Ruth Williams Dissertation Proposal Example

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I've had a long career of teaching a variety of creative writing, literature,  and general education courses in a variety of contexts. For a complete list of courses I've taught, please see my C.V. 

As an Assistant Professor of English at William Jewell College, I currently teaching the following courses in the English Department:
  • Creative Writing: Poetry
  • Advanced Poetry Workshop
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • U.S. Minority Literature

I also teach the courses in the Critical Thought and Inquiry (CTI) program, which is part of Jewell's core curriculum required of all students. In addition to teaching literature and composition within CTI, as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, I worked with colleagues on the curriculum proposal that resulted in the addition of the Identity and Society course as part of a new Diversity and Inclusion requirement in CTI. The students I teach in the following CTI courses come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds:
  • Identity and Society
  • World Women's Literature
  • Written Communication

I also teach in Jewell's Oxbridge Honors Program in the Literature and Theory track. Oxbridge is modeled after the Oxford and Cambridge system of education; small group of students take weekly tutorials with faculty in various content areas. Much like graduate study, the program culminates in a series of comprehensive exams for which faculty write questions. 
Pedagogical Interests

  • Multimodal Composition: Though writing is commonly text-bound, recognizing the aesthetic power in blending text with visual and digital elements, as well as growing interest in hybrid genres, I regularly challenge my students in my courses to create multimodal compositions. For example, inspired by the multimodal argumentative essay assignment I employ in my composition courses, I developed a multimodal analytical assignment for creative writing. In my poetry workshop, rather than asking students to do a traditional "close reading" analysis of a poem, students create a multimodal, non-text based response that directly engages, not just the content of the poem, but also the technique. In this way, students develop not only a better understanding of the impact of poetic technique, but also design thinking as they consider the impact of their own non-textual creation on an imaginary audience, and, in the case of students who create films, audio recordings, and websites, their digital literacy as well. 

  • The Science of Learning and Motivation: While my days as an undergrad psychology minor are long over, I remain interested in what science can tell us about how we learn and what motivates us to do our best. Inspired by a recent study that suggests simply the act of articulating goals can help motivate you to achieve, I ask students in all my courses to set goals for the semester. These goals of are to be of two types: 1) based on the students' understanding of the learning objectives I set for the course and 2) based on their own personal goals. At midterm and final, I ask students to revisit these goals to track their  progress. In this way, I hope to reinforce not only the purpose of the course, but also help students consider what they most want to gain from their educational experience.

In addition to advising English majors, I advise the following:
Faculty Adviser, Inscape, 
William Jewell College's Student Arts Magazine

Inscape is the student arts magazine of William Jewell College. Appearing annually, we publish publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, music, as well as visual and digital art in both a web and print copy. Since assuming the position of Inscape's faculty adviser, I have expanded the editorial board of Inscape to include students from across arts-related departments, facilitated the development of a website companion to our print issue in order to better showcase visual and digital art, and secured additional institutional funding via internal grants. 

Poetry and Creative Nonfiction Honors Project Adviser,
William Jewell College

 I have directed two honors projects in creative nonfiction and poetry. At Jewell, honors projects are a year-long undertaking that mirrors the creation of a master's thesis as students produce both a body of creative writing (e.g., a poetry chapbook, a collection of essays) as well as a critical introduction. In the critical portion of their project, students position their work within the genre as well as within a constellation of model texts. As adviser, in addition to providing feedback on creative work, I suggest model texts and help students understand the nature of their project within the larger framework of the genre. I also assist students in considering the broader themes that emerge as they expand their writing in to a collection as opposed to a single essay or poem. Projects conclude with an oral defense in front of a faculty committee. All of the projects I've advised to date have been successful.

