Category: Theses and Dissertations

Dissertation, thesis, and report posts

New Dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Forest Science
  • Geophysics
  • Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication


Felix Adom
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: David R Shonnard
Dissertation title: The Potential of Industrial Waste and Agricultural Feedstock Towards Sustainable Biofuels Production: Techno-Economic and Environmental Impact Perspectives

Tianle Cheng
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Yu Wang
Dissertation title: Diffuse-Interface Field Approach to Modeling Self-Assembly of Heterogeneous Colloidal Systems and Related Dipole-Dipole Interaction Phenomena

Neluka Dissanayake
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics
Advisor: Miguel Levy
Dissertation title: Magneto-Photonic Crystals for Optical Sensing Applications

Jiqing Fan
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: David R Shonnard
Dissertation title: Sustainable Energy Production in the United States: Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels and Bioenergy

Alexandru Herescu
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jeffrey Allen
Dissertation title: Two-Phase Flow in Microchannels: Morphology and Interface Phenomena

Mohamed Ibrahim
Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics
Advisor: Wayne D Pennington
Dissertation title: Amplitude-Versus-Angle Analysis and Wide-Angle-Inversion of Crosswell Seismic Data in a Carbonate Reservoir

Kevyn Juneau
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Catherine Sophia Tarasoff
Dissertation title: Integrated Management of the Invasive Species Cirsiumarvense, Canada Thistle, and Phragmites australis, Common Reed: Using Ecologically Based Control Measures at Each Stage of the Invasion Process

Katherine Snyder
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Rupak M Rajachar
Dissertation title: Development of Vapor Deposited Silica Sol-Gel Particles for a Bioactive Materials System to Direct Osteoblast Behavior

Kefeng Li
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Ramakrishna Wusirika
Dissertation title: Isolation of Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria from Torch Lake Sediments and Their Role in Phytoremediation of Metal Contaminated Soil

Wenjia Liu
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Bo Chen
Dissertation title: Data Driven Intelligent Agent Networks for Adaptive Monitoring and Control

Kimberly Rudkin
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Marika Ann Seigel
Dissertation title: Add a Dash of Rhetoric, a Pinch of Technical Communication, a Handful of Pedagogy, and Mix Well: Cookbooks and Recipes as Instructional Texts, and What Domestic Texts from 1870 to1935 Can Teach Us About Technical Communication

Scott See
Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
Advisor: Larry D Lankton
Dissertation title: Keweenaw National Historical Park: Heritage Partnerships in an Industrial Landscape

Pei Tang
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Co-Advisors: Amlan Mukherjee and Nilufer Onder
Dissertation title: Assessing Decision Making Strategies in Construction Management by using a Schedule-based Simulation Framework

Foad Yousef
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: W. Charles Kerfoot
Dissertation title: Application of Remote Sensing in Aquatic Ecosystems


New Theses in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Ecology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forestry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Cagri Abis
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Gordon G Parker
Thesis title: Kalman Filter Approaches on Crane Swing

Zainab Alshoug
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: David R Shonnard
Thesis title: Production of Recombinant Trichoderma Reesei Endoglucanase Protein Cel7B by Using Kluyveromyces Lactis

Regina Baiden
Master of Science in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Sue Collins
Thesis title: The Celebrity Burden: Celebrity Campaigns in the Pursuit of Humanitarianism

Kyle Bordeau
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Gordon G Parker
Thesis title: Agent Based, Distributed Control Strategies and Optimization of Plug-In Electric Vehicles on Smart/Microgrid Architectures

Shubham Borole
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Gerard T Caneba and Tony Neal Rogers
Thesis title: Surfactant-Oil Interactions: Foaming & Toxicity

Keri Deneau
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Linda Marie Nagel and Jorg Brunet
Thesis title: The Effects of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) on Understory Vegetation and Soils in a Northern Hardwood Forest

Tim Gebuhr
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Robert Edgar Froese and Michael J Falkowski
Thesis title: Applications of LiDAR Remote Sensing of Forest Structure in the Upper Great Lakes Region, USA

Adam Kantor
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John E Beard
Thesis title: Implementation of a Variable Compression Ratio Mechanism in a Four Cylinder Engine

