Skip to main content

15th Annual Robert Ferber and Seymour Sudman Dissertation Awards

From left to right: Ben Kern, Sandy Wong, Amanda Cronkhite, and Pongsakorn Suppakittpaisarn

Champaign, IL, July 14, 2016:  During a ceremony at the Survey Research Laboratory on the Urbana campus, four doctoral students were honored for the quality of their work utilizing survey research methodology. The two winners of the 2016 Robert Ferber and Seymour Sudman Dissertation Awards received $2000 awards and plaques commemorating their achievement. Two other students each received an honorable mention certificate and $200. Drs. Ferber and Sudman, in whose memory the awards were established, were eminent scholars at the University of Illinois in the field of survey research.

Sandy Wong, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, is the winner of the Robert Ferber Dissertation Award. Her advisor is Sara McLafferty and her dissertation—Dis/abling Mobilities: Urban-Rural Experiences of Visual Impairment, Employment, and Well-Being—investigates the relations of power that impact employment outcomes, well-being, and mobility of individuals who are visually impaired in California. This project asserts that space actively creates and strengthens social processes that marginalize individuals with disabilities and it investigates the extent to which place, distance, time, and access factor into a person’s job prospects and mobility.

Ben Kern, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, is the winner of the Seymour Sudman Dissertation Award.  His advisor is Kim Graber and his dissertation—Barriers to and Facilitators of Physical Education Teacher Change—will investigate the behaviors of Physical Education teachers regarding changes they have made, those they intend to make, and factors that influence their ability to make pedagogical changes that lead to higher quality physical education instruction.

Pongsakorn Suppakittpaisarn, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture received the Robert Ferber Honorable Mention. His advisor is William Sullivan and his dissertation is entitled Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design, Preference, and Human Health.

Amanda Cronkhite, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science received the Seymour Sudman Honorable Mention. Her advisor is Scott Althaus and her dissertation is entitled The Medium Matters: Political Communication and Behavior in Modern Latin America.

Past winners of the Dissertation Awards can be viewed online.