May 12, 2021

Dissertation Award Fellows, 2021 – 2022

Transdisciplinary Mindset - Neural Network

It is our pleasure to announce the TNDY Dissertation Award Fellows for 2021 – 2022. The six recipients and brief descriptions of their dissertation projects are listed below. This is an impressive set of projects and illustrates that high quality, high impact research is being conducted across all disciplines here at CGU. Congratulations!

Cindy Delgado

School of Community & Global Health

“Transdisciplinary Evaluation of Telehealth Experiences of Diabetic Participants’ and their Coaches’ in “Stopping Diabetes in its Tracks” (SDIT) a Descriptive Mixed-Methods Customer Experience Map Journey"

This study will capture the experiences of diabetic patients and their coaches during the covid-19 transition to virtual delivery. A journey map will be created of Stopping Diabetes in Its Tracks (SDIT), a transdisciplinary engineered system that delivers holistic Diabetes Prevention (DPP) and management. Interviews and quantitative surveys will develop personal perspectives to inform equitable telehealth infrastructure and virtual delivery of future programs. Previous research has focused on the feasibility and effectiveness of in-person versus telehealth delivery of DPP. However, few studies have merged perspectives from the field of ethnic studies, public health, and customer service research during a pandemic.

Adrineh Gregorian

School of Arts & Humanities

“Cross-Border Peace Building and Gender Inclusivity: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh”

Women are building peace networks in the fringes of the current Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This dissertation focuses on how women in conflict regions are contributing to peace building measures through their employment of digital tools. In doing so, they are redefining themselves and their roles in society. My research analyzes how women from these countries address problems related to a) gender inequities, b) women’s inclusion in peace building processes, c) how the affect of conflict influences peace building, and d) the use of new technology in digital spaces for building peace networks that transcends borders.

Soha Hammam

Division of Politics & Economics

“How civil resistance works: A Multi-Method Analysis of Civil Resistance Dynamics and Outcomes”

The question of whether civil resistance works, and how it could lead to a pronounced change has occupied the minds of scholars for decades. With the complexities of the factors involved and the dynamic interactions among them, computational social science methods present innovative tools that can uncover the underlying principles of civil resistance. My dissertation introduces a framework that moves beyond individual domains into a more systemic analysis of civil resistance. This has a major potential not only for researchers, but also for policymakers who often time face difficulty evaluating global waves of civil resistance as they unfold.

Bree Hemingway

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

“Evaluation Training in Public Health: Exploring a New Approach”

Program evaluation is an essential function of public health practice. Despite the importance of evaluation within public health, inconsistent exposure to evaluation principles and methodology within Master of Public Health (MPH) programs inadequately prepare students for conducting evaluation. The proposed three-phased mixed-methods study supplements literature in public health, evaluation and education and aims to improve evaluation training for MPH students. Qualitative research in phase one informs phase two— development of an online evaluation training for MPH students. The third phase, a quasi-experimental study measures the effectiveness of the training to improve MPH students’ knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy to conduct evaluation.

Melanie Lindsay

School of Arts & Humanities

“Toward an Ethics of Self-Care: The Performative Poetics of Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, and Patrice Cullors”

My dissertation, “Toward an Ethics of Self-Care: The Performative Poetics of Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, and Patrice Cullors,” hypothesizes that we can conceive an ethical practice of self-care through a close reading of the writings and performances of Angelou, Lorde, and Cullors. Through this project I ask whether the performative works of three Black feminists can yield a notion of ethical self-care. If we examine their thinking as expressed through their poetry, their performances (including activism), and their self-life-writing would we be able to locate an ethical practice that robustly sustains lives often lived under conditions of duress?

Conrad Pruitt, Jr.

School of Arts & Humanities

“Black Memorabilia and the Racial Dialectic: Contesting Significations of Race”

Recently, racist collectibles have experienced a renaissance, circulating through conventions and social media trades. Surpassing mere reflections of antiquated attitudes, black ephemera reinforce validations of racial distinction and hegemonic domination. This project will explore the meanings of these objects: their inferiority-affirming stereotypes, and how such perceptions of blackness intersect with their use-value as domestic items. By examining the treatment of black collectibles in critical studies, museums, social media posts, price guides and literary works from postcolonial and psychoanalytic perspectives, my dissertation will illuminate the significance of these objects as representations of the complex dynamics of defining the black racial identity.

Again, congratulations on your accomplishments and we wish you a productive year with your research and writing.