Cassandra Ott
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Rodney A Chimner
Thesis title: Carbon in the Peatlands of the Great Lakes Region of North America

Aaron Poznanovic
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Michael J Falkowski and Ann L Maclean
Thesis title: Geospatial Analysis of Western Juniper (Juniperusoccidentalis) Encroachment Utilizing Remotely Sensed Data

Karl Romanowicz
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: Erik Lilleskov
Thesis title: Plant-Mediated Effects on Microbial Diversity in Mesocosms of an Oligotrophic Bog

Mary Snyder
Master of Science in Forestry
Advisor: Catherine Sophia Tarasoff
Thesis title: Local Use and Management of Tasba (Senna obtusifolia) in the Traditional Food System of Sanguere Paul, North Cameroon


New Theses and Dissertations Available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Geology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Physics


Yiru Chen
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Advisor: Victor B Busov
Dissertation title: Regulation of Woody Plant Development by Auxin and Polar Auxin Transport

Aaron DeWahl
Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Stephen A Hackney
Thesis title: Faulted Structures in Li Ion Exchanged NaMO2(M=Ni0.25Mn0.75)

Stephanie Groves
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: Ethanol Production from Hardboard Manufacturing Process Wastewater: Methods for Improving Product Yields from Hemicellulose Hydrolysates

Alexandria Guth
Doctor of Philosophy in Geology
Advisor: James R Wood
Dissertation title: Spatial and Temporal Evolution of the Volcanics and Sediments of the Kenya Rift

Meagan Harless
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Co-Advisors: Casey J Huckins and Thomas Grant Pypker
Dissertation title: Effects of Chemical Deicers on Amphibian Communities

Melanie Kueber Watkins
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Advisor: David W Hand
Dissertation title: Characterization of a Coal Fly Ash-Cement Slurry by the Absolute Foam Index

Federica Lanza
Master of Science in Geology
Co-Advisors: Gregory Phillip Waite and Alessandro Tibaldi
Thesis title: Evaluating Stress Patterns for Plio-Quaternary Brittle Deformation along the Calama-Olacapato-El Toro Fault Zone, Central Andes

Chen Liao
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Shiyan Hu
Dissertation title: Strategic Optimization Techniques for FRTU Deployment and Chip Physical Design

James Pidgeon
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Jeffrey Donald Naber and John H Johnson
Thesis title: An Experimental Investigation into the Effects of Biodiesel Blends on Particulate Matter Oxidation in a Catalyzed Particulate Filter during Active Regeneration

Sarah Poznanovic
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Christopher Raymond Webster and Joseph Kelty Bump
Thesis title: Promoting Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems Using Ecological Forestry

Alison Regal
Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
Co-Advisors: Louisa Dominique Raisbeck and Paul Ward
Thesis title: Skill Acquisition and the Influence of Attentional Focus and Practice

Michael Rittenour
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Scott Andrew Miers and Jason R Blough
Thesis title: Cold-Start Emissions Testing of Snowmobiles Using Ethanol and Gasoline

Neila Salvadori
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Veronica Webster Griffis
Thesis title: Evaluation of Non-Stationarity in Annual Maximum Flood Series of Moderately Impaired Watersheds in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern United States

Joel Suss
Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
Advisor: Paul Ward
Dissertation title: Using a Prediction and Option Generation Paradigm to Understand Decision Making

Scott Wagner
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Co-Advisors: William John Emblom and Craig R Friedrich
Dissertation title: Analysis of a Non-Traditional Micro Tube Hydroforming Process

Mimi Yang
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Advisor: Pushpalatha P N Murthy
Dissertation title: Enhancement of Heterologous Expression of Alkaline Phytase in Pichia pastoris

Huan Zhang
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Chaoli Wang
Thesis title: Animated Transition in Similarity-Based Tiled Image Layout

Xiaoliang Zhong
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
Advisor: Ravindra Pandey
Dissertation title: Electron Transport in Low-Dimensional Nanostructures -Theoretical Study with Application

Bonnie Zwissler
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: A Study of the Impacts of Freeze-Thaw on Cliff Recession at the Calvert Cliffs in Calvert County, Maryland


Summer Seminar Series Announced

The Graduate School is pleased to announce its Summer 2013 Professional Development Seminar Series.  Both seminars will be available on campus and online – streaming live and taped for viewing later.  Join us for one or both seminars, designed to help writers of dissertations, theses, and reports and the staff who assist them.

