The Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award is an annual prize awarded by the Graduate School for superior achievements in research by students who are completing their Ph.Ds. Supported through the generosity of the Joukowsky Family Foundation, the awards are usually given to four students per year, one from each of the four main areas: the humanities, the life sciences, the physical sciences, and the social sciences. The award and an honorarium are given out at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.
All dissertations nominated for the Dissertation Award are reviewed by the Graduate Council, which also makes final determinations regarding the winners.
Nomination process and requirements:
- Nominations should be made through UFunds, found under the Graduate Student and Alumni Awards button.
- The award is open to completing doctoral candidates from all programs.
- Each candidate must be nominated by his or her program, and each doctoral program may submit only one nomination.
- Each program must submit:
a) the student's abstract of the dissertation (which should not exceed 4,000 words, or 10 pages single spaced);
b) detailed letters of nomination from the student's advisor, a member of the dissertation committee, and a third reader, which should address the student's achievement and the potential impact on the scholarship or research of his or her field; and
c) an electronic copy of the student's dissertation, including the signature page.
- It is possible to nominate someone who has not defended the dissertation by the deadline. To be considered, the candidate must defend and submit the dissertation by May 2, 2022.
- Nomination deadline: April 1, 2022
Winners of the Outstanding Dissertation Award, sponsored by the Joukowsky Family Foundation, include:
Botai Xuan ’21 PhD
Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
Unraveling the Contributions of Polyploidal Giant Cancer Cells in Cancer Progression
Read more about Botai's award and research.
Mallory Matsumoto ’21 PhD
Sharing Script: Development and Transmission of Hieroglyphic Practice among Classic Maya Scribes
Read more about Mallory's award and research.
Cyrus Cousins ’21 PhD
Bounds and Applications of Concentration of Measure in Fair Machine Learning and Data Science
Read more about Cyrus' award and research.
Nicolas Campisi ’20 PhD
El retorno de lo contemporáneo: La novela latinoamericana en el fin de los tiempos (The Return of the Contemporary: The Latin American Novel in the End Times)
Read more about Nicolas' award and research.
Madeline Bourque Kearin ’20 PhD
“A Refuge of Cure or of Care”: The Sensory Dimension of Confinement at the Worcester State Hospital for the Insane
Lu Lu ’20 PhD
Theory, Algorithms, and Software for
Physics-Informed Deep Learning
Erika Valdivieso ’20 PhD
Virgilian Imitation in Colonial Latin America
Hyeyoung Shin ’20 PhD
Putative Timekeeper Neurons and Noncanonical Brain Rhythms in Perception
Reyhan Durmaz ’19 Ph.D.
Stories, Saints, and Sanctity between Christianity and Islam in the Middle Ages
William Jordan III ’19 Ph.D., Sc.M.
Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Data Science
Drosophila Dosage Compensation as a Model for Combinatorial Transcriptional Regulation
Evgenios Kornaropoulos ’19 Ph.D.
Information Leakage in Encrypted Systems through an Algorithmic Lens
Florian Felix Gunsilius ’19 Ph.D.
Essays in Nonparametric Econometrics
David Meir Mittelman
Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
Skepticism and the Limits of Knowledge in Modern Brazilian Narrative
Megan Beth Cole
Health Services Research
The Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Community Health Centers: Effects on Health Insurance Coverage, Quality of Care, and Patient Volume
Sameer Subramanian Iyer
Boundary Layers for 2-D Stationary Navier-Stokes Flows over a Moving Boundary
Maria Cecilia Hwang
Shadow Migration and Gendered Illegality: The Temporary Labor Migration of Filipina Sex Workers in Asia
- Nicosia Shakes, Africana Studies, "Africana Women’s Theatre as Activism: A Study of Sistren Theatre Collective, Jamaica and the Mothertongue Project, South Africa"
- Matthew Hirakawa, Pathobiology, "Intra-Species Variation and Parasexual Reproduction in Candida albicans"
- Kenneth Ascher, Mathematics, "Higher Dimensional Birational Geometry: Moduli and Arithmetic"
- Liise Lehtsalu, History, "Negotiated Lives: Third Order Women Religious and Their Communities in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Italy"
- Francesca Inglese, Ethnomusicology, "Coloured Moves and Klopse Beats: Minstrel Legacies in Cape Town, South Africa"
- Hilary Nicholson, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, "A Matter of Life and Death: Novel Ligands Mediating Cytotoxic Function and Revealing Metabolically Stimulative Function of the Sigma-2 Receptor in Human Cancer"
- Yumeng Ou, Mathematics, "Multi-parameter Commutators and New Function Spaces of Bounded Mean Oscillation"
- Bhawani Buswala, Anthropology, "The Bazaar and the Butchers: The Social Life of an Untouchable Work in North India"
- Nicholas W. Bellono, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, "Ionic Signaling in Pigmentation"
- Rebecca Stephens Falcasantos, Religious Studies, “'A Land Cleansed of Heretics' Cult Practice and Contestation in the Christianization of Late Antique Constantinople"
- Martin Ulirsch, Mathematics, "Tropical Geometry of Logarithmic Schemes"
- Sarah Elizabeth Newman, Anthropology, “Rethinking Refuse: A History of Maya Trash”
- Nicolas P. Bommarito, Philosophy, "Inner Virtue"
- Marcela Margaret Louise Soruco, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, "The CLAMP Protein Is Essential in Drosophila in Mediating Dosage Compensation Through Increased Targeting to the X-Chromosome and During Development as a Non-Sex Specific Transcription Factor"
