Outstanding Graduate Student Honorees

Each semester, we recognize some of our outstanding graduating students. These master's and doctoral students were nominated by their departments for their academic achievement and contributions to their respective fields.

Alysia Blake

Alysia Blake

PhD, Sociology, 2020

Outstanding Sociology Graduate Student of 2016 completed her dissertation on intersections of race and gender among public perceptions of the mentally ill and how local contexts shape lethal police encounters.

Courtney Boone

Courtney Boone

MS, Criminal Justice, 2020

The Criminology, Law and Society Department Speaker Series connected Courtney to her current position at the International Association of Chiefs of Police working on officer safety and wellness initiatives.

Sara Debus-Sherrill

Sara Debus-Sherrill

PhD, Criminology, Law and Society, 2020

Research work with George Mason University’s Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence leads to post-graduation plans.

Matthew Delgado

Matthew Delgado

MA, Global Affairs, 2020

Graduate of the Accelerated Master's program hopes to use his degree to work in the government sector and improve global human security.

Julie Evans

Julie Evans

MA, Sociology, 2020

Desire for social change led to a thesis worthy of an Outstanding Student Nomination.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell

MA, Professional Writing and Rhetoric

Professional Writing and Rhetoric concentration expanded student's critical thinking and world view.

Peter Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen

PhD, Economics, 2020

Designed and taught four classes while publishing multiple papers in academic journals throughout his doctoral program, and became an Assistant Professor of Economics and the Gwartney Professor of Economic Education and Research at the Gwartney Institute at Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS.

Courtney Marx

Courtney Marx

MA, Art History, 2020

Art History Master's program offers one student the chance to pursue lifelong passion in Egyptology.

Sahureli Mendoza Khoury

Sahureli Mendoza Khoury

MA Global Affairs, 2020

Studying global conflict and security leads to plans to become certified trauma and resilience practitioner.

Lawrence Minnis

Lawrence Minnis

MA, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, 2020

With little background in psychology, Lawrence excelled in his courses and completed a challenging thesis project on animal-human relationships.

Di Pei

Di Pei

PhD, Communication, 2020

A two-time recipient of the Department of Communication's Outstanding Instructor Award.

Turner Penton

Turner Penton

MA, Philosophy, 2020

A career as a corrections officer informed a compelling thesis on the ways in which prisons amputate existential possibility.

Kara Simmons

Kara Simmons

MA, Economics, 2020

Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) program prepared graduate for success in the Master's of Economics.