UA Names Outstanding Graduate Student Awards for 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Graduate School has announced the recipients of the 2014 Outstanding Graduate Student awards.

The awards will be presented during UA Honors Week, scheduled for Monday, March 31, to Friday, April 4.

Three faculty committees selected the seven most outstanding graduate students from a list of honorees in their individual departments and colleges, said Dr. John F. Schmitt, associate graduate dean and assistant to the provost.

The winners are:

Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation

Dr. Henri Jean-Francois Dengah II, of Aurora, Colo., (College of Arts and Sciences, department of anthropology) won for the manuscript “Finding Success and Health Through God – A Study of Cultural Models and Health Among Brazilian Pentecostals.” His dissertation chairperson was Dr. William Dressler, professor of anthropology. Dengah investigates why religious traditions such as Pentecostalism are so appealing to communities in non-Western and developing areas.

Outstanding Master’s Thesis

Brandee D. Easter, of Meridianville, (College of Arts and Sciences, department of English) won for the manuscript “Data Visualization of Indian Mutiny Causes in Victorian Higher Journalism.” Her thesis chairperson was Dr. Albert Pionke, associate professor of English. The thesis explores historical and cultural criticism of the Indian Mutiny, including nomenclature, extent and cause of the rebellion.

Excellence in Teaching by a Master’s Student

Kirsten Bone, of Salt Lake City, (College of Arts and Sciences, department of English) received the award. Bone’s teaching style demonstrates energy, concern and creativity. She possesses keen teaching instincts and is a natural in the classroom.

Excellence in Teaching by a Doctoral Student

Erin Chandler, of McCalla, (College of Arts and Sciences, department of English) received the award. She is an expert in teaching writing skills and promotes success among her students.

Excellence in Research by a Master’s Student

Kemar James, of Columbus, Ga., (College of Engineering, department of mechanical engineering) received the award. His research focuses on developing a flow vessel for optical studies of diesel fuel-injection sprays.

Excellence in Research by a Doctoral Student

Jaejin Lee, of Kimhae, South Korea, (College of Engineering, department of electrical and computer engineering) received the award. Lee has contributed to the areas of magnetic materials and devices research.

Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student

Lisa Beck, of Arkansas, (College of Arts and Sciences, department of psychology) received the award. Beck is a trainer for Safe Zone and is actively involved in Capstone Alliance, Spectrum and the Student Counseling Center.


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782, 205/394-3040


Lesley E. Campbell, Graduate School, 205/348-0051,