Dissertation defense schedule

Dissertation Defense Details

  • Videoconference Set Up
  • Tips for Effective Videoconference Dissertations

Submitting your Announcement of Public Defense of the Dissertation

Update: 10-5-20

1. Create a Videoconference via Teams: All dissertation/thesis/project proposal and defense meetings be held virtually until further notice.  Please note that dissertation defenses still require a public defense, and the student will be responsible for setting up the virtual defense through the required platform, Microsoft Teams. 

Microsoft Teams Training Guide

Tips for a successful videoconference defense can be found on the dissertation defense schedule page. 

2. NEW FORM PROCESS: Submit your approved announcement of public defense of your dissertation including a PDF of your abstract through the Docusign form.

Start my defense process 

  • Please have the Dissertator send out invitations to those they would like to attend the session. Encourage the invitees to download the software or app of the platform being used in advance so they have a chance to troubleshoot.
  • Functionality is better over the apps than over web browsers. Chrome and Firefox are optimal if using a desktop or laptop browser. 
  • Videoconference dissertations should be scheduled 30 minutes before the scheduled defense time, allowing the dissertator and their audience ample time to troubleshoot and be acclimated to the virtual space. 
  • Include videoconference link and other meeting details in multiple communication so that it can be easily accessed by the invitees.  
  • For Microsoft Teams, become familiar with the additional features, including the "PolI" capabilities, which not only helps lighten up the event, but allows people to send encouragement to the dissertator.  
  • Advisors should begin with a brief explanation for the audience for how to use the platform. The most important reminder is to tell invitees to mute themselves unless they are speaking to reduce ambient noise and other distractions. Be sure to ask invitees if they are familiar with how to do this and if not, feel free to walk them through the mute feature. If there are audio issues, it can be helpful to turn the video off.
  • Advisors should record the session for the person defending as a memento for this occasion. This is a recommendation and optional. 

2020 Dissertation Defense Schedule 



Giovanni Berardi

Program: Clinical Translational Rehabilitation Health Sciences

Advisor: Marie Hoeger Bement, Pt, PhD

Date/Time: October 20, 2020, 9:00 a.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Pain Modulatory Effects of Exercise in Chronic Pain"


Matthew Nuciforo

Program: Educational Policy and Leadership

Advisor: Dr. Jody Jessup-Anger

Date/Time: October 22, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Excellence and Equity: Admission Merit and Diversity in Physical Therapist Education Programs"


James McDonald

Program: Counseling Psychology, PhD

Advisor: Jennifer Cook, PhD

Date/Time: October 22, 2020, 12:00 p.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Healing from Opioid Addiction: The Process, Core Components, and Mechanisms"


Ryan Hemmer

Program: Religious Studies

Advisor: Robert Doran and Danielle Nusberger

Date/Time: October 23, 2020, 10:00 a.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Cathedrals of the Mind: Theological Method and Speculative Renewal in Trinitarian Theology"


Seyedehfatemeh Seyedi

Program: Civil Engineering

Advisor: Daniel Zitomer

Date/Time: October 27, 2020, 9:00 a.m.

Defense Location: Teams Meeting Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Overcoming Anaerobic Digestion Toxicity of Aqueous Liquid from Wastewater Solids Pyrolysis"


John Humm

Program: Biomedical Engineering

Advisor: Narayan Yoganandan

Date/Time: October 29, 2020, 8:00 a.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Design of Novel Experiments and Analyses for Head and Spine Trauma Biomechanics"


Hoon Kim

Program: Exercise and Rehabilitation Science

Advisor: Dr. Kristof Kipp

Date/Time: October 29, 2020, 10:00 a.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "Experimental & Simulation Approaches To Study Neuromuscular Control In People With Chronic Ankle Instability"


Evan Hess

Program: Biological Sciences

Advisor: Dr. David Baker

Date/Time: October 30, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Defense Location: Videoconference

Dissertation Title: "The Role of System XC- In Cognition: The Importance of Neuron-Astrocyte Signaling"



No current defenses scheduled. Please check back soon.