UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘doctoral

UND’s new Aerospace Sciences PhD is now calling for applications.

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The Graduate School is excited to announce a new doctoral program at the University of North Dakota. The departments of Aviation and Space Studies in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences will jointly offer an interdisciplinary PhD program in Aerospace Sciences beginning in Fall 2012. The program is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in government, industry and academia.

Speaking with the Grand Forks Herald prior to the State Board of Higher Education’s meeting, Associate Dean Paul Lindseth said, “the focus is on developing researchers at the highest level in this country and around the world. We need more well-qualified people to help solve, for example, integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace”.

UND’s Aerospace Sciences program is the only one of its kind in the country with very few similar programs offered internationally. It will be offered both on campus and online making it accessible to distance students.

About the Program:

The mission of the Aerospace Sciences PhD program is to provide interdisciplinary teaching and research at the highest academic levels. The goal is to provide highly educated scholars and leaders with the skills necessary to mix technology and science with an understanding of the politics and economics of the aerospace fields.

Program Goals

  1. Students will develop a thorough knowledge of the aerospace elements specifically related to the Aviation and Space Studies disciplines that will allow them to be successful leaders in the industry by applying solutions gained through theory and applied research.
  2. Students will enhance their analytical, technical, research and communication skills through classroom and research activities to further develop an ability to carry out independent, original and applied research.
  3. Students will further develop the critical skill set needed to enable them to fill leadership roles within government and research agencies, educational institutions or private aerospace and aviation sector companies.



More information about the Aerospace Sciences PhD can be found here.  To apply, visit My GradSpace on The Graduate School’s website. The deadline for Fall 2012 admission is May 30th.  


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April 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

PhD student continues to earn success

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Regular readers of our blog may recall that one of our Atmospheric Sciences graduate students was awarded a prestigious NASA Earth System Science Fellowship (NESSF) last year. Yingxi Shi continues to impress peers and colleagues with her research, having been awarded the Outstanding Student Paper award for the past AGU (American Geophysical Union) fall meeting. See below for her paper title and abstract:

Evaluation of the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product over the North Africa Regions for aerosol forecasts related applications

Yingxi Shi1, Jianglong Zhang1, Jeffrey S. Reid2, and Christina N. Hsu3

The MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product provides aerosol properties over bright surface regions such as the Saharan desert with a wide spatial coverage that is of a great value to applications such as aerosol data assimilation and aerosol forecasts. The reported uncertainties for the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol optical depth are on the order of 20-30% of the AERONET data.  A noise and bias reduced, quality assured aerosol product with well-categorized error statistics, however, is needed for advanced applications such as aerosol data assimilation.

In this study, we evaluated the noise and uncertainties of the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product using both ground based observations and space-borne observations from other sensors, such as MISR.  Uncertainties in the MODIS Deep Blue product were analyzed as functions of surface characteristics, observational conditions, and aerosol microphysics properties.  The possibility of including the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product in aerosol modeling and aerosol forecasts were also explored.

1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of North Dakota.
2Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory.
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Congratulations to Yingxi on this recognition. Yingxi’s advisor is Dr Jianglong Zhang who was the 2011 Dean’s Lecture Series Speaker at the recent Graduate School Scholarly Forum.

Written by School of Graduate Studies

May 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thinking WAY outside the desk!

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Local architecture firm, JLG Architects issued a challenge to North Dakota university students. The competition, “Think outside the desk” asked students to create a video that addresses two questions – where do you learn best? And, how would you improve your learning environment? They received more than forty submissions from creative students around the state.

Last night, JLG previewed the top ten entries, and announced the top three at an awards ceremony at the Empire Arts Theatre in Grand Forks. We’re excited to announce that Ted Bibby, PhD student in Geology won the third place award for his contribution, “Beyond the Desk: Fieldwork in Antarctica”. In fact, while Ted was busy conducting his Antarctic fieldwork recently, as well as shooting a video, he also found time to consider our interview questions for a Grad Story! Talk about multitasking! Ted’s video included students from the Geology and Geological Engineering programs at UND.

Ted conducting fieldwork in Antarctica for his PhD in Geology

We’re always thrilled to share great news of our students’ accomplishments through their research and dedication to their field.

Several other UND students were featured in the top 10 videos selected including Ben Adamson (Coffee Shop Vibes), Jonathan Alme, David Dvorak & Danny Hajicek (The Future Looks Bright), Sara Jayne Porter, Stephanie Wothe, Peter Bottini & Julie Bech (Learning in Style).

Congratulations to Ted and to all of our students who are going above and beyond. JLG has now posted the videos on YouTube. Here’s a link to Fieldwork in Antarctica.

Written by School of Graduate Studies

April 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

Posted in Grad Stories, people, research

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How does doctoral student travel support help?

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I am Christian Jungong, a doctoral student from Cameroon pursuing a PhD in organic synthesis at the Chemistry Department in UND. My research is focused on developing a Carbon-Hydrogen insertion methodology as a tool to revolutionize the synthesis of complex naturally occurring compounds which are of medicinal relevance. So far, I have published three peer reviewed publications; two where am the first author and one where am a co-author, and am currently working on the fourth. I have also been honored to mentor four undergraduate students and one high school student. My responsibilities in the Department of Chemistry also include the weekly maintenance of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy instrument in the department. Besides research, I have also been a teaching assistant for general and organic chemistry courses.

