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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Dale & Mary Jo Comstock Distinguished Thesis Award Winners 2022

The School of Graduate Studies and Research is proud to announce that the Dale and Mary Jo Comstock Distinguished Thesis Award generously supported two recipients for 2022. 


Jessica Coffey, MS, Cultural and Environmental Resource Management, Summer 2021 and Kaelen Sauriol, MA, History Spring 2022 were the two winners; each receiving a monetary award of $1,500 plus an opportunity to have their thesis nominated for the Western Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award.


Ms. Coffey’s thesis, “Rock Glacier Hydrological Significance in a Warming World Across a Geoecological Transect in the North Cascades, Washington” was nominated by her thesis committee chair Dr. Karl Lillquist who wrote that he nominated Jessica based on the fact that “her thesis is one of only five documents focused on Cascade rock glaciers. As such, Jessica is one of a small group of researchers worldwide who have used ground penetrating radar (GPR) on rock glaciers.” Dr. Lillquist stated that over 27 years of mentoring and working directly with graduate students that “Jessica’s thesis is the best I have seen in terms of the incorporation of cutting edge technology, breadth and depth of scientific research, the climate change implications, involvement of student assistants, and societal relevance to our region in a time of environmental change”.


Ms. Sauriol was nominated by her committee chair, Dr. Roxanne Easley for her thesis, “Russian Women Emigres after the Revolution”. Dr. Easley said that “Kaelen is that kind of graduate student we all hope to work with:  bright, curious, and engaged.  Her thesis topic was complex, requiring mastery of a large and detailed historical context, much of which was new to her. Many of the émigré women writers she foregrounded are not well known, either in Russia or the West, and so she had relatively little scholarly criticism (or even translations) to draw on. The subjective experience of women immigrants is a timely issue, and Kaelen offers a fresh and insightful approach to this global topic. It is wonderful to see her hard work recognized with the Comstock Award.”

Ms. Sauriol will be honored at the Graduate Student Hooding Ceremony on June 10. Ms. Coffey was unable to attend the ceremony.

The Dale and Mary Jo Comstock Distinguished Thesis Award is funded through an endowment created by Dr. and Mrs. Comstock. The Comstocks both graduated from Central Washington University and went on to work at the university until retirement. It is through their kindness that deserving graduate students, are honored each year.

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