Six honored with 2016 Distinguished Dissertation Awards

Six recent Auburn University graduates have been selected as winners of the Graduate School’s 2015-16 Distinguished Dissertation Awards.

Award winners are David Adams, Kim Gregson and Hans Saint-Eloi Cadely in the Social Sciences category and Hasan Babaei, Xunfei Jiang and Fang Yu in the Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering category. Babaei and Saint-Eloi Cadely will go on to compete for the Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards.

The Distinguished Dissertation Awards recognize the scholarship of doctoral graduates whose dissertations make an unusually significant contribution to their respective disciplines. Auburn’s colleges and schools nominate students for the awards, and an award committee composed of graduate faculty selects the award winners.

This year’s winning dissertations are:

  • “The Environmental Outcomes of Collaborative Natural Resource Institutions” by David Adams (dissertation embargoed). His dissertation committee consisted of Auburn faculty members Kathleen Hale (chair), M. Mitchell Brown, Linda F. Dennard, Gerard Gryski and Elise Irwin. Adams graduated in May 2016 with a doctorate in public administration and public policy and will join California State University, Fullerton this fall as an assistant professor of public administration.
  • Distinguishing Behavioral and Cognitive Dimensions of Parental Social Coaching: A Focused Examination of Parents’ Social and Psychological Influence During Early Adolescence” by Kim Gregson. Her dissertation committee consisted of Auburn faculty members Stephen Erath (chair), Gregory Pettit, Mona El-Sheikh, Margaret Keiley and Christine Totura. Gregson graduated in May 2015 with a doctorate in human development and family studies and works as a research associate with the Peer Relations Lab at Auburn University, while she also stays home full time with her two children and awaits the arrival of her third child. She is ultimately seeking a research or teaching position at a college or university.
  • The Development of Interpartner Aggression from Adolescence to Young Adulthood” by Hans Saint-Eloi Cadely. His dissertation committee consisted of Auburn faculty members Joe F. Pittman Jr. (chair), Gregory S. Pettit, Jennifer L. Kerpelman and Amy Rauer. Saint-Eloi Cadely graduated in August 2015 with a doctorate in human development and family studies and is now an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island.
  • Molecular-Level Modeling of Thermal Transport Mechanisms within Carbon Nanotube/Graphene-based Nanostructure-enhanced Phase Change Materials” by Hasan Babaei. His dissertation committee consisted of Auburn faculty members Jay M. Khodadadi (chair), W. Robert Ashurst and Rik Blumenthal and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty member Pawel Keblinski (co-chair). Babaei graduated in August 2014 with a doctorate in mechanical engineering and is now a postdoctoral associate with the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Thermal Modeling and Management of Storage Systems” by Xunfei Jiang. Her dissertation committee consisted of Auburn faculty members Xiao Qin (chair), Cheryl Seals, David Umphress and Saad Biaz. Jiang graduated in August 2014 with a doctorate in computer science and software engineering and is now an assistant professor at Earlham College.
  • Ag Sintering Die and Passive Components Attach for High Temperature Applications” by Fang Yu. Her dissertation committee consisted of Auburn faculty members R. Wayne Johnson (chair), Michael C. Hamilton, John L. Evans and Dong-Joo Kim. Yu graduated in May 2016 with a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering and is now a research associate at the University of Arkansas.

Award winners receive an honorarium of $500 and a certificate.

The two categories for the Distinguished Dissertation Awards rotate each year. The Graduate School will solicit nominations in the fall for the 2016-17 categories: Humanities/Fine Arts and Biological/Life Sciences.

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