Graduate Specialization & Graduate Minor Dissertation and Thesis Titles


Bethany Kraft, MA, Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design

Chelsea Richardson, PhD, Philosophy
Dissertation: Upon the Body: Examining the Relationship Between Race and Ancestry
Advisors: Professors Jennifer McKitrick and Harry Ide

Jennifer Rome, PhD, Communication Studies
Dissertation: Exploring Constructions of “Good” Motherhood on Social Media: Navigating Neoliberal Mommy Rhetorics and the Negative Affective Entanglements of Women's Discourses on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram
Advisor: Professor Casey Ryan Kelly

Darcy Wente-Hahn, PhD, Communication Studies
Dissertation: Communication Privacy Management in Mixed Orientation Marriages
Advisor: Professor Dawn O. Braithwaite


Katherine Henson, PhD English
Dissertation: “so long a thrall”
Advisor: Professor Kwame Dawes

Regan Levitte, MA English
Thesis: “Thanks to 'X' for Beta-ing!”: Fan Fiction Beta Readers in the Writing Center
Advisor: Professor Debbie Minter

Gina Keplinger, MA English, Composition and Rhetoric
Thesis: Cells: On Teaching the Body (Behind Bars)
Advisor: Professor Shari Stenberg

Keshia McClantoc, MA English
Thesis: Becoming a Fan: Reinventing, Repurposing, and Resisting First-Year Composition
Advisor: Professor Stacey Waite

Nicole Rudolph, MA Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design
Advisor: Professor Claire Nichols

Olatz Sanchez-Txabarri, MA Modern Languages and Literature-Spanish
Advisor: Professor Iker Gonzalez-Allende

Stevie K. Seibert Desjarlais, PhD English, Literary and Cultural Studies
Dissertation: American Writers of Popular Rebellion: Gender, Race, and Class, 1945 to Present
Advisor: Professor Amelia Montes


Aimee Allard, PhD English
Dissertation: Fashioning Madness: Clothing in American Women's Asylum Narratives, 1925-1965
Advisor: Professor Guy Reynolds

Erin Bertram, PhD English (Emphasis on Creative Writing)
Dissertation: It’s Not a Lonely World (a hybrid text memoir)
Advisor: Professor Stacey Waite

Miriam Navas Hernandez, MA Modern Languages & Literatures
Advisor: Professor Iker González-Allende

Maria Nazos, PhD English (Emphasis on Creative Writing)
Dissertation: A two-part thesis – “Pulse” and “The Slow Horizon That Breathes”
Advisor: Professor Grace Bauer

Sarah A. Taylor, PhD (Child, Youth & Family Studies)
Dissertation: Exploring Adolescent Dating Violence in Rural Communities: A Mixed Methods Study
Advisor: Professor Yan Ruth Xia

Brandi Woodell, PhD Sociology
Dissertation: Health in Rural Communities: Variation in Resource Utilization by Sexual Orientation and Gender
Advisor: Professor Emily Kazyak


Amber Hadenfeldt, MA English
Advisor: Professor Maureen Honey

Sarah Walcott, MA Textiles, Merchandising, & Fashion Design
Thesis: Domestic Interiors: Hand Needlework and the Cult of True Womanhood in 19th Century American Quilts
Advisor: Professor Michael James

Arden Hill, PhD Creative Writing 
Dissertation: Bloodwater Parish
Advisor: Professor Grace Bauer

Kathleen Lacey, PhD English 
Dissertation: Making Black Girlhood Visible in Late Twentieth-Century African American Womens Prose
Advisor: Professor Maureen Honey


Katherine Hunt, PhD Political Science
Dissertation: Competing for Attention: A Comparative Study of Social Movements and News Media in Abortion Debate
Advisor: Professor Ari Kohen

Catherine Medici-Thiemann, PhD History
Dissertation: She Governs the Queen: Jane Dudley, Mary Dudley Sidney, and Katherine Dudley Hastings Political Actions, Agency, and Networks in Tudor England
Advisor: Professor Carole Levin

Julia Moore, PhD Communication Studies
Dissertation: From Childless by Choice to Mother: Performative and Subversive Negotiations of Race in Relational Comunication about (Never) Having Children
Advisor: Professor Dawn Braithwaite

Jessica Rivera-Mueller, PhD English
Dissertation: Cultivating a Learning Stance toward Writing Teacher Inquiry
Advisor: Professor Shari Stenberg

Rachel Schmitz, PhD Sociology
Dissertation: On the Street and On Campus: A Comparison of Life Course Trajectories among Homeless and College Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Young Adults
Advisor: Professor Kimberly Tyler


Jacqueline H. Harris, PhD English
Dissertation: The Buried Life of the Facts of Life: Female Physical Development in Nineteenth-Century British Coming-of-Age Literature
Advisor: Professor Laura White

Mitchell Hobza, MA English
“I am not your justification for existence: Mourning, Fascism, Feminism and the Amputation of Mothers and Daughters in Atwood, Ziervogel, and Ozick
Professor Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes

Mevi  Hova, PhD English
Redefining the Black Diaspora: Migration, Identity, and Gender Narratives in West African Diasporic Womens Fiction
Advisors: Professors Kwakiutl Dreher & Kwame Dawes


Lesley Bartlett, PhD English
Dissertation: Pedagogy in Action: Teaching and Writing as Rhetorical Performance
Advisor: Professor Shari Stenberg

Jaclyn Cruikshank Vogt, PhD English
Dissertation: Women Who Kill: Late Twentieth-Century American Women Writers Rewriting Mythologies of Violence
Advisor: Professor Maureen Honey

Kris Gandara, PhD English
Dissertation: If I Were He: Tracing a Female Butch Lineage in American Literature
Advisor: Professor Amelia Montes

Heather Jerónimo, PhD Modern Languages and Literatures, Spanish
Dissertation: Forming Fam(other)hood: Queer Parenthood in 20th and 21st-Century Spanish Narrative and Film
Advisor: Professor Iker González-Allende

Sarah Jones, PhD Communication Studies
Networking Local-Global Advocacy: A Rhetorical Historiography of the International Womens Tribune Centre (1972-1986)
Professor Damien Pfister

Marianne Kunkel, PhD English
All the Girls Shout Please
Advisor: Professor Kwame Dawes

Ashley Lawson, PhD English
Dissertation: The Self-Representing Muse: Autobiographical Productions of Women in Artistic Partnerships
Professor Maureen Honey

Allysha Martin, PhD Modern Languages and Literatures, Spanish
Dissertation: Consuming Women: Cultural Subversion through Consumption in Late Twentieth-Century Women Writers Narratives in Latin America
Advisor: Professor José Eduardo González


Jill Allen, PhD Psychology
The Drive to be Sexy: Belonging Motivation and Optimal Distinctiveness in Womens Self-Sexualization
Professor Sarah J. Gervais

Melissa Beran-Samuelson, PhD Political Science
In Pursuit of Sustainable Good: Microfinance in India
Advisor: Professor Patrice McMahon

Krista Ferguson, PhD English
Spilling My Heart Out for You
Advisor: Professor Jonis Agee

Neelee Glasco
, MA English

Brandon Locke,  MA History
The Military-Masculinity Complex: Hegemonic Masculinity and the United States Armed Forces, 1940-1963
Advisor: Professor Patrick Jones

Rachel Schmitz, MA Sociology

Thesis: Tentative Transitions and Gendered Pathways: Exploring the Revolving Door of Young Adult Homelessness
Advisor: PRofessor Kimberly A. Tyler

Garbiñe Vidal Torreira, PhD Modern Languages, Spanish
La Mujer Frente al Espejo: La Representacion de la Edad de la Mujer en Cuentos de Escritoras Espanolas del Siglo XXI
Advisor: Professor Iker González-Allende

Brioney Zlomke, MA History
Thesis: Death Became Them: The Defeminization of the American Death Culture, 1609-1899
Advisor: Professor Jeannette Jones


Regina Flowers, MA Art History
Thesis: Material and Motion: Phenomenology and the Early Work of Carolee Schneemann, 1957-1973
Advisor: PRofessor Marissa Vigneault

