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Dissertation Completion Fellows selected

June 26, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Five doctoral students have been selected to receive Dissertation Completion Fellowships from Western Michigan University for the 2008­09 academic year.

The fellowships, valued at up to $19,747, are awarded in an open competition on the basis of superior scholarly achievement to assist full-time doctoral students with the completion of their dissertations. The annual competition is sponsored by the Graduate College.

To be eligible, applicants must have a record of timely and steady progress toward completing their degrees and have completed all requirements for the degree except the dissertation, among other criteria. In addition to a stipend, fellowships pay the fellows' tuition during the period of the award.

2008 Dissertation Completion Fellows

Brian Becker of Kansas City, Mo.; doctorate in history; "In Genoa's Image: Life and Local Administration on Fifteenth-Century Genoese Chios." Becker spent the 2005­06 academic year doing archival research in Genoa, Italy, as a recipient of a Fulbright Graduate Student Fellowship. From WMU, he also has received an All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award, several Graduate Student Research and Travel grants, and a Department Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award. His advisor is Dr. Larry Simon, associate professor of history.

Tony Frazier of Kalamazoo; doctorate in history; "Air Too Pure for Slavery and the Rights of British Liberty: The Black Experience in London, 1772­1833." From WMU, Frazier also has received a Graduate Student Research Grant and Department Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award. In 2007, he was awarded his department's Professional Development Award, which is given annually to the doctoral student who is the best classroom teacher. His advisor is Dr. Judith Stone, professor of history.

Mihaiela Ristei of Turda, Romania; doctorate in political science; "Competing Formal and Informal Institutions in a Democratizing Setting: An Institutional Analysis of Corruption in Romania." From WMU, Ristei also received a Gwen Frostic Doctoral Fellowship and a Graduate Student Research Grant. Her advisor is Dr. James Butterfield, professor of political science.

Jai Thomas of Mumbai, India; doctorate in industrial and manufacturing engineering, "Approximating Torsional Stiffness Curve Using Feedforward Neural Network for a Simulation Model to Predict Brake Hose Shape." From WMU, Thomas also has received an All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award, All-University Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award, and two Graduate Student Travel grants. His advisor is Dr. Mitchel Keil, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Lihua Wang of De'an Jiangxi, China; doctorate in physics; "A New Method for Heisenberg Spin Chain." Wang's research in condensed matter theory has been published in prestigious international publications such as Physics Letters A. His advisor is Sung Chung, professor of physics.

For more information, contact Dr. Julie Scrivener, director of awards and special projects for WMU's Graduate College, at julie.scrivener@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8208.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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