Graduate School

O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2700

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Student wearing a blue suit presenting his project to a professor

Defense Announcements

There are three phases to a dissertation defense:

Public Presentation of the Dissertation and Defense

In the public lecture or presentation, the candidate is expected to share the results of his or her dissertation research with the dissertation committee and audience. This presentation may vary in length depending on the circumstances and discipline. At the end of this public presentation, members of the dissertation committee, as well as members of the audience are encouraged to direct questions to the candidate pertaining to the research.

The Dissertation Committee's Meeting with the Candidate

At the conclusion of the public presentation and defense, the dissertation committee members will meet privately with the candidate to pose further questions about the candidate's research or to address issues related to the dissertation manuscript. The dissertation committee can ask the candidate to address these additional questions or changes to the manuscript. The dissertation committee chair presides at this meeting.

Evaluation of the Candidate's Performance

Upon completion of the public presentation and defense and the private meeting, the dissertation committee members, in the absence of the candidate and the audience, discuss the candidate's performance and decide whether or not she or he has passed the defense. The committee chair or one of the co-chairs leads the discussion and communicates the result to the candidate.

Defense information

Defense date, time and room number:

  • 8/20/21
    • Tara Sievers-Hunt at 7 PM in Varner Hall Room 205
      • PhD in Music Education
      • Through critical constructivism, a bricolage of narrative inquiry, performance ethnography, and arts-informed methods, and the structures of hero’s journey and currere, I crafted a digital ethnodrama exploring nine college music graduates’ journeys into professional musicianhood.
      • Doctoral committee chair: Deborah VanderLinde

  • 8/11/21
    • Chaiwat Sinthusiri at 10 AM via Google Meet
      • PhD in Mechanical Engineering
      • Load Distributions in Bolted Single Lap Joints Under Non-Central Tensile Shear Loading
      • Doctoral committee chair: Sayed Nassar, Ph.D.

  • 7/9/21
    • Zebulon Bell at 11 AM
      • PhD in Psychology
      • Time and space are related domains of experience. In separate tasks focused on timing and the influence of time on distance perception, subjects showed a sensitivity to the presence or absence of an isochronous auditory stimulus, but not to changes in the tempo of that stimulus.
      • Doctoral committee chair: Martha Escobar
    • Aaron Scholl at 12 PM
      • PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • This dissertation details the role of the Osiris gene family in embryonic and larval Drosophila tracheal tube size regulation. Tracheal Osiris genes control protein trafficking during organ development.
      • Doctoral committee chair: Lan Jiang

  • 6/30/21
    • Na Tyrer at 9 AM
      • PhD in Mechanical Engineering
      • Tribological Behavior of Electrical Connector Coating Under Reciprocating Motion
      • Doctoral committee chair: Gary Barber, Ph.D. 

  • 6/23/21
    • Md Shahin Alam at 1 PM
      • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering
      • Optimizing Expansion and Operation of Modern Power Distribution Systems
      • Doctoral committee chair: Seyed Ali Arefifar, Ph.D.

  • 6/22/21
    • Karam Abughalieh at 1 PM
      • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering
      • AI-Based System for Predicting Pedestrian Intention to Cross the Road
      • Doctoral committee chair: Shadi Alawneh, Ph.D.

  • 6/10/21
    • Yuo Zhuo at 1 PM
      • PhD in Literacy, Culture and Language
      • This study examines how Virtual Collaborative Strategic Reading (VCSR) instruction promotes Chinese English as a Foreign Language (CEFL) students’ critical reading through quantitative research methods and a quasi-experimental design. 
      • Doctoral committee chair: S. Rebecca Leigh

  • 6/8/21
    • Juanita Tookes at 2 PM
      • PhD in Education: Counseling
      • This dissertation investigates the relationship between the Strong Black Woman schema and wellness among Black women at predominantly white institutions. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
      • Doctoral committee chair: James T. Hansen, Ph.D.

  • 6/4/21
    • Xue Han at 2PM
      • PhD in Mechanical Engineering
      • Microstructures, compressive residual stress, and tribological performance of heat-treated shot peened AISI 5160 steel
      • Doctoral committee chair: Gary Barber, Ph.D.

  • 5/21/21
    • Assad Maalouf at 1 PM
      • PhD in Computer Science and Informatics 
      • Static Analysis of Android Programs for Malware Detection 

  • 5/18/21
    • Rachel Smydra at 12 PM
      • PhD in Education: Educational Leadership
      • This qualitative ethnographic single case-study was conducted to investigate how pre- and post-tenured humanities faculty design their courses, what influences their designs, and their perceptions about career readiness.

