Stephen F. Austin State University

Graduate Student Awards

Marilyn Odom Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The Alumni Association will honor the outstanding graduate student for 2018-2019 with the Marilyn Odom Outstanding Graduate Student Award. The winner will receive a plaque and recognition by the Alumni Association.


Eligibility extends to graduate students completing their degree in August or December of 2018, as well as May of 2019. To be considered for nomination, a student must:

Nomination Procedures and Deadlines

Nominations may be made by any SFA graduate faculty member. Nominator forms and supporting letters of recommendation will be submitted by the nominating faculty member to the Graduate School. Nominee forms will be completed by the nominee and submitted with the nominator forms and letters of recommendation to the Graduate School by February 15, 2019 so that the Graduate Council may make its selection at the next appropriate meeting.

Marilyn M. Odom Outstanding Graduate Student Award:

Class Year Name Major
2018 Alyssa Abreu
2017 Stacey A Kerr
2016 Ian Deterling
2015 Dustin Aaron Therrien Biology
2014 Jake McAdams History
2013 Wesley Kephart Kinesiology
2012 Nathan Frischmann Kinesiology
2011 Kristi Sitton-Furnival Speech Pathology
2010 Amanda Dawn Chatoney Art
2009 Kira Enriquez-Loya Art
2008 Laura Hudgins Art
and Brandon Scott Psychology
2007 Susan Terry History
2006 Tamberly Kerr Psychology
2005 Jennifer Edwards Psychology
2004 Shannon Oster Speech Pathology
2003 Dixie Morgan Psychology
2002 David Bridgett Psychology
2001 Christopher Winne Environmental Science
2000 Ching Huang Forestry
1999 Amy Wilkerson Psychology
1998 Jennifer Shipman Forestry
1997 Katherine Hays History
1996 Terry Morris Music
1995 Karyn Hall Agriculture
1994 Robin Brunson English
1993 Theresa McMurray Computer Science

William R. Johnson Outstanding Thesis Award


Eligibility: All theses completed in the calendar year (January 1 to December 31) preceding the one in which the award will be given. To be considered for this award, the following must be demonstrated:

Nomination Procedures and Deadlines

Use the criteria to evaluate eligible theses. Submit to the Graduate office a copy of the best thesis one along with a Thesis Award Nomination Form explaining how the thesis fulfills the criteria. Only one thesis may be nominated for each department. This nomination form and a copy of the thesis must be submitted by the thesis director to the Graduate School by February 15, 2019.

Graduate Council Procedures

The Student Affairs Committee of the Graduate Council will solicit from departments, nominations for the thesis award. The Committee will review all theses nominations and recommend a winner to the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council will vote on the Committee's recommendation.


A plaque will be mailed to the student who composed the thesis. The name of the winner, the title of the thesis, and the name of the thesis director will be included in the May commencement program.

William R. Johnson Outstanding Thesis Awards

2017: Chad A. Huckaby, M.S., May 2017 (College of Sciences and Mathematics). "Observations on Convexity." Directed by Dr. Roy Joseph Harris, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

2016: Melinda Shaw Faulkner, Ph.D., May 2016 (Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture).
"An Investigation of Hydrogeologic, Stratigraphic, and Structural Controls on Acer Grandidentatum Communities in a Karst Landscape, Owl Mountain Province, Fort Hood Military Installation, Texas."
Directed by Dr. Matthew W. McBroom, Professor, Forestry

2015: Michael Brian Tiller, M.S., May 2015 (Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture).
"Effects of Yaupon, Chinese Privet, and Chinese Tallow on Understory Fuel Flammability in East Texas Hardwood and Pine Ecosystem."
Directed by Dr. Brian P. Oswald, Joe C. Denman Distinguished Professor, Forestry

2014: Joseph R. Secrest, M.S., May 2014 (College of Education).
"Effects of Ammonia Inhalants on Anaerobic Performance Following a Simulated Football Game."
Directed by Dr. Eric Jones, Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Health Science

2013: Daniel A. Riser-Espinoza, M.S., May 2013 (College of Sciences and Mathematics).
"Recovering a Random Variable from Conditional Expectations using Reconstruction Algorithms for the Gauss Radon Transform."
Directed by Dr. Jeremy J. Becnel, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

2012: Amber Chapman, M.S., May 2012 (College of Sciences and Mathematics).
"A Comprehensive Prediction Model of Attrition for Texas Nursing Students Utilizing Optimum Misclassification Rates."
Directed by Dr. Gregory K. Miller, Associate Professor, Statistics

2011: Ravi Yandamuri, M.S., December 2011 (College of Sciences and Mathematics).
"Cloning and Expression of the Prolyl Endoprotease from Eurygaster integriceps."
Directed by Dr. Beatrice Ann Clack, Associate Professor, Biotechnology

2010: John F. Chapman, M.S., December 2010 (Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture).
"Evaluation of LiDAR Derived Estimates of Forest Measurement"
Directed by Dr. I-Kuai Hung, Associate Professor, Forestry

