumder, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Chase Mason, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Applications of Interpretable Machine Learning Oriented Methods in Plant Ecology and Crop Science” 

Integrative Anthropological Sciences 

Jessica Robkin, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Scott Branting, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Heterarchy or Hierarchy: Modeling and Simulation Applied to Social Organization at the late Iron Age Site of Kerkenes, Central Anatolia” 

Rachael Root, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Beatriz Reyes-Foster, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “’They Dare to Continue:’ Identity, Challenges, and Coloniality of Distance at Universidad de Oriente, Yucatan” 


Thialita Moura Do Nascimento, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Eduardo Teixeira, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “On Quantitative Hessian Estimates for Fully Nonlinear Elliptic Equations” 


Francis Adoah, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Enrique del Barco, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Theoretical analysis of charge conduction and rectification in self-assembled monolayers in molecular junctions” 

Charuni Dissanayake, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Yasuyuki Nakajima, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Exotic ground states in novel quantum magnets” 

Zachary Felker, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Zhongzhou Chen, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Due Tomorrow, Do Tomorrow: Measuring and Reducing Procrastination Behavior Among Introductory Physics Students in an Online Environment” 

Keanna Jardine, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Adrienne Dove, Ph.D.  

Dissertation: “Towards understanding cohesion on asteroid surfaces: A Study of Adhesion of micron-sized planetary analogues using an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) with implications for sample return analysis” 

Ammon Johnston, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Laurene Tetard, Ph.D., Saiful Khondaker, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Defect Engineering of 2D Materials for Nanoelectronics and Optoelectronics Device” 

Eric Switzer, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Talat Rahman, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Theoretical Framework of Exchange Coupled Tripartite Spin Systems with Magnetic Anisotropy and Predictions of Spin and Electronic Transport Properties for Their Use in Quantum Architectures” 

Nusaiba Zaman, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Abdelkader Kara, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Physical insight into the catalytic properties of adsorbed bimetallic clusters using Density Functional Theory” 

Security Studies 

Ozgur Kayaalp, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Michael Mousseau, Ph.D., Peter Jacques, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Exploring Regional Dynamics: States, International Civil Society, and Regional Interstate Cooperation” 

Santosh Sapkota, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Jonathan Powell, Ph.D., Konstantin Ash, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Peacekeeping for Peace: Effectiveness and Impacts” 


Taylor Devereaux, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Scott Carter, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Digital Disconnect: The Relationship Between In-game and Real-world Issues in World of Warcraft” 

Madelyn Diaz, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Amy Reckdenwald, Ph.D., Jacqueline Woerner, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Disclosure Experiences and Well-Being Among Heterosexual, Lesbian, and Bisexual Sexual Violence Survivors” 

Chelsea Mandes, Ph.D., faculty advisors, Elizabeth Grauerholz, Ph.D., Amy Reckdenwald, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “’All We Know is All We Are’: The Unseen Pain and Potential of Secondary Victims of Contact-Sexual Violence” 

Jacquelyn Reiss, Ph.D., faculty advisor, Amy Donley, Ph.D. 

Dissertation: “Local-Level Maternal and Infant Health: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of the Relationship Between Social Determinants of Health, Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes, and Public Health Programs in Florida” 

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