Distinguished Dissertation Awards Recognize Outstanding Research

The Office of Research and the University Graduate Council have announced the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Dissertation Awards.

The awards recognize outstanding dissertation research in four categories: humanities and fine arts; pharmacy, health sciences and nursing; physical and biological sciences; and social sciences. A review committee selects the four winners, each of whom receives $500 and a commemorative plaque.

This year’s winners in each category respectively, along with the name of their dissertation advisors in parentheses, are:

  • Marianne Mallia Holohan, McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts (Dr. Thomas P. Kinnahan, Department of English)
  • Darlene Monish, Mylan School of Pharmacy (Dr. Jane Cavanaugh)
  • Alice Blice-Baum, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (Dr. M. Rita Mihailescu, Department of Chemistry)
  • Rong-Bang Peng, McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts (Dr. Leswin Laubscher, Department of Psychology).

In addition, the University will nominate Dr. Marianne Holohan’s dissertation in 2015 for the biennial national Distinguished Dissertation Award of the Council of Graduate Schools.

Creating and sustaining an academic environment where novel and independent research takes place is fundamental to achieving the University’s Strategic Plan objectives, said Dr. Alan Seadler, associate provost for research and technology. “Along with showcasing the quality of doctoral research at Duquesne for the University’s reputation, we have an obligation to recognize our students’ efforts, and these awards help us to do so,” explained Seadler.

This year’s review committee members included Dr. Michael Cascio, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who served as chair; Dr. Greg Barnhisel, associate professor and chair of English; Dr. Lina Dostilio, director of academic community engagement; Dr. James Drennen, associate dean of research and graduate programs, Mylan School of Pharmacy; Dr. Erik Garrett, assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies; and Dr. Gretchen Generett, associate dean for graduate students and research, School of Education.