- Jeffrey W. Miller, Applied Mathematics, "Nonparametric and Variable-Dimension Bayesian Mixture Models: Analysis, Comparison, and New Methods"
- Sean M. Dinces, American Studies, "Bulls Markets: Power, Place, and Professional Sport in Late Twentieth-Century Chicago"
- Benjamin Raphael Teitelbaum, “'Come Hear our Merry Song'”: Shifts in the Sound of Contemporary Swedish Radical Nationalism"
- Jennifer R. Davis, "Genetic, Biochemical and Biophysical Investigations of Lignocellulose Degradation by Actinobacteria for Bioenergy Applications"
- Michael M. H. Luk, "The Search for a Heavy Top-Like Quark"
- Susan Helen Ellison, "Mediating Democracy in El Alto: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia"
- Christian G. DuComb, Theatre and Performance Studies, “From the Meschianza to the Mummers Parade: Racial Impersonation in Philadelphia”
- Breann L. Brown, Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology, “The E. coli mqsRA Operon Defines a Novel Family of Toxin:Antitoxin Modules”
- Sirui Tan, Applied Mathematics, “Boundary Conditions and Applications of WENO Finite Diﬀerence Schemes for Hyperbolic Problems”
- Hussein Banai, Political Science, “Democracy in Context: Between Universal Ideals and Local Values”
- Kevin A. Alby, Pathobiology, "Mechanisms of Pheromone Signaling and Same-Sex Mating in Candida Albicans"
- Qile Chen, Mathematics, "Logarithmic Stable Maps to Deligne-Faltings Pairs"
- Joseph Clark, American Civilization, "'Canned History': American Newsreels and the Commodification of Reality, 1927-1945"
- Kevin Patton, Computer Music and Multimedia, "The Fault of Epimetheus: The Performance and Orchestration of Gestural Computer Music Instruments"
- Eugenie Alexandra Brinkema, Modern Culture and Media, “The Form of the Affect: Grief, Disgust, Anxiety, and Joy in Film and Critical Theory”
- Bryan Eric Laulicht, Medical Science, “Magnet-Directed Bioadhesive Nanoparticles for Oral Delivery”
- Bethany List Ehlmann, Geological Sciences, “Early Mars Environments Revealed Through Near Infrared Spectroscopy of Alteration Mineral Assemblages”
- Ruben Durante, Economics, “Essays in Political Economy”
- John Pannill Camp III, Theatre and Performance Studies, "'Le Premier Cadre': Theatre Architecture and Objects of Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century France"
- Lijie Zhang, Engineering, "Biologically Inspired Rosette Nanotube Nanocomposites for Bone Tissue Engineering, Orthopedic and Vascular Applications"
- Chenjie Xu, Chemistry, "Modification of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications"
- Sarah Dorothy Wald, American Civilization, "The Nature of Citizenship: Race, Citizenship, and Nature in Representations of Californian Agricultural Labor"
- Gül Dolen, Neuroscience, "Genetic Interaction Between Frm1 and Grm5: A Role for mGluR5 in the Pathogenesis of Fragile X Syndrome"
- Huinan Liu, Biomedical Engineering, "Design, Fabrication and Evaluation of 2D to 3D Nanostructured Ceramic/Polymer Composites for Orthopedic Regeneration and Controlleed Drug Delivery"
- Robert Newcomb, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, "Counterposing Nossa and Nuestra America: Brazil in the Late-Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Century Intellectual Construction of Latin America"
- Paul White, Anthropology, "Chuckwalla and the Belligerent Burro: Timbisha Shoshone, Miners, and the Footprints of Dispossession in the Panamints"
- Prasanna Satpute-Krishnan; Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry; "Mechanistic Insights Into Prion Propagation by Monitoring Protein Dynamics In Vivo"
- Matthias vom Hau, Sociology, "Contested Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Nationalism in Mexico, Argentina, and Peru"
- Stefan Roth, Computer Science, "High-Order Markov Random Fields for Low-Level Vision"
- Laetitia Iturralde, Comparative Literature, "Out of the Void: Writing 'Lo Argentino' in France"
- Jeffrey Reingold, Chemistry:"Pi-Bonded Organometallic Complexes of Manganese and Rhodium Electrochemical Studies and Applications to Supramolecular Coordination Chemistry, Nanoparticle Self-Assembly, and Catalysis"
- Brian Mayer, Sociology: "Blue and Green Shades of Health: Forging Cross-Movements Coalitions between Labor and Environmental Organizations"
- Nathaniel Levtow, Religious Studies: "Images of Others: Icon Parodies and Iconic Politics in Ancient Israel "
- William Querbes, Pathobiology: "Mechanisms of JC Virus Cellular Invasion"
- Lorrain Lisiecki, Geological Sciences: "Paleoclimate Time Series: New Alignment and Compositing Techniques, A 5.3 MYR Benthic 180 Stack, and Analysis of Pliocene-Pleistocene Climate Transitions"
- Sabrina McCormick, Sociology: "Scientization and Democratizing Knowledge: A Comparative Study of the Brazilian Anti-Dam Movement and the Environmental Breast Cancer Movement in the United States"
- G. Michael Pace, Philosophy: "Perceptual Consciousness and Epistemic Justification"
- Julian Ling-Chao Wong, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry: "Molecular Mechanisms of the Animal Block to Polyspermy"
- Rachel White, Religious Studies: "Recovering the Past, Renewing the Present: Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem and the History of Historical Consciousness in German-Jewish Thought"
- Matthew Lange, Sociology: "The British Colonial Lineages of Despotism and Development"
- Sang Ryul Park , Physics: "Neutron Scattering and AC Susceptibility Studies of Vortex Matter"
- Scott Robbins, Pathobiology: "Expression and Function of the KLRG1 Molecule on NK Cells and T Cells"