2013 Awards

The Office of Graduate Studies congratulates recipients of the 2013 Folsom Distinguished Dissertation and Thesis awards, the Graduate Teaching and Research awards, and the Excellence in Graduate Education awards. See also: Awardees from other years.

Lowe R. & Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award

Funded by the Folsom family through the University of Nebraska Foundation, this award recognizes and rewards distinguished scholarship and research at the doctoral level. Nominated dissertations represent original work making an extraordinarily significant contribution to the discipline.

This year's recipients are Juan Colón and Christopher Goodrich.

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Colón completed his doctoral degree in electrical engineering under professors Jerry Hudgins and Peter Dowben. His dissertation is titled “The Role of Rare Earth Dopants in Semiconducting Host System for Spin Electronic Devices.” Colón is from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico.

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Goodrich completed his doctoral degree in Mathematics under professor Allan Peterson. His dissertation is titled “An Analysis of Nonlocal Boundary Value Problems of Fractional and Integer Order.” Goodrich is from Omaha, Nebraska.

Lowe R. & Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Masters Thesis Award

Funded by the Folsom family through the University of Nebraska Foundation, this award recognizes and rewards distinguished scholarship and research at the master's level.

Amy Colgrove, Kaci Nash, Elizabeth Straley, and Tyler Wortman are the 2013 recipients.

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Colgrove received her master’s in child, youth and family studies under assistant professor Soo-Young Hong and professor Helen Raikes. Colgrove’s thesis is “Approaches to Teaching Young Children Science Concepts and Vocabulary, and Scientific Problem-Solving Skills and Role of Classroom Environment.” Colgrove is from Naperville, Illinois.

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Nash received her master’s in history under professor William Thomas. Nash’s thesis is “On Our Way to the Sunny South, Land of Chivalry: Northern Imperial Attitudes in the Civil War South.” Nash is from Omaha, Nebraska.

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Straley received her master’s in Sociology under professor Julia McQuillan. Straley’s thesis is “Abortion and Distress: The Role of State-Level Restrictive Laws Regarding Reproduction.” Straley is from Omaha, Nebraska.

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Wortman received his master’s in Mechanical Engineering under professor Shane Farritor. Wortman’s thesis is Design, Analysis, and Testing of In Vivo Surgical Robots. Wortman is from Grand Island, Nebraska.


Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education Award honors faculty members whose dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence in graduate mentoring have made a significant contribution to graduate education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Kimberly Tyler and Yan (Ruth) Xia are the 2013 recipients of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education.

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Tyler is a professor in sociology. She has published 26 peer-reviewed journal articles and 15 of these papers have had a graduate student co-author. In 5 of these papers, her students are the lead-author. She has taken on leadership roles in the department and mentored numerous students, and has done all of it while sustaining a strong publication record and acquiring external funding from national sources. Her work has appeared in the top journals in her field, such as Social Science Research, Journal of Research on Adolescence, and Social Science and Medicine. Her external reviewers further highlight her contribution to the field "Dr. Tyler has made significant contributions to social scientists' understanding to the lives of homeless youth" and "Professor Tyler is to be commended for taking on such challenging subjects of research, and for bringing to light the tremendous, multifaceted problems of homeless youth."

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Xia is an associate professor in child, youth and family studies. She is the catalyst and a founding member of the Global Consortium for Education in Family Studies, which links six countries and institutions for the benefit of students and faculty. Xia has been a critical member of a team the past decade which has taken a great idea – developing a new field, International Family Studies – and turning it into an online graduate program for students all over the world. "Dr. Xia is known for mentoring U.S. and international students through countless challenging life situations." She has over 29 publications in the Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Asian Pacific Journal of Social Work, International Journal of Sociology of the Family, and many more. She also provides opportunities for her graduate students to review research manuscripts so that they may see and learn the peer review process and publishing.


Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

The Office of Graduate Studies recognizes the valuable role that graduate teaching assistants play in enhancing undergraduate learning at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award honors graduate teaching assistants who have demonstrated special effectiveness in teaching undergraduates in a variety of settings.

The 2013 recipients are Bobbi Jo Olson and Ted Paterson.

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Olson, of Madison, South Dakota, is a doctoral student in English working as a teaching assistant under the supervision of associate professor Frances Condon.

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Paterson, of Gardnerville, Nevada, is a doctoral student in management and is a teaching assistant under the supervision of professor Peter Harms.


Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award

This award recognizes the excellent quality of research carried out by UNL graduate students and is given based on the student's on-going outstanding contribution to research, future promise as a researcher, and on the originality, imagination, and significance of their research or creative activity.

The recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Awards are Jill Allen and Haidong Lu.

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Allen, of Dysart, Iowa, is a doctoral student in psychology working as a research assistant with assistant professor Sarah Gervais.

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Lu, of Haining, Zhejiang, China, is a doctoral student in physics and astronomy working as a research assistant with professor Alexei Grouverman.