Student Voices

"Dr. Williams is honest about the quality of our work and gives us theoretical tools to understand what creative nonfiction is. She guides us enough to keep us going but not so much, so that we keep the freedom for exploring and creativity." 
                                                                    Student, Creative Nonfiction

​"She is dedicated to helping all students (far beyond English majors or those who are hard workers) pull meaning from their lives through poetry and also see new perspectives in others' experiences with the same medium. Dr. Williams came to understand, appreciate, and celebrate each student's 'poetic voice' and helped them develop this voice with specific and broad suggestions alike."
                                                                     Student, Creative Writing: Poetry

"With Dr. Williams' encouragement and always helpful critiques and comments, I have been able to develop my voice and creative capacities. Workshops taught me how to give criticism constructively and to take it receptively and positively. Thank you! [...] I appreciate the diversity of the poets and conversations immensely. It is an essential thing for courses to partake in and I'm very appreciative that Dr. Williams started this conversation about diversity and awareness."
                                                                  Student, Advanced Poetry Workshop

"Dr. Williams is an awesome professor and person. She made this CTI so much more than I thought it would be. She was welcoming and open to new ideas regardless of if she agreed and she never made anyone's opinions not count. She is extremely passionate about what she teaches and I think that is awesome. Her teaching style is awesome and her discussions were also very focused. Her essays were challenging but a good kind of challenge. Her feedback was always excellent and I knew here expectations from the beginning. This is by far my favorite CTI and she is one of my favorite professors after this class."
​                                                                  Student, World Women's Literature

"This is an excellent course and I feel that my understanding of how to navigate works of minority cultures has improved. I also learned the importance of carefully analyzing such texts and applying what I have learned to the world around me. I especially appreciated Dr. Williams' approach of connecting these texts to modern issues and contemporary cultural representations."
                                                                    Student, U.S. Minority Literature

The Forensic Science Graduate Program has established a platform on which students engage in innovative research with well-respected industry and academic professionals. Students are tasked with developing a research proposal and executing their research under the guidance of a thesis chair and thesis advisors. After analyzing the data, students write a thesis encompassing the procedure, execution, results and conclusions that can be made as a result of their research effort. Each thesis is presented to the thesis committee, program staff, faculty and fellow graduate students at quarterly Thesis Presentation Seminars. Students are strongly encouraged to publish their thesis research in peer-reviewed journals.

Research Opportunities for Graduate Students

The following are descriptions of research projects for which professors in the graduate group are seeking graduate students. If you are interested in one of these projects or a similar project, contact the thesis chair.

TopicThesis ChairDescription
ChemistryDr. Moshe RosenbergFood authentication and regional origin of food and agricultural products
Biological Molecular TechniquesDr. Robert RiceProtein profiling of human hair for distinguishing individuals: database development
DNA/ChemistryDr. Cassandra CallowayTrace DNA collection from large surface areas coupled to enhanced DNA extraction
ChemistryDr. Matt WoodDetection and identification of trace explosive residues from latent fingerprints
Biological Molecular TechniquesDr. Robert RiceCytochrome P450 knockout (CRISPR-Cas9 system) in human epidermal keratinocytes for toxicity assessments
Biological Molecular TechniquesDr. Robert RiceMechanisms of toxic response of human epidermal cells (dioxin, arsenic and copper)

Completed Student Research Projects

The following research projects have been completed. If you have any questions, please contact the thesis chair for more details.