2009: Eralda Lameborshi Tarpley, M.A., May 2009 (College of Liberal and Applied Arts).
"Ismail Kadare's Voice in Albania's Polylphonic Identity"
Directed by Dr. Kevin R. West, Assistant Professor, English

2008: Deepa Nadarajah, M.S., December 2008 (College of Sciences and Mathematics).
"Purification and Characterization of Mouse Pancreatic Elastase"
Co-Directed by Dr. Robert S. Stewart, Jr., Associate Professor, Biology
Co-Directed by Dr. Barry Starcher, Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Health Center at Tyler

2007: Andrew Syvyk, M.S., August 2007 (College of Sciences and Mathematics).
"Strategy for Detection and Identification of Eimeria sp. Infecting Chickens"
Directed by Dr. Alexandra Martynova-Van Kley, Assistant Professor, Biotechnology

2006: Koteswara Rao Gottipati, M.S., December 2006 (College of Sciences and Mathematics).
"Passive Cigarette Smoke Inhibits UV Induced Skin Tumors in Mice"
Co-Directed by Dr. Beatrice Ann Clack, Associate Professor, Biotechnology
Co-Directed by Dr. Barry Starcher, Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Health Center at Tyler

2005: Jason Brian Grogan, M.S., August 2005
"Southern Pine Beetle Infestation Probability Mapping Using Weights of Evidence Analysis"
Directed by Dr. David L. Kulhavy, Regents Professor College of Forestry and Agriculture

2004: Mohammad Mnawer Bataineh, M.S.F., May 2004
"Community Classification in the Davis Mountains Sky Islands: Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws) and Adjacent Communities"
Directed by Dr. Brian P. Oswald, Professor Arthur Temple College of Forestry

2003: Christopher David Knowles, M.S.F., August 2003
"Wood Properties of Finger-Jointed Southern Pine"
Directed by Dr. Edward F. Dougal, Assistant Professor, Arthur Temple College of Forestry

2002: Paul David Jones, M.S.F., December 2002
"Assessment of Basic Specific Gravity of Southern Yellow Pine Trees Sampled at Twenty Percent of Total Tree Height"
Directed by Dr. Edward F. Dougal, Assistant Professor, Arthur Temple College of Forestry

2001: Jose Montenegro Fragoso, M.A., December 2001
"Personality and Psychopathology as Measured with the MMPI-2 Among Mexican Villagers, Immigrants, and Americans"
Directed by Dr. Michael E. Walker, Assistant Professor, Psychology


Barbara Sealine Stump, M.S., August 2001
"Site Analysis and Design of the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden"
Directed by Dr. David L. Creech, Professor, Agriculture

2000: Jennifer McFarland, M.A., May 2000
"Development of a Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay to Identify Emeria maxima Oocyst"
Directed by Dr. Tim Cherry, Professor, Agriculture

1999: Ching-Hsun Huang, Ph.D., December 1999
"Economic Analysis of Carbon Storage in Loblolly Pine Plantations"
Directed by Dr. Gary D. Kronrad, Professor, Arthur Temple College of Forestry

1998: Mary Anne McGuire, M.S.F., December 1998
"Effects of Stock Type, Fall Nursery Fertilization and Ectomycorrhizal Inoculation On Survival of Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) Seedlings Planted on Lignite Minespoil"
Directed by Dr. Hans M. Williams, Associate Professor, Arthur Temple College of Forestry

1997: Jennifer S. Key, M.S.F., August 1997
"The Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Functions of Five Texas Bottomland Hardwood Wetlands Using the U.S. Corps of Engineers Hydro geomorphic Assessment Technique"
Directed by Dr. Hans M. Williams, Associate Professor, Arthur Temple College of Forestry

1996: Carol J. Sanderson, M.S., December 1996
"Better Angels: A Novel of the Civil War"
Directed by Dr. Leon J. Schultz, Professor, English and Philosophy

1995: Sethuraman Srinivasan, Jr., M.A., August 1995
"Farewell to the Solid South: Liberalism and Southern Democrats in Congress, 1969-1994"
Directed by Dr. William J. Brophy, Professor, History

1994: James Leo Simmons, M.A., August 1994
"King Lear, Shakespeare's Modern Drama: A Study of Existential Ideals in King Lear and the Presentation of Such Ideas in Modern Cinema"
Directed by Dr. Barbara Carr, Professor, English and Philosophy

1993: John David Payne, M.S., August 1993
"Analysis of Metals in a Reservoir Receiving Runoff from the East Texas Oil Field"
Directed by Dr. Jack D. McCullough, Professor, Biology

1992: Cheryl Kay Wiederhold, M.A., December 1992
"The Young Child's Theory of Mind: Do Three Year Olds Understand False Belief?"
Directed by Dr. James R. Speer, Professor, Psychology

1991: Edith Wylie Miller, M.A., August 1991
"Harriet Monroe: The Formative Years"
Directed by Dr. Hebe R. Mace, Associate Professor, English