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Graduate students receive distinguished doctoral and master’s awards

The Graduate College is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of five graduate students for high achievement in their respective disciplines. Awarded annually, the Distinguished Doctoral and Master’s Scholarship Awards recognize innovative and creative scholarship in five categories.

“The awarding of the distinguished doctoral and master’s, and innovation in technology awards affirms the outstanding scholarship that Boise State’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 over 90 graduate degree-granting institutions in the western United States and Canada.”

This year’s award winners and the titles of their projects are:

Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship

Evan Smith – materials science and engineering, PhD

  • “Empirical Modeling of Structural Distortions in Perovskite Ceramics”

Zongbo Xu – geophysics, PhD

  • “Rayleigh-wave multicomponent crosscorrelation-based estimation of phase velocities and ambient seismic source distribution”

Distinguished Thesis (STEM)

Leanna Marquart – chemistry and biochemistry, MS

  • “Structure and Bioactivity of a Rationally Designed Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Antagonist Targeting the Alpha-3 Beta-2 Subtype”

Distinguished Thesis/Project (Arts)

Lisa Roggenbuck – art, design, and visual studies, MFA

  • “Aesthetic Labor”

Innovation in Technology

Thomas Van Der Weide – geophysics, MS

  • “Remote Sensing of Alfalfa Seed Crop Fields”

The awards measure graduate student scholarship on the basis of merit, quality, significance, originality, and contributions to their respective areas of scholarship. Recipients of the Distinguished Thesis Awards and the Innovation in Technology Award are each presented with a certificate, $100 to the recipient, and submission to the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and ProQuest competition, where they will compete at the regional level for additional awards. The Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship Award includes a certificate and a $150 award to each awardee.

“These award winners are to be congratulated for their outstanding scholarship! I am proud of how well our graduate students represent Boise State University and continue to bring recognition to our institution through these regional competitions,” shared Tammi Vacha-Haase, dean of the Graduate College and current president of the regional professional association for WAGS.

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

-By Kinzi Dorr