Twelve PhDs win excellence awards

PhD awards
Award winners (left to right): Dr Anirudh Sharma, Dr Timothy Hibberd, Dr Thomas Nehmy, Dr Carolyn Petersons, Dr Svetlana King, Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling, Dr Stephen Pietsch, Dr Leanne Morgan, Dr Creina Stockley. Absent – Dr Martin Potter, Dr Scott Groom, Dr Shajeda Aktar and Dr Samantha Angelakis.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence for 2014 has been awarded to 12 leading graduates from the four faculties at Flinders University.

The winning doctorates were  selected from across the faculties of Education, Humanities and Law; Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; Science and Engineering; and Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Research at Flinders ranks in the top 2%-3% of the world’s universities, said Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling at the presentations on 13 May.

Professor Stirling said high-impact, innovative research at Flinders will continue to “change the way we see the world and how others live their lives”.

He presented medals and certificates to eight scholars, with PhD supervisors accepting for the four graduates who couldn’t attend.  The winners are:

Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law

Dr Svetlana King, School of Education
Supervisors: Professor Larry Owens and Dr Neil Welch
Thesis title: Unfolding transitions: A collaborative investigation of the education and career pathways of African youth from refugee backgrounds in South Australia.

Dr Stephen Pietsch, School of Humanities and Creative Arts / Theology  Supervisors: Professor Andrew Dutney and Dr Maurice Schild
Thesis title: A contemporary pastoral reflection on Luther as pastoral counsellor, in his letters to persons suffering depressive symptoms.

Dr Martin Potter, School of Humanities and Creative Arts
Supervisors: Associate Professor Mike Walsh and Dr Julia Erhart
Thesis title:
Big Stories, Small Towns: a participatory and web-based documentary and exegesis

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Services

Dr Timothy Hibberd, School of Medicine
Supervisors: Professor Simon Brookes and Associate Professor Nick Spencer Thesis title: Characterisation of enteric viscerofugal neurons.

Dr Carolyn Petersons, School of Medicine
Supervisors: Professor Campbell Thompson, Dr Morton Burt and Jui Ho
Thesis title:
The metabolic and cardiovascular effects of mild glucocorticoid excess.

Dr Creina Stockley, School of Medicine
Supervisors: Professor Ann Roche, Professor Fran Baum and Dr Isak Pretorivs Thesis title: Ascertaining risk of an allergic reaction from consuming wine in Australia.

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Dr Scott Groom, School of Biological Sciences
Supervisors: Associate Professor Michael Schwarz, Dr Michael Gardner and Associate Professor Mark Stevens
Thesis title: Bees of the South West Pacific: Evolution of an Island Pollinator Group.

Dr Leanne Morgan, School of the Environment
Supervisors: Professor Adrian Werner, Dr Vincent Post and Professor Craig Simmons
Thesis title:
Practical approaches to seawater intrusion investigation and management.

Dr Anirudh Sharma, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Supervisors: Professor David Lewis, Professor Gunther Andersson and Dr Scott Watkins
Thesis Title:
Electronic and chemical properties of interfaces in organic photovoltaic devices.

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science

Dr Shajeda Aktar, School of International Studies
Supervisors: Dr Elizabeth Morell and Associate Professor Janet Macintyre
Thesis title: Empowering women through direct election in reserved seats: a comparative study of rural and urban local government institutions in Bangladesh.

Dr Samantha Angelakis, School of Psychology
Supervisors: Associate Professor Reg Nixon and Dr Nathan Weber
Thesis title: Co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder: the usefulness of a combined treatment approach.

Dr Thomas Nehmy, School of Psychology
Supervisors: Professor Tracey Wade and Associate Professor Reg Nixon
Thesis title: Preventive psychology: A controlled evaluation of a universal transdiagnostic prevention program for adolescent depression, anxiety and disordered eating.



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