  • June 18 | An Office Full of Tips | 11am -noon
    Learn how to use Microsoft Office to automate many of the common tasks a writer must do, such as caption figures and tables, format text consistently and place page numbers correctly. Debra Charlesworth, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School will show you tips and tricks that will help you focus on your writing instead of your formatting.
  • July 24 | Copyright for Your Thesis or Dissertation | 11am -noon
    Who holds the copyright on your thesis?  Can you put part of journal article in your dissertation?  What if you wrote the article?  Nora Allred, Copyright Librarian from the J.R. Van Pelt and Opie Library will present the basics of U.S. Copyright and discuss the role it plays in writing and publishing a thesis or dissertation.

Please register online to attend either or both seminars on campus or online.  Once you register, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with the location or technical information needed to view the streaming video.

Past seminars offered by the Graduate School, as well as a calendar of our coming events can be found in our Seminar Archive.


New Dissertations Available in Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Forest Science
  • Geological Engineering
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Michael Brodeur-Campbell
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: David R Shonnard
Dissertation title: Biochemical Conversions of Lingocellulosic Biomass for Sustainable Fuel-Ethanol Production in the Upper Midwest

Liu Chen
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Fernando Luis Ponta
Dissertation title: Vortex Shedding Dynamics in Long Aspect-Ratio Aerodynamics Bodies

Baron Colbert
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Zhanping You
Dissertation title: The Performance and Modification of Recycled Electronic Waste Plastics for the Improvement of Asphalt Pavement Materials

Joseph Dingeldein
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Craig R Friedrich
Dissertation title: Direct Write Fabrication of Waveguides and Interconnects for Optical Printed Wiring Boards

Emmanuel Ebanyenle
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Co-Advisors: Andrew J Burton and Andrew John Storer
Dissertation title: Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and O3 on Wood Density, Anatomical Properties and Decomposition of Northern Hardwoods

Shurong Fang
Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematical Sciences
Co-Advisors: Qiuying Sha and Shuanglin Zhang
Dissertation title: Statistical Methods for Rare and Common Variant Association Studies

Carrie Hill
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Lyon Bradley King
Dissertation title: Translation Studies on an Annular Field Reversed Configuration Device for Space Propulsion

John Hribljan
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Rodney A Chimner
Dissertation title: The Effect of Long-Term Water Table Manipulations on Vegetation, Pore Water, Substrate Quality, and Carbon Cycling in a Northern Poor Fen Peatland

Shuo Huang
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering
Advisor: Jindong Tan
Dissertation title: Adaptive Sampling with Mobile Sensor Networks

Yongliang Jin
Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Amlan Mukherjee
Dissertation title: Evaluating Infrastructure Performance to Assist Facility Management Toward Sustainable Systems

Fanyu Kong
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering
Advisor: Jindong Tan
Dissertation title: Automatic Food Intake Assessment Using Camera Phones

Pradeep Kumar
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics
Advisor: Miguel Levy
Dissertation title: Nonlinear Effects in Magnetic Garnet Films and Nonreciprocal Optical Bloch Oscillations in Waveguide Arrays

Chengzhang Li
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Michele H Miller
Dissertation title: Design and Fabrication of Resonant Gas Sensor for High Sensitivity in the Presence of Air Damping

Miriam Rios Sanchez
Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering
Advisor: John S Gierke
Dissertation title: A Remote Sensing Approach to Characterize the Hydrogeology of Mountainous Areas: Application to the Quito Aquifer System (QAS), Ecuador


New Theses Available in Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Applied Ecology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forestry
  • Geological Engineering
  • Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


Ruth Bennett
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: Joseph Kelty Bump
Thesis title: Habitat Associations of the Golden-winged Warbler in Honduras

