Dissertation defense schedule

Dissertation Defense Details

  • Videoconference Set Up
  • Tips for Effective Videoconference Dissertations

Submitting your Announcement of Public Defense of the Dissertation

Update: 09-01-21

Defenses may be held entirely in person so long as all university protocols are followed regarding such gatherings.  Hybrid defenses are also allowed, where some attendees are in person and others online, or the defense may take place entirely online.  The dissertation chair has the discretion to approve the option, but is asked to be sensitive of requests for remote attendance.

Create a Videoconference via Teams: If a hybrid or entirely online defense is held, the student will be responsible for setting up the virtual defense through the required platform, Microsoft Teams. 

  • Review tips on creating and managing webinars in Microsoft Teams. 
  • 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 "Poll" 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. 

Dissertation Defense Schedule 


Devansh Saxena

Program: Computer Science

Dissertation Director: Michael Zimmer

Date/Time: May 9, 2023, 11:00a.m.

Defense Location: Microsoft Teams Link

Dissertation Title: "Designing for Responsible AI-Assisted Practices for the Public Sector: A Case Study of the U.S. Child Welfare System"

Dulmi Senanayaka

Program: Chemistry

Dissertation Director: Dr. Nicholas Reiter

Date/Time: May 15, 2023, 10:00a.m.

Defense Location: Todd Wehr Chemistry Building, Room 306

Dissertation Title: "Identification of the Autoregulatory Properties and Molecular Interactions of the Lysine-Specific Histone Demethylase 1"

Aaron Jones

Program: Biological Sciences

Dissertation Director: Deanna Arble

Date/Time: May 17, 2023, 1:00p.m.

Defense Location: Wehr Life Sciences, Room 111

Dissertation Title: "Breathing around the clock: novel circadian and light-driven mechanisms that govern daily breathing behavior in mice."


Sina Vahid

Program: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dissertation Director: Prof. Ayman EL-Refaie

Date/Time: June 7, 2023, 1:00p.m.

Defense Location: Engineering Hall #221 or Microsoft Teams Links

Dissertation Title: "Multi-Port Power Converters for Hybrid Energy System Applications"

Daniel Streater

Program: Chemistry

Dissertation Director: Jier Huang

Date/Time: June 15, 2023, 1:30p.m.

Defense Location: Todd Wehr Chemistry Room 306

Dissertation Title: "Photophysical and Photocatalytic Properties of Covalent Organic Frameworks"

Jacqueline Christianson

Program: Nursing

Dissertation Director: Norah Johnson

Date/Time: June 16, 2023, 9:00a.m.

Defense Location: Microsoft Teams Links

Dissertation Title: "Why We Work: Exploring the Relationships Between Work Rewards, Burnout, and Intention to Leave for Professional Nurses"


Sarah Kizuk

Program: Philosophy

Dissertation Director: Theresa Tobin

Date/Time: July 7, 2023, 12:00p.m.

Defense Location: Microsoft Teams Links

Dissertation Title: "Place, Attachment, and Feeling: Indigenous Dispossession and Settler Belonging"