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CGU Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

The instructions and procedures for the 2019-2020 CGU Dissertation Fellowship awards are may be downloaded here for reference. Applications are due on April 1, 2019.

Students with suitably transdisciplinary thesis projects may also apply for the transdisciplinary fellowships, for which deadlines and other application details will be posted on the transdisciplinary web site.

The Transdisciplinary Studies Program and the Office of Research, Sponsored Programs & Grants invites you to view a

Recorded Dissertation Award Information Session

Information Session URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyFu_Lx5ntE&feature=youtu.be

Dr. Andrew Vosko, Associate Provost of Transdisciplinary Studies, and Dr. Andrew Conway, Associate Provost for Research, discuss the Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation and the CGU Dissertation Awards in this recorded information session.

 

Eligibility requirements to apply for these awards include:

  • Current registration as a doctoral student in any field of study at CGU;
  • completion of all coursework for the PhD;
  • advancement to candidacy, including approval of the Dissertation Proposal and submission of Advancement to Candidacy Form to the Registrar's Office; and
  • a reasonable expectation of completion of the final requirements for the PhD degree by the end of the second calendar year.
  • Previous recipients of a Dissertation Fellowship award (transdisciplinary or otherwise) are not eligible.
  • Doctoral study registration must be maintained until the dissertation is completed.

Please address any questions about the application process to the Faculty Research Committee via the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

For information on where to explore outside sources of support for dissertation research, the Office of Advancement offers a personal fellowships search service — please contact the advisor at fellowships.research@cgu.edu. You may also consult the Financial Aid site, portals for individual schools, and the Transdisciplinary Studies program. There are also useful online search engines for graduate student funding sources on the UCLA and Cornell websites.

2018-2019 CGU DOCTORAL DISSERTATION FELLOWS AND THESIS PROJECTS

Charlina Gozali, School of Educational Studies

From Early Childhood to Adulthood: Leader Development in Indonesia

The purpose of this mixed-method study is to examine individual and environmental factors that influenced the development of Indonesian teacher leaders. The teacher leaders were recruited by Indonesia Mengajar (IM), a highly selective education intervention program in Indonesia aiming to improve educational conditions in remote areas through the mobilization of local stakeholders. A survey will be sent to all 746 IM alumni to date and follow-up interviews will be conducted with at least 40 participants. Findings are intended to inform practice and policy on ways to nurture the potential of future generations of Indonesian leaders.

 

Joseph Kimani Mbugua, Center for Information Systems & Technology

Deep Learning for Early Detection, Identification, and Mapping of Cassava Diseases Using Multispectral Aerial Imagery

Cassava is one of the major sources of human carbohydrates in the world, providing food to more than 700 million people. In sub-Saharan Africa, the crop is also a major source of income for smallholder farmers, especially women. Production of the crop is, however, hampered by two main viral diseases, namely: cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) which cause huge harvest losses that threaten food security in the region. To control the diseases and avert the food security crisis, there is a need for the development of cheaper methods for monitoring the diseases. Multispectral aerial imagery and new machine learning methods provide an efficient and cost-effective method for developing tools for early detection of these diseases. This research uses high-resolution multispectral cassava images to create an end-to-end system for early detection and identification of cassava diseases in East Africa. 

Rocío Mendoza, School of Educational Studies

A Doorway to Academic Success: The Undergraduate Research Experiences of Students of Mexican Descent

Despite increases in college enrollment, students of Mexican descent continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in college degree attainment numbers among racial/ethnic groups. The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) designated undergraduate research as a "high impact practice" that can address academic disparities. Much of the literature on undergraduate research, however, have not included diverse racial/ethnic groups or diverse institutions. This case study will examine undergraduate research from the perspective of students, faculty and staff at a public, state university and answers the call in higher education research to critically examine "best practices" across diverse student populations, environments, and contexts. 

Justyna Misiewicz, School of Arts & Humanities; Music

Aesthetics of the Unseen: Sacred Music in Turbulent Time of Eighteenth-Century Kraków, Poland

During the eighteenth-century, sacred music served to bring the congregation closer to God while satisfying the church as well as the king. Composers strived to achieve the goal by working with the measurable, the versatile compositional techniques, and the aesthetic elements of music. Recent interest in historical performance practice brought to light many forgotten sacred compositions of the era. This study takes as an example three sacred concertos composed during a turbulent time of wars and political instability in Kraków, Poland, to show that the aesthetics of sacred music of the past are still relevant to the twenty-first-century audience. 

