Announcing the 2021 ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Award Winners

The ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards (DDA) recognize outstanding work produced by doctoral students for the high caliber of their scholarship and the significance and relevance of their findings.

Each year, Rackham invites professors to nominate outstanding theses produced in their programs. Nomination packages are read and discussed by a review committee of faculty members who identify finalists. Then, members of the Michigan Society of Fellows read the finalists’ memoirs, consider their merits, and select the winners.

Rackham is continually grateful to ProQuest for its generous and longstanding support of the DDA program.

Below is the list of 2021 winners, along with honorable mentions.

Winners (Pictured above, clockwise from top left.)

  • Mikel HaggadonImmunology
  • Yinqiu HeStatistics
  • Eshita KheraChemical Engineer
  • Cindy Lin KaiyingInformation
  • Rebecca MarksEducation and Psychology
  • Michelle May CurryAmerican culture
  • Zhijie QuAstronomy
  • Akshita SriramanIT & Engineering
  • Mei Ling Meilina TsuiMusical composition
  • Erica TwardzikMovement science

Honorable mentions

  • Sangmin ChoiPhysics
  • Zehra HashmiAnthropology and History
  • Mary HennessyGermanic languages ​​and literatures
  • Yael KenanComparative literature
  • Rohith MittapallyMechanical Engineering
  • Abhijit ParoliaMolecular and Cellular Pathology
  • Nicole RockyCivil and Environmental Engineering (Environmental Engineering)
  • Niloufar SalehiChemical Engineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Matthew VilleneuveStory
  • Xin ZhangMath

Read the event program for more details on the winners’ research.


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