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Celebrating 60 years of School of Graduate Studies

Culminating Project

Forming your Committee

The most important consideration when beginning a thesis, starred paper, creative work or portfolio is the selection of at least three graduate faculty members to serve as committee members.  The student's adviser will often be one of the committee members.  Each graduate student, after consulting with her/her adviser, should ask two other graduate faculty, based on each member's potential value in the area of research undertaken to serve.  The student's selected committee must be comprised of:

  • The program adviser or committee chair
  • A graduate faculty member from the program department
  • A graduate faculty member from a related department (outside reader)

These committee members must be approved graduate faculty members.  A listing of graduate faculty members is available on-line in the university catalog.  Faculty who have volunteered to serve as outside readers are listed below.  The outside reader need not have expertise in the student's specific topic. However, selection of an outside reader should complement the discipline.

Biological Sciences

Dr. William Cook, Interests:  Ecology, patterns of biodiversity, interactions between humans and communitites of other organisms
Dr. Timothy Schuh, Interests: Developmental biology, cancer biology, molecular biology
Dr. Maureen Tubbiola, Interests:  Mammalian physiology and reproduction


Dr. Jack McKenna, Interests: Demonstrations (chemical), kinetics, thermodynamics

Child and Family Studies

Dr. Fatemah Zarghami, Interests:  Family studies

Communication Studies

Dr. Jeffrey Bineham, Interests: Rhetorical theory and criticism, cultural studies/analysis of popular culture, philosophy of communication
Dr. Margaret Pryately, Interests:  Japan, Slovenia, second language issues, intercultural communication, conflict, community affairs and neighborhood issues
Dr. Roseanna Ross, Interests: Communication and conflict, mediation, organizational communication, interpersonal/relational communication, group/team building, experiential learning/education theory or application, education abroad, service learning, internships, faculty development, consulting, training, coaching storytelling
Dr. Daniel Wildeson, Interests: General, rhetorical studies, ethics

Computer Science and Information Technology

Dr. Tirthankar Ghosh, Interests:  Network security and computer networks
Dr. Amos Olagunju, Interests:  Computer network security, non-parametric and educational statistics, design and analysis of experiments, educational research and evaluation
Sister Del Marie Rysavy, Interests:  Cooperative learning, education, learning, teaching and technology

Counseling and Community Psychology

Dr. Michael Mayhew, Interests:  Marriage and family therapy
Dr. Niloufer Merchant, Interests:  Multicultural counseling, group work, qualitative research, counseling adolescents and adult women
Dr. Eric Rudrud, Interests:  Behavior analysis, educational/school psychology, and supported employment
Dr. Kimberly Schulze, Interests:  Autism, special education, social skills training, fetal alcohol syndrome

Criminal Justice

Dr. Dick Andzenge, Interests:  Organization and administration
Dr. John Campbell, Interests:  Law enforcement
Dr. Mary Clifford, Interests: Theories of crime, environmental crime, sex crimes, victimology
Dr. Douglas "Lee" Gilbertson, Interests: Forensic victimology, gangs, and crime mapping
Dr. Stephen Hennessy, Interests:  Criminal justice, law enforcement and cultural diversity training
Dr. Mario Hesse, Interests: Corrections, media and crime, juvenile justice, and research
Dr. Francis "Barry" Schreiber, Interests:  Criminal justice, corporate crime and research
Dr. Charles "Chuck" Seefeldt, Interests:   Criminal law
Dr. Stewart Wirth, Interests: Criminal justice, law enforcement, interview and interrogation, strategic planning/budgeting, human resource management

Curriculum and Instruction (Teacher Development)

Dr. Stephen Hornstein, Interests: Qualitative studies, ethical and honest use of research data, standardized testing, education in developing countries, democratic classrooms, building cultures of democracy, using math as a tool for meaning-making and critique, civic and social education, local/oral history
Dr. Ramon Serrano, Interests: Gang violence and violence in the schools, literacy education and English as a second language.
Dr. Lalita Subrahmanyan, Interests: K-12 education, higher education, educational foundations, multicultural education, global education, comparative education, informal or non-formal or adult education, gender issues in science, philosophy of science, sociology of science, minorities and women in science and engineering, South Asian studies, women's studies (particularly women of color), Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.), ethnomusicology, music education


Dr. Orn Bodvarsson, Interests: Labor economics, microeconomics
Dr. Philip Grossman, Interests:  Experimental economics
Dr. Nathan Hampton, Interests:  Natural resource and environmental
Dr. Patricia Hughes, Interests:  Econometrics

Educational Leadership And HIgher Education

Dr. Janine Dahms-Walker, Interests: Leadership, law, ethics, special education, finance
Dr. Christine Imbra, Interests:  Qualitative research, higher education, leadership, violence, school safety, bullying
Dr. Frances Kayona, Interests: Performance appraisal systems (supervision); curriculum and assessment development; curriculum and assessment leadership practices; program evaluation; research design; organizational theory; school reform, accountability, and change; human resource administration


