Christopher Outzen, instructor of communication and director of forensics, received the American Forensic Association’s Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Award for his thesis research. The award, given out annually by the AFA at the National Communication Association convention, recognizes the best dissertation or thesis in the theory and practice of argumentation and forensics. Outzen received the award for his thesis completed as a part of the MFA in communication studies-forensics from Minnesota State University, Mankato, entitled “It’s Not About You: Exploring the Liminal Experiences of Graduate Forensic Coaches.” The research focused on conceptualizing the graduate forensic experience as the liminal space in a rite of passage between forensic competition and forensic coaching.

Nathan Wikle
, a mathematics major, along with two other students, were recognized for their work during the 2015 Summer Research Experience at NIMBioS, the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. Wikle and his research partners developed the tool, ComFlo, an interactive website that can be used to visualize the domestic transport of most common commodities in the United States. The website is critical in examining domestic transport as invasive species often land unintentionally in new areas via cargo ships, boats, airplanes, automobiles and other modes of transportation. Each student was awarded $1,000 for travel expenses and an invitation to NatureServe EcoInformatics Workshop in Washington, D.C., in December.

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