Three Virginia Tech Graduate School alumni from the Class of 2010 were recently recognized for their master’s thesis research. Each graduate will be recommended for further awards from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS).

Matthew Schuler of Orlando, Fla., and Ashley Weaver, received the William Preston Society Gold Watch Thesis Awards during the society’s annual meeting at Virginia Tech Sept. 17. Schuler, in the humanities and fine arts category, and Weaver, in the mathematics, physical sciences and engineering category, were also recommended to the CSGS for consideration of future awards. Additionally, Mohammad Amin Zareian-Jahromi, was nominated for the Conference of Southern Graduate School’s Master’s Thesis Award for Innovative Application of Technology.

Schuler completed a master's degree in philosophy from the Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy in 2010. His thesis, “The Problem of Evil as the Problem of Pain,” addresses reconciling the existence of God with the existence of evil and pain in the world. According to William J. FitzPatrick, former associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Tech, Schuler pursued an interdisciplinary strategy incorporating studies in neurophysiology and phenomenology of pain to bolster his argument.

Schuler earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the New College of Florida in 2007. He is currently an instructor in philosophy at Virginia Tech teaching the course, Knowledge and Reality.

Weaver’s thesis is titled, “Computational Modeling of Eye Trauma for Different Orbit Anthropometries and Different Projectile Impacts.” Her research examined eye injury risk with various impact scenarios. Weaver earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State University in 2008. She completed a master's degree from Wake Forest University/Virginia Tech University in 2010 where she conducted research in the laboratories of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Currently, Weaver is a doctoral student in biomedical engineering at Wake Forest University.
Zareian-Jahromi’s thesis is “Design, Fabrication and Characterization of Portable Gas Chromatography Analyzer by Merging MEMS and Nano Technology.” Gas chromatography is one of the most widely applied methods of identification in analytical chemistry. It has a wide range of applications in the pharmaceutical industry, environmental monitoring, chemical war agent detection, petroleum distillation, and food processing.

Eligibility requirements state that nominees must complete their research the academic year before the nomination. Secured theses are not considered for the award.

The William Preston Society is comprised of former members of the board of visitors, the current president of Virginia Tech, as well as past presidents. Thesis awards are given to graduate students with a thesis that presents the best original research with potential to benefit all people. The Preston awards rotate through the broad spectrum of disciplines offered by the Virginia Tech Graduate School and its colleges and departments.

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools is an organization of more than 200 graduate schools in the southern region of the United States. It is dedicated to the advancement of graduate education and academic research. CSGS is affiliated with the Council of Graduate Schools headquartered in Washington, D.C.



Written by T. Lynn Caldwell.
Share this story