TopicGraduate StudentThesis ChairDescription
AlcoholFessler, C.D. HowittCritical task impairment at low ETOH level using EPAS detection
AlcoholMathison, J.D. LandCAPSTONE: Alcohol induced Blackouts, a colective review
ChemistryAyala, D.B. PuschnerMercapturic Acids as Biomarkers of Internal Naphalene Exposure
ChemistryBenedet, J.T. ShibamotoBiomarkers for toxic chemical exposure-disease relationships
ChemistryBradshaw, K.R. RiceProteomic Analysis of Mouse Hairs from Several Mutant Strains
ChemistryBrooke, P.D. LandFTIR-ATR determination and non-destructive analysis of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) impregnated in denim fabric.
ChemistryCaldwell, J.D. LandUsing D-2-hydroxyglutarate as a tool for measuring γ-hydroxybutyric acid levels in blood and urine – a pilot study.
ChemistryCarlsonJ. ErkensStable Isotope Analysis of Teeth and Bone From Seven Native American Males in Pleasanton, Alameda County, California
ChemistryChen, H.D. BarileInvestigation on Oligosaccharides Composition of Farm Mile and Processed Milk by Gas Chromatography and Advanced Mass Spectrometry
ChemistryConner, A.K. DeheshDetermination of the activity of LTA4H-like protein in Arabidopis thaliana by GC/MS and LC/MS
ChemistryConnolly-Ingram, C.D. LandInvestigation on Oligosaccharides Composition of Farm Mile and Processed Milk by Gas Chromatography and Advanced Mass Spectrometry
ChemistryCurrier, C.Y. HsiehInstrumental Technique for Differentiating Beige Carpet Fibers
ChemistryDang, L.M. RosenbergTrace elemental correlation of milk and soil
ChemistryDodds, A.D. LandBatch Variability of Glass using Laser Ablation ICP Mass Spec
ChemistryEaquinto, I.D. LandThe detection of Na-GHB disolved in different pH drinks, over time
ChemistryEitner, J.D. LandDevelopment, Optimization, and Validation of Instrumental Calibration Standards for Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) Applications
ChemistryFogelberg, C.T. ShibamotoThe Analysis of 2,4-Dinitrophenol in Biological Specimen
ChemistryFussell, J.J. ThorntonThe Visualization and Identification of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) Seeds
ChemistryGoggin, C.J. ThorntonOdor of Cannabis compared and analyzed by AccuTOF DART MS
ChemistryGorecho, E.D. LandFTIR-ATR Quantitation of Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) Cotton Swabbed from Glass and Plastic Containers
ChemistryHarrington, K.D. LandForensic expansion of LA-ICP-MS: Elemental analysis of soda-lime container glass and applications of principal component analysis
ChemistryHranac, R.D. LandPhosphine generation from clandestine methamphetamine waste
ChemistryHuntington, B.M. MillerSynthesis and Intermediate/By-Product Analysis of Bromo-dragonFLY, a Dihydrobenzofuran Analogue of Phenethylamine Hallucinogens
ChemistryHutches, K.D. LandDetection of Residual Gasoline on skin using SPME methods
ChemistryLaatsch, CNR. RiceDistinguishing People by Their Hair Protein Profiles
ChemistryLasater, B.D. LandElemental Profiling of Carpet Fibers
ChemistryLe, T.Y. HsiehDiscrimination of Blue Denim Fibers using Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry
ChemistryLevoe, S.P. LeinThe Relationship of Oxidative Stress to Organophosphorus Pesticide (OP) – Induced Neurotoxicity
ChemistryManhart, C.J. ThorntonSensitivity of Luminol on Denim material.
ChemistryMann, S.R. RiceProteome Analysis of Inbred Mouse and Human Hair with Alopecia Areata
ChemistryMay, L.M. RosenbergDetermining the Geographic Origin of Milk and Cheese Using Multi-Element Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis
ChemistryMukwana, S.D. LandAnalysis of Soot Materials for Combustion Products
ChemistryNakayama, M.D. LandBleach mediated chemistry of psuedoephedrine
ChemistryStevens, S.T. ShibamotoPhotodegradation of Salvinorin A