  • 4/20/21
    • Celeste Smith at 11 AM
      • PhD in Education: Counseling 
      • The aim of this research is to understand the experiences of Black women in obtaining marital partners while enrolled in their graduate studies. This dissertation study uses a qualitative, transcendental phenomenological approach with an intersectional lens.  
    • April Thomas-Powell at 11 AM
      • PhD in Education: Educational Leadership 
      • This research studied the experiences of undergraduates who transferred into a four year university. Results indicated areas in which transfer students could be better supported toward success in college. 

  • 4/15/21
    • Amber Hall at 3:30 PM
      • PhD in Education: Educational Leadership 
      • This research study studied the impact of computer-adaptive programming and student collaboration on mathematics achievement. It found student collaboration was superior to a computer-adaptive program and that time spent using a computer-adaptive program had no impact. 

  • 3/29/21
    • Ana Farhat at 8 AM
      • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering
      • Classification of Crash Warning Level in Forward Collision Warning Systems 

  • 3/15/21
    • Rachel Brejcha at 1 PM
      • PhD in Education: Counseling 
      • The aim of the research study was to understand the counselor characteristics of counselor-in-trainings (CIT) level of anxiety and counselor self-efficacy (CSE) in regard to the establishment of the therapeutic working alliance. 

  • 3/12/21
    • Kyla Scherr at 12 PM 
      • PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences 
      • This dissertation evaluates factors influencing strawberry cultivation in raised-bed production systems across a rural-urban gradient in Southeast Michigan. Results contribute to understanding context-dependent crop productivity and regional management strategies.  
    • Thi Tu Trinh Tran at 3 PM 
      • PhD in Applied Mathematical Sciences 
      • Inverse problems disrupted by noise and ill-posed structure have been significant problems in many aspects of science and economy. This thesis is dedicated to the stability of sparse inverse problems and their applications to complexity theory and image/signal processing. 

  • 3/11/21
    • Hwimin Kim at 10 AM 
      • PhD in Computer Science and Informatics 
      • Broker Embedded Data Distribution Service
    • Tyler Parsons at 12 PM
      • PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences 
      • The thesis focuses on how blood stem cells differentiate into tumor supportive cells following radiation and how this process allows tumors to regrow post therapy.
    • Kariyawasam Wijesinghe at 2 PM
      • PhD in Biomedical Sciences: Medical Physics 
      • Cardiac anisotropy with mechanical bidomain computer simulation gives unexpected
        distribution of mechanotransduction that disappears for isotropy. 

  • 3/10/21
    • Asma Khan at 12 PM
      • PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences 
      • All members of the genus Caldicellulosiruptor encode for Gram-negative-style type IV pili (T4P), although a role for T4P in attachment to plant biomass is yet unknown. Based on their proximity to a cellulase locus, I hypothesize that the T4P facilitate plant biomass degradation. 

  • 3/8/21
    • Faisal Alghayadh at 10 AM 
      • PhD in Computer Science and Informatics 
      • A Hybrid Intrusion Detection System for Smart Home Security Based on Machine Learning and User Behavior 
    • Marisa Brake at 12 PM
      • PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences 
      • Identification of Genomic Thrombosis Regulatory Regions Using Lethal Arterial and Venous Mouse Models 

  • 3/5/21
    • James Quinlan at 3 PM
      • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering 
      • GPS Multipath Limiting Antenna Size Reduction Techniques Using Complementary Elements and Mixed Goal Synthesis 

  • 3/2/21
    • Ning Fan at 8 AM
      • PhD in Literacy, Culture, and Language
      • This quantitative study examined whether university students’ English writing accuracy can be enhanced by the addition of teacher praise to indirect corrective feedback. The results revealed that praising students' writing could help to improve their writing accuracy.  

  • 2/17/21
    • Sara Nelson at 2 PM
      • PhD in Education: Early Childhood Education 
      • Analyses of Fragile Families study data examined the relationship of educational and other characteristics of providers to child outcomes in kindergarten. Findings demonstrate the contributions of professional development of early childhood providers to children’s development.

  • 2/12/21
    • Janice M. Threlkeld-Brown at 1 PM
      • PhD in Education: Early Childhood Education
      • This project explores and examines teacher self-efficacy beliefs as they relate to their higher education training and professional experiences in working with children with special needs in the early childhood inclusive environment. 

  •  2/4/21
    • Chinmay Aradhye at 1 PM
      • PhD in Psychology
      • College and community participants from the US and India allocated monetary amounts to ostensive recipients of low or high status and reputation. Participants gave more to individuals of high reputation and status and expected higher offers from them in return.