Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Graduate students honored during Outstanding Master's Thesis Awards

Vera Leopold has won the University of Illinois Springfield's Outstanding Master's Thesis award for the 2009-10 academic year. Her project – titled "Feasibility Study for a Small-Scale Wetland Restoration at Jubilee Farm in Central Illinois" – was chosen from among 8 theses and projects nominated by graduate departments at the university. She was honored during a ceremony on Monday, January 31, 2011.

Leopold's work involved an applied study compiling current and historical data on the Jubilee Farm site located near New Berlin, Ill. She also identified appropriate reference wetlands within the geographic area, and conducted a detailed, four-season-long, site assessment. Data collected and analyses for the assessment were focused on five components of the site, including soils, hydrology, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife. Each component required Leopold to develop and demonstrate adequate grounding in the subject area.

“If I failed to convey it to Vera before I would like to take this opportunity to tell her and share with you how fortunate I have felt to have such a sensible and capable student and friend like Vera,” said Dr. Tih-Fen Ting, professor of Environmental Studies who chaired Leopold’s thesis committee.

James Anderson, who earned a master of arts degree in Communication, received a Special Merit Award. Anderson's thesis was titled "Laughter is Critical: An Analysis of the Sociopolitical Satire on ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ Using the Propaganda Model as a Guide. Dr. Amie Kincaid, assistant professor of Communication, served as his committee chair.

The UIS Research Board reviews nominated theses and projects and makes the final selection. Lynn Pardie, UIS interim vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said that the board was impressed by the high quality of each of the nominated reports.

Other students who were nominated, their theses or projects, and their programs, are: Neil Calderon, Educational Leadership; Sarah (Chism) Stover; Human Development Counseling; Michael Abraham Gammon; English; Heidi E. Nance, Accountancy; John Marcos Reynolds, History; Michael Snyder, Political Science; and Jill Sonke, Human Services.

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