Joey Torres, Social Science, Policy & Evaluation - Politics & Government

God's Chosen Candidate? The Pulpit Freedom Sunday Initiative as A Christian Right Social Movement and Its Impact on Religion and Politics

The dissertation examines the controversy over the Johnson Amendment. It prohibits nonprofit organizations from endorsing or opposing electoral candidates. Violation of the provision includes the loss of tax-exemptions. According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization, the Amendment impedes the First Amendment rights of churches. Since 2008, the organization sponsored the Pulpit Freedom Sunday initiative which encourages clergy to break the law by officially endorsing candidates from the pulpit. This dissertation sets out to examine: the Christian legal organizations that promote the initiative, evangelicalism's propensity as a social movement to support it, and the clergy's willingness to become involved.

 

2017-2018 CGU Doctoral Dissertation Fellows and Thesis Projects

Harold (Jake) G. Campbell IV, Politics and Policy

Divvying Up Dollars: Experimental Applications of a Survey-Based, Budgeting Game to the Assessment of Stated Preferences for Public Spending

While public opinion polling has examined policy issues surrounding federal spending and budget deficits, it has not fully captured the complexity of voters' preferences regarding public spending. Building on the public choice literature, this dissertation employs a budget allocation game (AGAME) adapted from Beardsley, Kovenock, and Reynolds (1974) to understand voters' budgetary preferences. The adapted instrument simulates realistic tradeoffs faced in national budgeting and allows for measurement of voter preferences for tax increases or reductions, debt repayment, and eleven categories of government program spending including unemployment benefits, defense, education, housing, and science. A series of experimental applications will study the value of this improved methodological approach while examining the effects of policy relevant information on stated preferences for public spending.

Candice D. Donaldson, Psychology

Preventing College Student Prescription Stimulant Misuse: An Application of Vested Interest Theory

Vested Interest Theory suggests that the perceived importance and hedonic relevance of an expected behavioral outcome affects attitude-behavior consistency. Applied to college students' nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NUPS), the theory suggests that attitudes alone will not predict usage, because the attitude-behavior relation is moderated by vested interest. To limit NUPS, persuasive information must affect not only attitudes, but also vested perceptions regarding stimulant use and college success. This research is designed to influence attitudes toward NUPS and perceptions of NUPS' role in college success. These cognitions are hypothesized to affect college students' resistance to, or cessation of NUPS.

Joseph J. Jablonski, Jr., Politics and Policy

The Dark Side of President Woodrow Wilson's Progressivism: Its Racism/Ethnocentrism

The dark side of Woodrow Wilson's Progressivism, that is, its racism/ethnocentrism, is brought into an original light. Wilson's political thought is shown to be a historicism informed by his underlying racist world view. Wilson departs from Lincoln's Second Founding and the 1787 Founding insofar as Wilson repudiated the equality principle of the Declaration of Independence on historicist grounds. Wilson's racist historicism is shown to contain elements from Hegel and Social Darwinism, and his idea of Providence. Wilson's thought is shown to be an example of the American white supremacist tradition justifying his strengthening of the Jim Crow regime.

Anna Ma, Mathematics

Stochastic Iterative Algorithms for Large-Scale Data Analysis

Advances in technology have led to a world where large-scale data collection is ubiquitous. However, traditional techniques for processing data are not designed for such large-scale data sets, and are thus quickly becoming outdated. As a result, there is an immense demand for efficient, scalable, and robust algorithms for data analytics. Interest in a specific class of algorithms, Stochastic Iterative Algorithms, has grown in recent years due to their ability to handle large-scale data. This work aims to adapt, improve, and design algorithms for large-scale data analytics, as well as provide theoretical guarantees for algorithmic performance.

Meghana (Meg) Warren, Psychology

Allyship at Work: Going beyond Diversity Policies and Practices

How can historically privileged (e.g., White) employees be allies to historically marginalized (e.g., Black) employees? This mixed-method dissertation will document privileged and marginalized employee perspectives on exemplary (i.e., extraordinarily committed) allyship. Study 1 will qualitatively interview 15 exemplars to catalogue their virtues and relational behaviors. Study 2 will quantitatively examine whether exemplars (n = 50) differ from comparison lay employees (n = 50) on hypothesized virtues and relational behaviors, and gather inclusion stories. Study 3 will experimentally test whether marginalized employees (N = 150) perceive allies' (versus lay employees') relational behaviors as more inclusive and, in turn, intend to behave prosocially.

 


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