Howard Haselhuhn
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Surendra K Kawatra
Thesis title: The Role of Water Chemistry in the Concentration of Hematite Ore

Abhishek Jain
Master of Science in Geological Engineering
Advisor: Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: Sampling Bias in Evaluating the Probability of Seismically Induced Soil Liquefaction with SPT & CPT Case Histories

Lilli Kaarakka
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Co-Advisors: Andrew J Burton and Helja-Sisko Helmisaari
Thesis title: The Long-Term Effects of Whole-Tree Harvest at Final Felling on Soil Properties in a Norway Spruce(Picea abies(L) Karst.) Stand

Laura Kangas
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Co-Advisors: Rodney A Chimner and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila
Thesis title: Restoration of Forested Wetlands: Case Studies in Michigan and Finland

Harriet King
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Charles Robert Wallace
Thesis title: Understanding “Just Enough” Computer Users: Motivation Style and Proficiency

Aditya Kumar
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Shiliang Wu
Thesis title: Free Troposphere Ozone & Carbon Monoxide over the North Atlantic for 2001-2011

Robert Larson
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Jason Robert Carter
Thesis title: Sleep Deprivation and Pain Intensity

Jaime LeDuc
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: W. Charles Kerfoot
Thesis title: Predator-Prey: Interactions Between the Spiny Waterflea(Bythotrephes longimanus) and Pumpkinseed Sunfish(Lepomis gibbosus)

Dustin Loveland
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: Development of a Predictive Combustion Model of a Spark Ignited Engine with Gasoline Direct Injection, Variable Valve Timing, Duration and Lift Technologies

Bethany Lyons
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew J Burton
Thesis title: Nitrogen Deposition Effects on Production and Decomposition of Coarse Woody Debris

John Maass
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Rudy L Luck
Thesis title: Coordination Chemistry of BIS(Benzyl)Phosphate

Jonathan Malette
Master of Science in Forestry
Advisor: Blair D Orr
Thesis title: Assessing Land Use and Land Cover Change in Tropical Dry Forest of Northern Chinandega, Nicaragua from 1985 to 2011

Maira Maskevics
Master of Science in Computer Engineering
Advisor: Roger M Kieckhafer
Thesis title: Multimodal Performance and Reliability Analysis of the Pierre Auger Observatory Northern Site Communications System,

Kathleen McKee
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Gregory Phillip Waite
Thesis title: Using Auto- and Cross-Correlations from Seismic Noise to Monitor Velocity Changes at Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Lauren Schaefer
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: Geotechnical Data and Numerical Analysis of Edifice Collapse and Related Hazards at Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala

Daniel Smith
Master of Science in Geological Engineering
Co-Advisors: John S Gierke and Thomas Oommen
Thesis title: Stability Analysis and Hazard Assessment of the Northern Slopes of San Vicente Volcano in Central El Salvador

Luis Miguel Verissimo
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Co-Advisors: Joseph Kelty Bump and Michael J Falkowski
Thesis title: Landscape and Forest Structure at Moose Mortality Sites on Isle Royale National Park: A LiDAR-Based Assessment

Aino Virtanen
Master of Science in Forestry
Co-Advisors: Audrey Lorraine Mayer and Anne Maarit Kristiina Toppinen
Thesis title: Managerial Perceptions on Corporate Social Responsibility: A Transatlantic Comparison between Forest Products Companies in Europe and North America

Zhichao Wang
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Wenzhen Li
Thesis title: Synthesis, Characterization and Electrochemical Applications of Nanostructured Non-precious Metal Catalysts

Andrew Wiegand
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Co-Advisors: Scott Andrew Miers and Jason R Blough
Thesis title: Conversion of a Micro, Glow-Ignition, Two-Stroke Engine from Nitromethane-Methanol Blend Fuel to Military Jet Propellant (JP-8)


Intellectual Property Program for Graduate Students

Is it original? Copyright & Patents for Graduate Students

Graduate students are encouraged to enroll in Is It Original? Copyright and Patents for Graduate Students, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Program Basics:

This program offers busy graduate students a unique opportunity to build an understanding of intellectual property that will complement their studies, research, and instructional goals. Students can:

  • Participate in a non-credit (no-cost), five-week program (July 18 – August 15)  that is guided by Michigan Tech copyright and patent experts.
  • Learn with peers in online environments, during Monday/Thursday weekly meetings with campus experts and guest speakers to develop a broad understanding of copyright and patent fundamentals in the context of academic research and publishing.
  • Engage in guided team activities to analyze IP case scenarios relevant to graduate studies and to share your informed analysis with others.