Megan Gannon, PhD English
Dissertation: Cumberland
Advisor: Professor Jonis Agee

Amber Harris Leichner, PhD English
Dissertation: “To Bend Without Breaking: American Women's Authorship and the New Woman, 1900-1935
Advisor: Professor Maureen Honey

Sinduja Sathiyaseelan, MA English
Thesis: Not Quite Nirvana: A Work of Fiction
Advisor: Professor Judith Slater

Steven Soebbing, PhD Music-Vocal Performance
The Portrayal of Male Homoeroticism in Selected Early Classical Operas
 Professor William Shomos


Kelly Tyrrell, MA Political Science

Cynthia Williams, PhD Geography
Dissertation: Levels of Response in Experiential Conceptualizations of Neighborhood: The Potential for Multiple Versions of this Place Construct
Advisor: Professor David J. Wishart


Tamy Burnett, PhD English
 Just a Girl: The Community-Centered Cult Television Heroine, 1995-2007
 Professor Kwakiutl L. Dreher

Kittie Grace, PhD Communication Studies
Contesting Sphere Boundaries Online: Private/Technical/Public Discourses in PCOS Discussion Groups
 Professor Ronald Lee

Rachel Robinson-Keilig, PhD Educational Psychology

Dissertation: An Investigation of Interpersonal Disruptions and Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Mental Health Therapists
Advisor: Professor Michael Scheel


Lyndie Christensen, MA Sociology
Thesis: Help-seeking Outcomes of Subfecund Women: Medical Solution and/or Spiritual Coping

Jessykah Barron, MS Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication

Morgan Beal, MA Sociology

Thesis: The Street Environment of Homeless Young Adults: Consequences for Physical and Sexual Victimization

Shireen Ghorbani, MA Communication Studies

Beth Ribarsky, PhD Communication Studies
 I Dont Kiss on the First Date: Symbolic Convergence Through Womens Ritualistic Watching of Reality-Dating Television
 Professors Dawn O. Braithwaite; Jody K. Kellas

Christine Rittenour, PhD Communication Studies
Communication and Shared Family Identity in Mother-in-law/Daughter-in-law Relationships: Implications for Relational Outcomes and Future Family Functioning
 Professor Jordan Soliz

Laura Roost, MA Political Science
 Womens Rights v. Citizenship Rights: Do Women's Rights Act as Trumps?


Amanda Cue, MA Family Science

Whitney Douglas, PhD, English
Dissertation: Becoming Feminists: Emotional Literacy and the Shaping of Identity in Feminist Communities
Advisor: Professor Amy Goodburn

Cassandra LeClair-Underberg, PhD Communication Studies
Dissertation: Communicatively Coping with Miscarriage: The Impact of Emotional Support and Narrative Coherence on Womens Individual and Relational Well-Being
Advisor: Professor Jody Koenig Kellas

Annabel Tapia Marin, MA Family Science


HarmoniJoie Noel, MA Sociology
Thesis: A Mixed Methods Approach to Gendered Self-protective Perceptions and Behaviors

Jessica Rivera, MA English
Thesis: In Conversation: A Study of Female English Majors Writing in Multiple Contexts

Christine Stewart-Nuñez, PhD English
Dissertation: Syllables Rising
Advisors: Professors Hilda Raz; Barbara DiBernard


Karla Bergen, PhD Communication Studies
Dissertation: Womens Narratives About Commuter Marriage: How Women in Commuter Marriages Account For and Communicatively Negotiate Identities with Members of their Social Networks
 Professor Dawn O. Braithwaite

Rachel Brown, MA Sociology
Thesis: TAMPAX: The Fun Tampon

Maureen Gallagher, MA Modern Languages & Literature, German
Thesis: Herrin im Hause: Gender and German Cookbooks, 1900-1945

Aaron Peeks, PhD Sociology
Dissertation: The Sexual Experiences of Heterosexual College Males: Examining Components of Sexual Aggression
Advisors: Professors Helen Moore; Hugh Whitt


Amber Harris Leichner, MA English
Advisor: Professor Maureen Honey


Rebecca Buller, PhD Historical & Cultural Geography
Dissertation: Intersections of place, time, and entertainment in rural Nebraska in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
Advisor: Professor David J. Wishart