Past Award Winners

The Graduate School is honored to recognize the academic accomplishments of its students. The student award winners listed here have achieved the highest level of academic excellence in their master's programs. We congratulate them all!  


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Michael J. Olejniczak
Forest Islands in a Sea of Urban Habitat
Dr. Robert J. Warren II, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Philip L. Pinzone
Do Novel Weapons that Degrade Mycorrhizal Mutualisms Explain Invasive Species Success?
Dr. Robert Warren II, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Zachary A. Cava
Behavioral Differences between Native and Exotic Invertebrate Prey Affect Susceptibility to Predation by a Native Amphibian Predator
Dr. Amy M. McMillan, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Outstanding Master's Project

Anna R. Leone
Thinking like an Artist: An Action Research Study Applying Artist-Teacher Philosophy in an Elementary Art Classroom
Dr. Alice Pennisi, Project Adviser (Art Education)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Anthony J. DiGesare
Confining Country, Confining City:  Real Imaginary Places in the Work of Sam Selvon
Dr. Karen Sands-O'Connor, Thesis Adviser (English)

Matthew Candeias
Rareness Starts Early for Disturbance-Dependent Grassland Place Species
Dr. Robert Warren II, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Charlene H. Gray
More than Movement - Ant Seed Dispersal Inhibits Phytopathogenic Fungi
Dr. Robert Warren II, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Brian E. Haas
Home Range, Habitat Use, and Movements of Native Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica), and Sympatric Invasive Red-eared Slider Turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans), in the Upper Niagara River
Dr. Edward Standora, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Outstanding Master's Project

Rebecca L. Saunders
The Design and Development of Educational Technology Professional Development Using Classroom Performance System (CPS) for Secondary Mathematics Teachers
Dr. Jo Yudess, Project Adviser (Educational Technology)

Christine "Minna" Kempf
Creating a Place for Muslims in America:  An Action Research Study Documenting the Implementation of an Islamic Middle School Art Curriculum Focused on Cultural Identity
Dr. Alice Pennisi, Project Adviser (Art Education)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Ashley L. Smith
Artist Practice in the Elementary Classroom:  Redefining Art Teaching Through Artist-Teacher Philosophy
Dr. Alice C. Pennisi, Thesis Adviser (Art Education)

Allyse M. Fischer
Effects of Round Goby Presence on Invertebrate and Microbial Communities in Decaying Leaf Matter of a Lake Erie Tributary Stream
Dr. Christopher Pennuto, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Timothy A. Collins
Rap Aesthetics and the Postmodern Imaginary
Dr. Jennifer Ryan, Thesis Adviser (English)

April L. O'Brien
“God Loves All Them Feelings”: Renegotiating Faith and Sexuality in The Color Purple and Angels in America
Dr. Jennifer Ryan, Thesis Adviser (English)

Outstanding Master's Project

Tracy Fox
A Case Study Investigating How Art Education Fosters Collaboration in an Urban Environment Through the Lens of Public Pedagogy
Dr. Shirley Hayes, Project Adviser (Art Education)

Corinne E. Carter-Stadler, Kimberly Farr, Liane Schaub, and Jessica D. Washington
Using an Early Reading Intervention Program to Increase Phonological Awareness Skills in Pre-Kindergarten Students At-Risk for Reading Failure
Dr. Theresa M. Janczak, Project Adviser (Exceptional Education)

Link to photos


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Darlene García Torres
Sustainability through Autonomy, Safety, Ownership, and Adaptability:  A Qualitative Case Study of Locust Street Art in Buffalo, NY
Dr. Alice C. Pennisi, Thesis Adviser (Art Education)

Meghan K. Jensen
Conservation Genetics in New York’s Giant Salamander:  The Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)
Dr. Amy M. McMillan, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Heidi Wallace
Now, in the Time of Salpiglossis:  A Study of Sound and Image in the Poetry of Stevens, Moore, and Bishop
Dr. David N. Ben-Merre, Thesis Adviser (English)

Joelle L. Mann
(Re)Visions of Gender:  Reading the Uncanny in Virginia Woolf, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Hilda Doolittle
Dr. Peter Ramos, Thesis Adviser (English)

Outstanding Master's Project

Lisa J. Pavlak
Be Your Own Art Teacher:  How a Novice Art Teacher Learns About Contemporary Art and How to Teach it Meaningfully
Dr. Alice C. Pennisi, Project Adviser (Art Education)

Katarina N. Silvestri
Vocabulary Instruction for Young English Learners:  A Cross-Cultural Comparative Study Examining Best Practices for a Growing Population
Dr. Keli Garas-York, Project Adviser (Elementary Education & Reading)

Sarah A. Chudyk
Parentage Analysis and Conservation Genetics Educational Material for the Eastern Hellbender Salamander, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis
Dr. Amy M. McMillan, Project Adviser (Biology)

Link to photos


Outstanding Master's Thesis

William Marks 
Structural Analysis of the Drosophila Innexin ShakB: Role of the N-Terminus in Rectifying Electical Synapses
I. Martha Skerrett Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Alana Ryder
By My Side: Charles E. Burchfield's Letters to Bertha K. Burchfield from 1923 to 1963
Cynthia A. Conides, Thesis Adviser (History and Social Studies Education)