Program Benefits:

Students will gain a competitive edge for their graduate studies and with future employers. They will explore the beneficial balance of IP law that supports the continuous advancement of knowledge by protecting, rewarding, and encouraging originality in STEM research. On successful program completion, they will receive a certificate of training in intellectual property. We’ve worked on this program for several terms taking into account feedback from graduate student attendees.

To enroll, please register online.

An orientation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 18 in the library.

For further information and any questions, please contact Jean DeClerck (jsdecler@mtu.edu).


Nominations Open for the 2013 Distinguished Dissertation Award

Nominations are closed for this year’s competition.

Nominations are now open for the 2013 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Please submit nominations to the Graduate School no later than 4pm, July 1, 2013, following our online instructions. This year, nominations are being accepted from dissertations in the fields of:

  1. biological and life sciences (more details)
    Including:  biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; agriculture, forestry, and related fields.
  2. humanities/fine arts (more details)
    Including: history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.

Michigan Tech may nominate one student in each field. PhD students who have completed all of their degree requirements between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013, are eligible.   Next year, the 2014 competition will accept nominations in the fields of social sciences and mathematics/physical sciences/engineering for students who have graduated between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014.

Please direct your questions to Debra Charlesworth, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School.


Are You Cited? Find Out With Library’s New Citation Searching Guide

The Van Pelt and Opie Library is pleased to offer a new guide to citation searching, which can be found online. This guide, created specifically for faculty and graduate students at Michigan Tech, contains helpful information for researchers in all academic disciplines.

Save yourself hours of searching time by using the guide to learn how to:

  • Determine if and where your publications have been cited
  • Discover works related to other authors, articles, or topics
  • Assess the relative quality or merit of a publication

If you have a suggestion for a database or other resource that should be added to the guide, please send an e-mail to reflib@mtu.edu or submit your suggestion using the link on the front page of the guide.


Evan Anderson represents Michigan Tech in Distinguished Thesis Competition

Evan Anderson, Michigan Tech’s MAGS nominee
The Graduate School is pleased to announce that Evan Anderson is Michigan Tech’s nominee for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis Award.  Mr. Anderson was nominated by his advisor, Dr. Blair Orr of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.  His thesis, “The Impact of Balsamo (Myroxylon Balsamum L. Harms) on Coffee Yield and Household Income in El Balsamar, El Salvador,” investigated sustainable coffee production in El Balsamar.  His work was conducted during his time as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and was developed in response to local community needs.  The thesis integrated the biological, social, and economic role of the tree in the community.  Evan is currently an urban forester with Davey Tree in San Francisco, California.

Three other graduate students were also nominated for consideration.  Jean DeClerck was nominated by her advisors, Dr. M. Ann Brady and Dr. Wendy Anderson of Humanities, and committee member Dr. Victoria Bergvall of Humanities.  Nathan Kelley-Hoskins was nominated by his advisor, Dr. Petra Hüntemeyer of Physics.  Andrew Orthober was nominated by his advisor, Dr. Carol MacLennan of Social Sciences.  All of the nominations were noteworthy for their scholarship, and the evaluation panel had a difficult task in selecting one nominee to represent Michigan Tech.

The Dean’s Advisory Panel, representing each college or school at Michigan Tech, evaluated the nominees.  The faculty on this panel represent a broad range of graduate programs:  J. Gierke (Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences), S. Martin (Social Sciences), D. Flaspohler (School of Forestry Resources & Environmental Science), X. Wang (School of Technology) and G. Campbell (School of Business and Economics).  Next year’s competition will consider applicants who have completed their degrees between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.  An application consists of an abstract of the thesis, recommendation letter from the advisor, and an electronic copy of the thesis.  Please consider nominating your master’s students next year.