The UND community as well as the Chemistry Department has provided me with invaluable learning experiences that have expanded and strengthened my educational and professional career. For instance, I have been privileged to serve in leadership positions as president for two student organizations on campus (Cameroon Connection and the Chemistry Graduate Student Association). This has helped me to develop a unique set of skills in public speaking, time management, adherence to instructions and team work.

Last semester (Fall 2010), I was recognized as the recipient of the Dr. Ernest D. Coon and Dr. Roland G. Severson scholarships for outstanding teaching and research respectively by the faculty of the Chemistry Department. I received these awards with much joy and humility cognizant of the huge responsibility and expectations that accompany them. I am truly thankful and appreciate the department’s efforts and the many students that I have thought over the years to recognize my efforts.

It is a great privilege to be awarded the doctoral student travel support as it is an exciting challenge that will uphold and expand my level of achievement as a student at UND. The doctoral student travel support enabled me to attend the 241st ACS national conference in Anaheim, California. At the conference, I had a priceless opportunity to do a mock interview with potential recruiters, during which my resume was thoroughly critiqued, and I was advised to build important connections with peers, speakers, and recruiters, as this constituted a vital network relevant for a successful job search. Also, my preparation for the outside world was further enriched by participating in workshop sessions, notably; jobs in academia, jobs in industry, effective interviewing techniques and planning a job search. The most interesting part was presenting my research to peers and having to showcase its significance in the synthesis of complex natural products which have medicinal importance.

I am extremely happy with the education and training opportunities UND has offered to me this far. I feel I’m being trained as a synthetic organic chemist rather than taught organic chemistry. I am aware of the responsibility and expectation that accompany the doctoral student travel support award, and I believe it has significantly shaped my collegiate experience at UND.


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April 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Posted in people, research

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Atmospheric Sciences Grad Student Awarded Prestigious NASA Fellowship

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Yesterday, I indicated that student success was a major contributor to the enrollment increase that we have been observing in recent years.   In support of my statement comes the announcement that one of our Atmospheric Sciences doctoral students has been named the recipient of a nationally competitive fellowship.

Yingxi Shi, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, has been selected for the prestigious NASA Earth System Science Fellowship (NESSF).  The purpose of the NESSF program is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals, including studies of the earth from space. Yingxi’s work is directed toward understanding uncertainties in satellite aerosol products as a means of increasing our knowledge of the role of aerosols in climate forcing. She will also be developing better aerosol data sets for data assimilation in weather and climate models. Yingxi’s graduate advisor is Dr. Jianglong Zhang. The NESSF fellowship award is for $30,000 per year for up to 3 years.  Congratulations to Yingxi and many thanks to Dr. Zhang for providing excellent guidance to his student.   Great students have great mentors.

Learn more about how The Graduate School is providing opportunities for future leaders.

Written by School of Graduate Studies

September 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

UND’s New Graduate Offering in Education Emphasizes Research

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The University of North Dakota continues to expand graduate degree offerings in the College of Education and Human Development. The Department of Educational Foundations and Research is offering a new terminal degree. The Ph.D. degree will prepare student for professional positions that rely on a full understanding of the broad intellectual and scholarly themes that are foundational to good practice as well as excellent research skills.

Faculty in the department have a broad range of expertise including curriculum theory, research methods, needs assessment and educational research. Graduate program director and department chair, Dr. Kathleen Gershman said, “This program is a natural choice for students who wish to discover career paths leading to educational or institutional research. We’re looking forward to working with students through the program.”

Written by School of Graduate Studies

September 1, 2010 at 7:03 am

UND Doctoral Students receive awards from ND EPSCoR

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The Graduate School would like to recognize and congratulate these students receiving the Doctoral Dissertation Assistantships. Reposted from the University Letter.

The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) has announced the 2010 – 2012 Doctoral Dissertation Assistantship (DDA) awards at UND.

ND EPSCoR’s DDA awards are designed to increase the completion rate of Ph.D. students enrolled in the science, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at North Dakota’s research-intensive universities. Because of the close connection of outstanding graduate students and the competitiveness of North Dakota researchers for receiving merit-based grants and contracts in support of science and technology research from federal funding agencies, the DDA awards are expected to have very high impact.

DDA support is available for up to 24 months to enable doctoral students to dedicate their time exclusively to dissertation research. Applications are made by the students with supplemental information provided by their advisors, along with endorsement from their graduate program director and department chair.

Four competitive awards were made at UND. The review committee was very impressed by the overall quality of the proposals and noted that funding limitations precluded some otherwise deserving proposals from being awarded.

The 2010 DDA students, their departments and faculty mentors, and the topic of their approved research proposals are as follows:

  • Anthony Schroeder, Biology, advisor Turk Rhen, “Wolffian Duct Stabilization in the Common Snapping Turtle.”
  • Blake McCann, Biology, advisor Rebecca Simmons, “Genetic relationships of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in North America: geographic origins and genotypic distribution of the species with implications for management.”
  • Valeria Stephanova, Chemistry, advisor Irina Smoliakova, “Synthesis of Aminophosphines Using Cyclopalladated Complexes.”
  • Gunjan Dhawan, Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics, advisor Colin Combs, “Non-receptor Tyrosine Kinase Activity Modulates Microglial Phenotype with Increasing Age.”

For additional information concerning ND EPSCoR or the DDA program, please contact Mark. R. Hoffmann, Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Co-Project Director, ND EPSCoR, Twamley Hall 415, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58201-7093, 777-2492 or visit us on the web atwww.ndepscor.nodak.edu.

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July 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm

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