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Thesis awards presented to four graduate students

BOONE – Three 2010 graduates and a 2011 graduate were recently honored for research they conducted while completing master’s degrees at Appalachian State University.

The Cratis D. Williams Graduate School presented its 2010 Outstanding Master’s Thesis Awards to Jeremy Land, who earned a Master of Arts in history; Courtney McGahee, who earned a Master of Science in engineering physics; and James Waynick, who earned a Master of Arts in geography.

Each year, the Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award is presented in three categories. Land was honored in the Humanities/Arts category for his research examining military expenditures and public debt during Britain’s Seven Years’ War in the mid-18th century. McGahee was honored in the Science/Technology category for her study, in the context of stellar evolution, of a group of stars that show unusual abundances of certain elements. Waynick was honored in the Social Science/Business/Education category for surveying perceptions of safety, crime and lighting on a college campus.

The graduate school presented its Transforming North Carolina Graduate Student Research Award 2011 to Ginger Kelly, who earned a Master of Arts in geography. Kelly conducted research in climate sciences using the university’s Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research (AppalAIR) facility. She investigated how levels of both naturally occurring and manmade aerosols in the southern Appalachian mountains may affect regional weather and climate patterns by analyzing data from 183 precipitation events in conjunction with aerosol values to determine patterns in the relationships based on season, event type and source region.

Appalachian’s Cratis D. Williams Graduate School helps individuals reach the next level in their career by offering 52 degree programs at the doctoral, specialist, and master’s levels and 14 graduate certificates. The graduate school serves approximately 2,500 students, about half of whom attend class in one of 20 locations across Western North Carolina in special cohorts designed to meet the needs of working professionals.