HAYS, KS -- Joyce Wiemers-Wolfe, Hays, has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Fort Hays State University Graduate School Thesis Competition Award. Her thesis has also been submitted as FHSU's nominee for the 2001 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' Thesis Competition.
Wiemers-Wolfe received her master's degree in clinical psychology from FHSU in the summer 2000 term. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from FHSU in 1998.
For winning the FHSU competition, she will be awarded a prize of $250 and a plaque.
How the thesis fared in the MAGS competition will be announced mid-April, 2001.
The thesis is titled "Academic Self-Control and Academic Dishonesty: A Psychological Approach for Testing Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory of Crime." Dr. Stephen Kitzis served as thesis advisor.
Wiemers-Wolfe said she chose this topic because of her interest in juvenile delinquency and the development of self-regulation.
She said the thesis topic came about almost by accident. Her first choice was something different, but while doing research she discovered information concerning Gottfredson and Hirschi's theory.
"It occurred to me that this theory would be an excellent way for me to investigate the relationship between self-control and delinquency, juvenile or otherwise. There also was an added benefit in that it would be easier to do research using university students than preschool children (subjects for the original topic)."
While she was surprised that Kitzis was submitting her thesis for the competition, she was pleased to find out she had won.
"I am very honored to have my work recognized and hope that other people on campus will hear about this competition and will choose to participate," Wiemers-Wolfe said.
Two additional theses have been recognized in the Graduate School competition. Their authors were each recipients of a $125 prize and certificate.
Cynthia A. Anschutz, Hays, received her master's degree in nursing in the spring 2000 semester. Her thesis was titled "Perceived Enactment of Autonomy and Life Satisfaction: An Elderly Perspective." Dr. Eileen Deges-Curl served as thesis advisor.
Ekaterina Y. Tsetsura, Taganrog, Ukraine, received her master's degree in communication in the summer 2000 term. Her thesis was titled "Conceptual Frameworks in the Field of Public Relations: A Comparative Study of Russian and United States Perspectives." Dr. Stephen Shapiro served as thesis advisor.
An announcement seeking thesis nominations for these two competitions was issued in October. A committee composed of individuals from each of FHSU's four academic colleges (Arts and Sciences, Business and Leadership, Education, and Health and Life Sciences) reviewed the submissions.
Each department at FHSU is allowed to submit one thesis to the competition. That department must decide which, if any, thesis is worthy of entry into the competition.
Darla Rous, director of the Graduate Office, said the committee had previously talked about such a competition and award at FHSU. Dr. Tom Jackson, dean of the Graduate School, strongly supported the competition.
"Dr. Jackson feels very strongly about research and wanted to emphasize and encourage it here. The cash award is a little bit of a reimbursement because a thesis can be an expensive venture."