Dr. Caesarea Abartis, Interests:  General
Dr. Glenn Davis, Interests:  Medieval languages, literatures and culture
Dr. Judith Dorn, Interests:  General
Dr. Christie Gordon, Interests:  Curriculum and instruction
Dr. Constance Perry, Interests:  American history
Dr. Suzanne Ross, Interests:  Biology, mass communications (journalism/non-fiction)

Environmental and Technological Studies

Dr. Anthony Akubue, Interests:  Energy technology, technology and third world development, technology transfer
Dr. Michner Bender, Interests:  Environmental soil science, green house gas emissions from soil, manure management, nutrient cycling and water quality
Dr. Kurt Helgeson, Interests:  Affordable housing, construction, process improvement, rural development and technology education
Dr. Balasubramanian Kasi, Interests:  Environmental and technology education, financial management and investing analysis, general manufacturing materials, science and engineering
Dr. James Nicholson, Interests:  Communications, computer-aided design, graphics, manufacturing and production engineering
Dr. Charles Rose, Interests:  Lakes, water quality and wetlands

EthNic and Women's Studies

Dr. Margaret Villanueva, Interests: Social responsibility, adult education, educational leadership

Foreign Languages

Dr. Luz Consuelo Triana-Echeverria, Interests: Issues in Spain and Latin America, social class, race, women and gender topics, humanities, arts, philosophy, literature, languages, history, psychology, anthropology


Dr. Randal Baker, Interests:  Tourism development, community development, outdoor recreation
Dr. Mikhail Blinnikov, Interests:  Biogeography, conservation, phytolith analysis, GIS, Russia
Dr. Benjamin Richason, Interests:  Remote sensing, cartography, soils, GIS
Dr. Jeffrey Torguson, Interests:  Cartography, GIS, physical geography, Asia
Dr. David Wall, Interests:  Economic and political geography, urban planning, Latin America
Dr. Lewis Wixon, Interests:  Climatology, physical geography, MN culture and ethnicity, Europe


Dr. Robert Galler, Interests:  American Indian history, U.S. history, American west
Dr. Jeffrey Mullins, Interests:  Early America, African Americans, intellectual history, science and medicine
Dr. John Ness, Interests:  East Asian history, world history
Dr. Mary Wingerd, Interests:  Immigration, labor, urban history, 19th-20th Century U.S., public history

Information Media

Dr. Jeanne Anderson, Interests:  Critical thinking and electronic text/e-learning and intercultural issues in education training
Dr. Merton Thompson, Interests:  Impact of school library media center on student learning

Learning Resources Services

Dr. Thomas Hergert, Interests:  Visual literacy, multimedia, e-learning, instructional design
Dr. Christine Inkster, Interests:  School library media centers, integrating media and technology into curriculum, literacy and qualitative research
Dr. Karen Thoms, Interests:  Instructional design, faculty development, visual literacy and active learning

Mathematics And Statistics

Dr. Nick Fiala, Interests:  Design theory, graph theory, combinatorial optimization
Dr. Leonard Onyiah, Interests:  Experimental design, survival analysis, applications in biology, medicine and population dynamics
Dr. David Robinson, Interests:  Bootstrap, density estimation, queuing theory and simulation


Dr. Kristian Twombly, Interests: Theoretical analysis, technology and the arts, popular music, new media and the arts, interdisciplinary arts
Dr. Terry Vermillion, Interests:  Theoretical analysis, historical context, interviewing, transcription


Dr. Michael Shaffer, Interests:  Philosophy of science (physics and biology), epistemology (learning theory, rationality), logic (mathematical and informal)


Dr. Marlene DeVoe, Interests:  Life-span developmental psychology, cognitive-affective development, emotions and aging
Dr. Jody Illies, Interests:  Industrial-organizational psychology, leadership, problem solving and biographical data
Dr. Christine Jazwinski, Interests:  Social psychology, helping and altruistic behavior and the psychology of the Holocaust
Dr. John Kulas, Interests:  Industrial-organizational psychology, affirmative action and newcomer socialization
Dr. Joseph Melcher, Interests:  Cognitive psychology, learning, memory expertise and human factors
Dr. Zoa Rockenstein, Interests:  Educational psychology, intellectual giftedness, creativity, and women's issues
Dr. Leslie Valdes, Interests:  Cognitive psychology, visual attention and memory

Sociology and Anthropology

Dr. Tracy Ore, Interests:  Class, race, sustainable agriculture, social movements and teaching pedagogy
Dr. Elizabeth Scheel-Keita,  Interests:  Sociology of the body, gender and violence, prison reform, deviance, criminology and juvenile delinquency/youth empowerment
Dr. Jiping Zuo, Interests:  Sociology of family, gender, China

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