Texas A&M University’s Graduate and Professional School recently awarded five dissertation fellowships as part of their Dissertation Fellowship Program. Developed in fall 2011 by the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, the Dissertation Fellowship supports doctoral students in the late stages of degree program completion, namely final research topics analysis and dissertation writing. Eligible applicants included U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, and international doctoral students.

The following students received the Spring 2019 Dissertation Fellowship:

Daniela Alves de Oliveira is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her dissertation evaluates stimuli-responsive nano-engineered grafting materials for aptasensors used in pathogen detection and viability determination. The study will generate sensors with optimized bacteria detection and cells viability determination at very low levels within minutes. This transformative step can be integrated into food processing facilities and directly impact food safety and public health.

Douglas Bell is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts. His dissertation evaluates the power, politics, and sovereignty in American occupied Germany to addresses questions concerning the aftermath of war and the challenges of building peaceful democratic societies in the wake of war. Through his dissertation Douglas seeks to highlight the difficulties American occupiers experienced in managing the German environment and provide understanding of such situations.

Erin Buchholtz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the Interdisciplinary Degree Program. Her dissertation explores how landscape and movement drives patterns of human-elephant interaction. Through her research, she seeks to understand the ecological interactions between elephants, humans, and the landscape they inhabit. The results of her study will include predictive models and maps that will highlight corridors which are suitable for elephant movement and regions where landscape connectivity leads to higher rates of conflict.

Sungyoon Lee is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture in the College of Education and Human Development. His dissertation is an eye tracking study that focuses on the role of central executive in integrative reading of text and picture. Sungyoon’s research will examine the impact of learners’ individual differences in central executive on learning with illustrated texts. The results of his study will be used to make theoretical and practical contributions to multiple aspects surrounding children reading processes and the role of central executive.

Caitlin Miles is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communications in the College of Liberal Arts. Her dissertation explores how journalism is defined and performed within the daily lives of journalist in Istanbul, Turkey. Through narratives, Caitlin seeks to examine how Turkey’s socio-political and cultural environment color the expression, performance, and fantasy of journalism for people engaged with Turkey’s media. The findings of her study will provide understanding of what journalism is and does, as journalist often contend with dominant narratives, discourses, and material realities within Turkey.

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