SPRING 2018 DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIP AWARD BIOGRAPHIES

Texas A&M University’s Office of Graduate and Professional Studies recently awarded five dissertation fellowships as part of their Dissertation Fellowship Program. Developed in Fall 2011 by the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, Dr. Karen Butler-Purry, the Dissertation Fellowship supports doctoral students in the late stages of degree program completion, namely final research topics analysis and dissertation writing. Eligible applicants included U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, and international doctoral students.

The following students received the Spring 2018 Dissertation Fellowships:

Marion Coe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts. Her dissertation examines subsistence and population interaction in the eastern Great Basin during the Holocene. More specifically, Coe conducts a diachronic study of perishable artifacts from late Holocene Bonneville Basin sites. Her research is focused on coiled basketry and cordage made from plant and animal fibers from the eastern Great Basin. Coe’s dissertation will provide a valuable dataset for future studies in the complexity of human social organization and interaction with the environment.

Mehdi Azizkhani is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Architecture in the College of Architecture. His dissertation examines the degree of adoption of the concepts of natural system versus artificial/mechanical systems in the design of sustainable buildings by practitioners to investigate the variables that may increase/reduce the application of these systems in designs. Through his research, Azizkhani identifies seven issues in the application of natural systems. He then introduces a practical framework for the incorporation of natural heating, cooling, and lighting systems into the design of sustainable buildings.   
Fatemah Rezaei is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development in the College of Education and Human Development. Her dissertation examines the role of social media in talent development. An emerging trend in the business world is how to transform people’s learning and development through innovative and cost-effective methods, such as social media, to keep up the pace with the technological advancement. Through her research, Rezaei seeks to investigate the potential benefits of utilizing social media as an effective and innovative talent development tool.
 
Sungmin Lee is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning in the College of Architecture. His dissertation examines neighborhood environments and fall-related injuries among older adults. Lee’s research focuses on understanding the heterogeneity of falls in relation to neighborhood environmental features through multi-faceted research approaches. Through his research, Lee seeks to highlight how public health professionals, gerontologists, environmental psychologists, and urban planners should all consider the environmental interventions implemented to reduce the risk of failing among older adults.
 
Samantha Meister is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture in the College of Education and Human Development. Her dissertation examines White female teachers as they transition from a diverse clinical teaching residency to a full-time teaching position. Meister’s research focuses on the deeply held beliefs and attitudes of undergraduate pre-service teachers as they transition into their first year of teaching in order to deconstruct their cultural identity and development while in prolonged settings of cultural mismatch. Through her research, Meister seeks to illuminate the personal development and growth that occurs during this transition.