Christopher N. Brown 
Perceptions Measurement of Professional Certifications to Augment Buffalo State Baccalaureate Technology Programs, as a Representative American Postsecondary Educational Institution
John J. Earshen, Thesis Adviser (Technology)

Outstanding Master's Project

Lawrence Banach
Isostatic Pressing Effects on Silicon Carbide
Mohan Devgun, Project Adviser (Technology)

Link to photos


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Caitlin M. Hogan-Lazar 
"One-Piece Suit": Gender as a Construction in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Barish Ali, Thesis Adviser (English)

Nicole L. Wagner
Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks: The History, the Mystery and the Museums' Considerations of the Two Paintings
Cynthia A. Conides, Thesis Adviser (History and Social Studies Education)

Sean M. Piatek 
The Feasability of Martian Colonization: An Input-Output Analysis
Victor Kasper, Jr., Thesis Adviser (Economics and Finance)

Outstanding Master's Project

Robin L. Reczek
Qualitative Action Research on Teaching Diversity in a Non-Diverse High School Setting Using Contemporary Art
Shirley Hayes, Project Adviser (Art Education)

Luigi Palumbo 
International Fisher Effect: An Analysis of European Monetary Union
Theodore F. Byrley, Project Adviser (Economics and Finance)

Joselyne L. Chenane 
Adaptation of African and non-African Refugees to Law Enforcement in Buffalo, New York
John H. Song, Project Adviser (Criminal Justice)

Link to photos


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Nini Dong 
Effects of Prior Experience and Age on Predator Avoidance and Olfactory Associate Learning by Crayfish in Great Lakes
Christopher M. Pennuto, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Maureen E. McCarthy
Enacting an Assets-Pedagogy to Develop Youth Assets: Teaching K-12 Urban Youth in an After-school Visual Arts Program Using Participatory Action Research
Shirley Hayes, Thesis Adviser (Art Education)

Outstanding Master's Project

Karen M. Zelak 
A Contemporary Approach to Art Education for At-Risk, Alternative High School Students
Mary J. Wyrick, Project Adviser (Art Education)

Amy E. Hambridge 
Exploring Student Response to Literature in an Online Forum versus a Reading Response Journal
Keli Garas-York, Project Adviser (Elementary Education)

Morris W. Suttles 
The Death Penalty as Applied to Corporate Crime
Geoffrey R. Skoll, Project Adviser (Criminal Justice)

Link to photos


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Nicola R. Matthews 
Poverty Through the Looking Glass: How Neoclassical Economics Veils the Nature of Poverty
Tae Hee Jo, Thesis Adviser (Applied Economics)

Salvatore T. Sedita
Tracing Shadows: The Africanist Presence in Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables and Morrison's Jazz
Aimable Twagilimana, Thesis Adviser (English)

Outstanding Master's Project

Daniel L. Adamchick 
Development of Purpose-Built CNC Rolling Lathe for Production
John Earshen, Project Adviser (Industrial Technology)

Jennifer M. Breier 
Symptoms of Society: A Study of Issues Regarding the Incorporation of Female Artists in Art Curricula and Approaches to the Pedagogy of Gender Matters in Education
Alice Pennisi, Project Adviser (Art Education)

Stavros Michailidis 
Developing and Presenting the workshop "Make it Happen with Momentum"
Jon Michael Fox, Project Adviser (Center for Studies in Creativity)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Awatif Z. Abu-Ahmed 
Evaluation of Foreign Aid as an Effective Policy Option for Economic Growth in Developing Countries
Victor Kasper, Thesis Adviser (Applied Economics)

Dekasset L. Drabo
The Impact of Political Instability on Per Capita Income: Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
Victor Kasper, Thesis Adviser (Applied Economics)

Christine L. Fina 
I am not a 'spook'; I am a 'Lost Boy': Learning to see the Underachieving Boy in High School English Classes
Aimable Twagilimana, Thesis Adviser (English)

Outstanding Master's Project

Caroline M. Aungst 
Geographic Literacy and Second Language Acquisition: How to Connect LOTE Students to Their World
Eliane McKee, Project Adviser (Modern and Classical Languages)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Christopher T. Kokoszka
The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907: The Events that led to its Successful Completion and How it was Received by the British Press
Andrew D. Nicholls, Thesis Adviser (History and Social Studies Education)

Stephanie E. Richards 
Assessing Cognitive Style Using a Problem Construction Task
John F. Cabra, Thesis Adviser (Center for Studies in Creativity)

Outstanding Master's Project

Lisa A. Lucente, Kim A. Parzymieso and Debra S. Pretorius 
Use of Self-Regulated Strategy to Assist with Essay Writing on State Assessment
Kevin Miller, Project Adviser (Exceptional Education)

