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Graduate Students Earn Distinguished Doctoral and Master’s Awards

Following a rich tradition of celebrating graduate student successes at Boise State University, the Graduate College has recognized five graduate students for high achievement in their respective areas of scholarship.

“We are extremely proud of our graduate students and their outstanding work,” said Tammi Vacha-Haase, deean of the Graduate College. “It is important that we recognize these impressive students, and celebrate what they have achieved through their scholarship during their time at Boise State.”

For more than a decade, the Graduate College annually has presented Boise State graduate students with distinguished doctoral and master’s scholarship awards in five categories. This year’s award winners and the titles of their projects are:

Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship Award
April Watts – curriculum and instruction, EdD
“Substance Use and Bullying Intervention Among High School Students”

Distinguished Thesis (STEM) Award
Md. Fazle Rabbi – civil engineering, MS
“Effect of subsurface conditions on flexible pavement behavior: Non-destructive testing and mechanistic analysis”

Distinguished Thesis (Non-STEM) Award
Christian Sprague – economics, MS
“Robustness Effects on the Resilience Process within the U.S. Labor Market”

Distinguished Thesis/Project (Arts) Award
Mary Lowry – creative writing, MFA
“The Roxy Letters”

Innovation in Technology Award
Aidin Golrokh – civil engineering, MS
“The use of non-destructive testing in asphalt and concrete defect assessment”

The Distinguished Thesis Awards and the Innovation in Technology Award each include a certificate, $100 to the recipient, and submission to the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and ProQuest competition. The Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship Award recipient is presented with a certificate and a $150 award.

“The awarding of the distinguished doctoral and master’s awards affirms the outstanding scholarship that Boise State University’s graduate students produce,” said Graduate College associate dean Scott Lowe. “In addition, these awards allow Boise State University to pursue regional and national awards – such as the WAGS distinguished thesis awards, a competition that includes submissions from 86 graduate degree-granting institutions in the western United States and Canada.”

In 2018, Boise State fine arts graduate student Shawn Edrington was awarded the WAGS Distinguished Master’s Thesis in the Creative, Visual and Performing Arts.

For more information about the distinguished doctoral and master’s scholarship awards, please visit: