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Home » Discover Rackham » ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award Winners

The ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes exceptional work produced by doctoral students for the high caliber of their scholarship and the significance and interest of their findings.

Each year, Rackham invites faculty to nominate outstanding dissertations produced in their programs. The nomination dossiers are read and discussed by a review panel of faculty members who identify the finalists. Then, members of the Michigan Society of Fellows read the finalists’ dissertations, review their merits, and select the winners.

Below is the list of winners of the 2019 Distinguished Dissertation Awards, as well as the honorable mentions.


  • Yassel Acosta Matutes, Applied Physics
  • Juliette Becker, Astronomy
  • Kaitlin Cassady, Psychology
  • Christina Cross, Public Policy and Sociology
  • Joseph Gamble, English and Women’s Studies
  • Ximena Gomez, History of Art
  • Crystal Green, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
  • Nicole Michmerhuizen, Pharmacology
  • Olivia Palmer, Biomedical Engineering
  • Andrew Schwartz, Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Honorable Mentions

  • Theodore Dewitt, Management and Organizations, Business
  • Hezao Ke, Linguistics
  • Eli Lichtenstein, Philosophy
  • Tom Logan, Industrial and Operations Engineering
  • Jonathan Massey, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Sina Shiehian, Computer Science
  • Yitong Sun, Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics
  • Arushi Varshney, Human Genetics
  • Rachel Vitali, Mechanical Engineering
  • Carly Wayne, Political Science

In light of university measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards Ceremony has been postponed.