ChemistrySuarez, M.S. ParikhEvaluation of the spatial variability of soils: Application to Forensic Science
ChemistryTaormina, E.D. LandDetection and characterization of volatile organic compounds from burned humanand animal remains in fire debris
ChemistryTriebold, C.D. LandEphedrine & Pseudoephedrine isomer identification in toxicological samples
ChemistryWard, E.D. LandIs it possible to distinguish between yellow nylon rope fibers using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)?
ChemistryWatkins, J.P. GreenUsing Laser Ablation and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to Measure Mercury Levels in Hair Samples
ChemistryWiltshire, S.Y. HsiehDifferentiating Beige Carpet Fibers
ChemistryWu, P-WR. RiceProtein profiling of hair from human monozygotic twins
DNAAceves, M.G. SensabaughDevelopment of a real-time qPCR assay for the simultaneous assessment of mitochondrial DNA degradation, total nuclear DNA, and the presence of PCR inhibitors
DNABarr, A.S. KanthaswamyA Rapid qPCR-based DNA Quantification Assay Coupled with Species-determination Capabilities for Two Hybridizing Macaca Species
DNABaute, D.S. KanthaswamyAnalysis of forensic SNPs in canine mtDNA HVI mutational hotspot region
DNABischof, S.R. RiceThe Effects of Water Type, Exposure Time, and Water Agitation Level on the Ability to Detect Semen, Sperm, and Human DNA on Cotton Fabric
DNABoland, C.G. SensabaughComparative analysis of differential extractions to eliminate co-purification
DNABrooks, A.L. LyonsDevelopment of a Multiplexed SNP Identification Panel for the Random-Bred Domestic Cat
DNACaulder, M.H. ErnestSpecies Discrimination of Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer by Microsatellite Markers
DNACavness, S.G. SensabaughSurvey of Results from Biological Analysis of Sexual Assault Kits Collected from Victims in Oakland California
DNACharoenchote, W.R. RiceConstruct gene frequency of Merue population-Tanzania
DNACuenca, D.G. SensabaughAnalysis of Forensically Relevant Degraded and Limited DNA Samples Using Probe Capture and Next Generation Sequencing
DNADickover, R.R. RiceSTR Genotyping of DNA From Latent Fingerprint Cards
DNADoneva, K.R. RiceFrequency of Inter- tissue Somatic Mosaicism at the 15 Amp FISTR Identifier Loci
DNADuke, K.G. SensabaughThe quadruplex real-time PCR assay employs a popular type of DNA detection system, namely the TaqMan primer/probe system Issues
DNADuke, M.S. KanthaswamyResearch on canine miniSTR marker resolution with extended nucleotidic and non-nucleotidic primers extensions
DNADunbar, M.T. MurphyDNA Analysis of plant material used for rope manufacture
DNAFong, T.R. RiceOptimization of drying conditions for sexual assault swabs
DNAGazlay, K.L. LyonsHair color gene mutation in cats
DNAGordon, R.C. HopkinsDNA Allele Frequencies of the AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® STR alleles in the Luo, Kalenjin, and Kamba Tribes of Kenya
DNAHaltiner, C.E. PanacekComparison of Radial Diffusion, RSID, and DNA test positivity in saliva specimens over time
DNAHansen, D.R. BallardInvestigation of collection and exgraction methods for low-levels of DNA on various substrates to determine which method recovers the greatest amount of DNA
DNAHarper, K.R. DavisSpecies identification of toxic and hallucinogenic mushrooms via macroarray
DNAHimmelberger, A.S. KanthswanyMitochondrial DNA of dog saliva
DNAHinckley, A.P. GeptsPCR-based genotyping of Ricin communis cultivars plants
DNAHinton, N.R. RiceDevelopmental validation of an 8 loci multiplex system for North American mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
DNAHo, J.G. SensabaughStudying the relation of post-coital interval (PCI) to screening tests(s) results to the obtainment of partial or complete DNA profile
DNAHo, L.K. NambiarOverexpression of HER2/new and helical peptides binding
