The purpose of the award is to recognize a graduate student for excellence in the creation of knowledge.

Any member of the graduate faculty at Ball State University may nominate candidates for the Alumni Association Distinguished Master's Thesis Award.

The award recipient is recognized and presented a plaque and monetary gift.

Read the guidelines for the Distinguished Thesis Award.


Awarded March 2016
Daniel Tracy, Physical Education
"Examining Prior Experiences and Career Attainment of FBS Football Head Coaches" 
Chairperson: James E. Johnson

Awarded April 2015
Lisa M. Carlson, Communication Studies 
"How Do Caring Laborers Know How to Care?: Emotional Labor, Organizational Socialization and Word/Life Experiences"
Chairperson: Dr. Katherine Denker

Awarded March 2014
Samantha T. Grover, Natural Resources and Environmental Management
"Exploring Motivations and Perceptions of Small-Scale Farmers: Considerations for Sustainable Agriculture in East Central Indiana"
Chairperson: Dr. Joshua Gruver

Awarded April 2013
Sarah R. Strohmenger, Teachers College
"Examining the Experiences of College Women About Body Modification: Searching for the "I" in Tattoo"
Chairperson: Dr. Thalia Mulvihill

Awarded March 2012
Michael Lautzenheiser, Department of Anthrolopology
"Quakers on the Hoosier Frontier: A diachronic perspective on the archeology of Huddleston House, a nineteenth century Indiana farmstead"
Chairperson: Dr. Mark Groover

Awarded April 2011
Sarah E. Fuchs Sampson, School of Music
"Recasting the Eighteenth-Century Sonata-Form Narrative: Compositional Strategies in Robert Schumann's Opp. 105 and 121 Violin Sonatas"
Chairperson: Dr. Heather Platt 

Awarded April 2010
Sarah J. Kwak, Department of Communication Studies
"There's no 'I' in Team: A Study of Physican-Nurse Dyads in the Healthcare Setting"
Chairperson: Dr. Carolyn Shue

Awarded April 2009
 Nathan L. Morin, Department of Anthropology
“Some Might Say it is Not Really Busking: The Impact of the Carling Busking Scheme in London, England” 
Chairperson: Dr. Don Merten

Awarded April 2008
 Nicholas W. Geidner, Department of Telecommunications
"The Influence of New Media on the Early Stages of the 2008 Presidential Election: A Critical Analysis"
Chairperson: Dr. James Chesebro

Awarded April 2007
Jason C. Dunham, Department of Chemistry
“Synthesis of 4-Alkyl-3,5-Diamino-1-Phenylpyrazoles”
Chairperson: Dr. Robert Sammelson

Awarded April 2006
 Kimberly A. Miller,  Department of Psychological Science
“Human Motivation and Psychological Well-Being” in a Sample of Clinical and Non-Clinical Adults”
Chairperson: Dr. Darrell L. Butler

Awarded April 2005
Andrew D. Platt, Department of Physics and Astronomy  
“Fano Resonance in Two-Dimensional Quantum Wires with an Offset Attractive Impurity” 
Chairperson: Dr. Yong Joe

Awarded April 2004
Doyle Leslie Haeussler, Department of English 
“Chasing Losses:  A Book of Poems”
Chairperson:  Dr. Thomas Koontz

Awarded April 2003 
Richard P. Garlitz, Department of History
"Responses to Catastrophe from Henri Barbusse to Primo Levi: Rethinking the 
Great War and the Holocaust in Literary History"
Chairperson:  Dr. Christopher S. Thompson