Heidi D. SanGeorge 
Seeking Ways to Increase Middle School Students' Respect for the Visual Arts Using Action Research
Shirley Hayes, Project Adviser (Art Education)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Robin L. Foster
A Study of the Hellbender Salamander (Cryptobranchus Alleganiensis) In the Allegheny River Drainage of New York State: Examination of Population Trends, Assessment of Capture Methods, and Development of Genetic Techniques
Amy M. McMillan, Thesis Adviser (Biology)

Carol Marie Hammond 
Critically Negotiating the Visual: An Action Research Project Documenting the Creation of a New Curriculum that Emphasizes the Deconstruction of Visual Culture through the Exploration of Gender Stereotypes in the Media
Alice C. Pennisi, Thesis Adviser (Art Education)

David J. Shapiro-Zysk 
The Separation of Church and Twain: Deist Philosophy in the Writings of Mark Twain
Thomas J. Reigstad, Thesis Adviser (English)

Outstanding Master's Project

Penny Carlson-Palma 
Visual Culture Discussions in an Affective Environment: Changing the Pedagogical Approach and Course Content of a Sixth Grade Art Curriculum
Alice C. Pennisi, Project Adviser (Art Education)

Ashwini J. Kulkarni 
Reassessment of Valuation Ratios and Portfolio Returns
Theodore F. Byrley, Project Adviser (Economics and Finance)

Bonnie S. Rice 
Overcoming Students’ Science Misconceptions: Shedding Light on the Earth-Moon-Sun System
Barbara J. Smith, Project Adviser (Elementary Education and Reading)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Troy Macri
Oil Price Shocks and the Natural Rate of Unemployment
Department: Economics and Finance
Graduated: spring 2005
Adviser: Dr. Victor Kasper (Economics)

Deborah Martin
A (Third) “Place in Which Something Has Occurred”: Conflict and Negotiation in Nadine Gordimer’s Fiction
Department: English
Graduated: spring 2005
Adviser: Dr. Aimable Twagilimana (English)

Suzanna Ramos
Cross-Cultural Studies of Implicit Theories of Creativity: A Comparative Analysis between the United States and the Main Ethnic Groups in Singapore
Department: Creative Studies
Graduated: summer 2005
Adviser: Dr. Gerard Puccio (Craetive Studies)

Christopher Riley
Relationships between Benthic Macroinvertebrate Indices and Water Quality Parameters for a Great Lakes Watershed
Department: Multidisciplinary Studies (Environmental Science)
Graduated: summer 2005
Adviser: Dr. Shreeram Inamdar (Great Lakes Center)

Outstanding Master's Project

Teresa Eberhard
Decoding the Earth Science Reference Tables – Developing Graphic Literacy
Department: Earth Sciences and Science Education
Graduated: spring 2005
Adviser: Dr. Robin Harris (Earth Science and Science Education)

Victor Mirgorod
The Determinants of an Equity Prices Model
Department: Applied Economics
Graduated: summer 2005
Adviser: Dr. Victor Kasper (Economics)

Tina Schmatz
Educating Students with Special Needs in the Foreign Language Classroom
Department: Multidisciplinary Studies
Graduated: spring 2005
Principal Adviser: Dr. Eliane McKee (Modern and Classical Languages)


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Sabrina E. Redwing Saunders
Native Perceptions of Curriculum: Embracing One Worldview of Native Curriculum
Department: Elementary Education
Adviser: Lori V. Quigley

Yanqing Wang
Analysis of the Role of HSP110 in the Development and Physiology of Caenorhabditis elegans
Department: Biology
Adviser: Gregory J. Wadsworth

Elizabeth Marie McLean
Title: Examining the Relationship between Individuals’ Creative Products and their Creativity Styles
Department: Creative Studies
Adviser: Gerard J. Puccio

Outstanding Master's Project

Patrick C. Root
One Size Really doesn’t Fit All: Differentiated Instruction and Art Education at the Sixth-Grade Level
Department: Art Education
Adviser: Mary Wyrick

Donna M. Sylvester
Can Internet-Based Activities Be Successfully Incorporated into the Foreign Language Curriculum on a Regular Basis?
Department: Modern and Classical Languages
Adviser: Eliane McKee

Christopher W. Gosling
Challenges Facing High School Physics Students: An Annotated Synopsis of Peer-Reviewed Literature Addressing Curriculum Relevance and Gender
Department: Physics
Adviser: Dan L. MacIsaac


Outstanding Master's Thesis

Steven A. Gill
The Decline in Crown Management of the Early Stuart House of Commons: 1604–1629
Department: History
Adviser: Dr. Andrew Nicholls  (History)

Diane M. Steele
The Influence of Cognitive Style on Insight Problem Solving
Department: Creative Studies
Adviser: Dr. Gerard Puccio  (Creative Studies)

Outstanding Master's Project

James P. Grover
Science Writing: Writing in a Sixth Grade Science Classroom
Department: Earth Science
Adviser: Dr. Robin Harris (Earth Science and Science Education)

Kori Grasha
Latin 2 Curriculum Frameworks: Using the ECCE Romani Text Series
Department: Multidisciplinary Studies
Adviser: Dr. Eliane McKee  (Modern and Classical Languages)

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