UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

Awards Announced

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The Graduate School is thrilled to announce the recipients of this year’s Distinguished Dissertation, Thesis and Creative Exhibit Awards. Each year, the departments are invited to nominate the one outstanding candidate eligible for one of these awards, and the recipients are recognized with a plaque and a monetary prize.

The recipient of this year’s Distinguished Dissertation Award is Louella Lofranco Ph.D., Communication Program. Her work, entitled “The Meaning of Development for Filipinos by Filipinos in Diaspora: Rhetorical Vision in Participatory Communication“, was nominated with the highest praise by her committee and program. In her analysis of award eligibility, Dr Lana Rakow (Communication Program) wrote, “[it] is an excellent piece of work demonstrating sound and original scholarship, an innovative research design, and a sophisticated understanding of the multiple layers of communication, development, and identity.” Dr. Lofranco is now an assistant professor in the Department of Art, Music, Speech Communication and Theatre at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Holly Rusinko, M.A. Psychology will receive the Distinguished Thesis Award for her work, “An Examination of the Effects of Assertiveness on Women’s Attributions of Blame Towards Victims of Sexual Assault“. Dr. April Bradley, chair of Ms. Rusinko’s committee highlighted the quality and importance of the research, her original approach to data analysis and far reaching application of her results. The research has produced a publication in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma with further publications certain to follow.

The third award, a category added in recent years, is the Distinguished Creative Exhibition Award. The Department of Art and Design’s Andrew Stark, recently graduated with his Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts with a Major Media Area. In his letter of nomination, Donovan Widmer expressed Mr Stark’s, “high level of competence in the areas of originality, scholarly significance, and advancing the field of art”. His style is described as “Modernist with conceptual traditions associated with the Abstract Expressionist Movement  and the Op Art Movement”.  He was recently featured on the front cover in the UND Discovery magazine (Summer ’09).

The awards will be presented to each of the recipients on May 7, 2010 at the North Dakota Museum of Art. More details will follow.

Congratulations to each of the 2010 awardees.


Written by School of Graduate Studies

April 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm

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