WMU News

April 2003 doctoral recipients announced

May 14, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Fourteen students received doctoral degrees from Western Michigan University at the end of spring semester in April.

Ten students received doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, three earned doctor of education (Ed.D.) degrees and one earned a doctor of public administration (D.P.A.) degree. Degrees were awarded in nine fields: applied economics; educational leadership; history; mathematics; psychology; public administration; science education; sociology; and special education.

Christine M. Bonfiglio of Elkhart, Ind., received her Ph.D. degree in psychology. The title of her dissertation was "An Experimental Analysis of the Effects of Reading Interventions in a Small Group Reading Instruction Context." Bonfiglio earned her bachelor's degree at Indiana University at South Bend and her master's degree at WMU. She is the spouse of Judge David C. Bonfiglio and the daughter of Ed and Sue Freel of Osceola, Ind. Currently a school psychologist with the Elkhart Community Schools, she plans to eventually pursue a career in academia.

Cheryl A. Celestine of Lansing, Mich., received her Ed.D. degree in educational leadership. The title of her dissertation was "The Role That Professional Positioning and Professional Socialization Play in the Career Paths of African American Women Who Aspire to the Superintendency." The daughter of Joseph and Carrie Celestine of New Orleans, La., she earned her bachelor's degree at Grambling State University and her master's degree at Xavier University of Louisiana. A product of the New Orleans Public School System, Celestine grew up in public housing. In earning her doctoral degree, she hopes to serve as a role model for other African Americans raised in poverty. Celestine is currently a state administrative manager with the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Kirsty J. Eisenhart, a native of Dover, Pa., earned her Ph.D. degree in mathematics. The title of her dissertation was "Multiobjective Optimal Control Problems With Endpoint and State Constraints." The daughter of Jan and Jean Eisenhart of Dover, she earned her bachelor's degree at Carlow College and master's degrees from both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Maryland at College Park.

Fasika Damte Haile of Kalamazoo earned his Ph.D. degree in applied economics. The title of his dissertation was "Contagious Currency Crises."

Alice Brouwer Hoekstra of Kalamazoo received her Ed.D. degree in special education. The title of her dissertation was "The Use of Quality Indices for Successful Programs for Students With Emotional/Behavioral Disorders in the State of Michigan."

James Hamilton Houston, a Kalamazoo resident and native of Dowagiac, Mich., received his doctor of public administration degree. The title of his dissertation was "Drug Courts: A Study of Retention and Suspension in the Kalamazoo County Drug Court Program." The son of Hamilton and Louvenia Houston of Dowagiac, he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at WMU. Houston is a recipient service officer with Kalamazoo County Community Mental Health.

Melissa A. Howse-Willard, a Kalamazoo resident and native of Crossville, Tenn., earned her Ph.D. degree in science education. The title of her dissertation was "Student Ecosystem Problem Solving With Computer Simulation." The daughter of Clyde and Barbara Howse of Crossville, she earned her bachelor's degree at Albion College and her master's degree at WMU. The first person in her family to earn a doctoral degree, Howse-Willard is an organic prep lab technician at KAR Labs in Kalamazoo.

Scott Kemple of Kalamazoo earned his Ed.D. degree in educational leadership. The title of his dissertation was "The Extent to Which Teachers and Principals Perceive High Schools as Learning Organizations." The son of Bernard (Red) and Beverly Kemple of Kalamazoo, he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at WMU. The athletic director and assistant principal at Kalamazoo Central High School, Kemple completed his degree through two job changes and a serious illness, and while working 50 hours a week, remodeling a house and raising three children.

Sean Patrick Laraway of Portage, Mich., received his Ph.D. degree in psychology. The title of his dissertation was "The Effects of Gamma-hydroxybutyrate on Response Acquisition."

Adugna Lemi of Kalamazoo received his Ph.D. degree in applied economics. The title of his dissertation was "Foreign Direct Investments in Developing Countries: Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare."

Patrick Sean Mulick of Spokane, Wash., a native of Boise, Idaho, earned his Ph.D. degree in psychology. The title of his dissertation was "Examining the Efficacy of Behavioral Activation in the Treatment of Co-morbid Major Depressive Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder." Mulick, the son of Edward and Jeanne Mae Mulick of Boise, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Gonzaga University in Spokane.

Kathryn M. Potoczak of Newberry, Mich., earned her Ph.D. degree in psychology. The title of her dissertation was "Identifying the Function of Aberrant Behavior: Comparing Variations of the Experimental Functional Analysis." Potoczak's dissertation research was conducted at Newberry High School, the institution she graduated from in 1992. The daughter of Joseph and Peg Potoczak, she earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees at WMU. She is currently a graduate instructor at the University.

Kevin Brian Vichcales of Fowlerville, Mich., earned his Ph.D. degree in history. The title of his dissertation was "The Tragedy of the Rivers: Building Authority Over the British Water Environment."

Ellen Melissa Wagenfelt-Heintz of Kalamazoo earned her Ph.D. degree in sociology. The title of her dissertation was "One Mind or Two? How Psychiatrists and Psychologists Manage Medical-Scientific and Religious Interpretations of Mind."

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu


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