DNAHofsass, P.G. SensabaughContact DNA sensitivity, durability, and recovery on firearms
DNAHuang, A.E. PanacekYield and Quality of Male DNA Deposited on Female Skin via Oral Contact
DNAHuang, T.L. LyonsDifferentiating Cat DNA Mixtures From Cross Grooming Using MtDNA
DNAImes, D.C. PenedoDomestic Dog Mitochondrial DNA genome to identify highly polymorphic regions
DNAJames, J.G. SensabaughDesalting and concentration process for post-PCR cleanup
DNAJohnson, C.S. KanthaswamyThe Identification of Cannibas sativa Using Real-Time PCR.
DNAKun, T.L. LyonsDevelopment of a Canine Mini STR Panel for Forensic Casework
DNALawrence, D.D. SmithA Molecular Analysis of Protohistoric native American Osteological Remains
DNALee, V.D. SmithRecovery and typing of DNA from lip prints
DNALevi, C.R. RiceObtaining DNA Profiles from Archived Tape-Lift Fingerprint Cards
DNALlinas, G.G. SensabaughMicrobial community profiling of soil evidence
DNAMalvick, J.H. ErnestTetranucleotide DNA Marker Panel for Pumas (Puma concolor): Development and Applications for Forensics and Ecology
DNAMarlia, G.E. PanacekDNA Yield from Oral Samples Obtained after Oral Sex
DNAMcIlmoyle, G.S. KanthaswamyDevelopment of a methylation detection assay for rhesus macaques
DNAMendoza, A.S. KanthaswamyCross-Species Amplification of STR Markers Using Samples from Titi Monkeys (Callacebus spp.)
DNAMercurio, M.R. RiceDNA recovery from fixed blade and folding knives
DNANg, J.S. KanthaswamyDevelopment and Validation of a DNA-Based Multi-Species Identifcation andQuantification Assay
DNAOh, Y.R. BallardDNA Allele Frequencies of the AmpFISTR Identifiler STR Alleles in the Kikuyu and Luhya Tribes of Kenya
DNAOlegario, M.B. SacksA STR Multiplex for Colombian Black-Tailed Deer
DNAOlson, J.A. OberbauerEffects of oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms on canine social approach behaviors
DNAPowell, T.B. RiceIsolation of DNA from blue jeans and interfering Indigo dyes
DNAPremasuthan, A.S. KanthaswamyComparison of ABO blood group phenotype and genotype frequencies in geographic populations of rhesus and cynomolgous macaques
DNAReponen, S.B. SacksPopulation Genetics of Feral Dogs on Isabela Island
DNAReyes, V.G. SensabaughmtDNA genome sequencing and analysis using microarray technology
DNASanderfor-Schultz, E.M. WoodThe effects of latent print techniques on trace DNA over a year period of time.
DNASandoval, M.S. KanthaswamyYield of Touch DNA after Physical Contact Relevant to Sexual Assault
DNASartorio, A.C. PenedoA Review of the Genetic Markers Currently Available for DNA-Based Analysis of South American Camelids
DNAScharnhorst, G.S. KanthaswamyFindings and recommendations from a review of 32 canine case report
DNAScott, C.R. RiceDNA Yield on Varied Sample Extraction Techniques
DNASentiwany, C.G. SensabaughEvaluating the probative value of sexual assault evidence collected from suspects
DNASethi, V.S. KanthaswamyYield of Touch DNA after physical contact with fabrics relevant to sexual assault
DNASmalling, B.S. KanthaswamySNaPshot Assay for Canine forensic mtDNA analsysis
DNASolt, K.S. KanthaswamyTechnical Review: Assay development for the quantification of mixed species samples in forensic research (NIJ Grant No. 2008-DN-BX-K288 to SK)
DNASpicer, A.L. LyonsMitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) heteroplasmy in the hair of domestic dogs.
DNASwenson, N.R. RiceDevelopmental validation of an 8 loci multiplex system for North American mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
DNATaormina, P.S. KanthaswamyAssessment of Finnzymes PathoProof Bovine Mastitis PCR Assay kit for use in California
DNATom, B.S. KanthaswamyNomenclature and Allelic Ladder Development for Canine STR Panel
DNATsai, H.R. RiceCharacterize a novel protein VSIG8 in hair and nail
DNAViray, J.D. SmithImplementation of Applied Biosystems AmpFℓSTR® MinifilerT Amplification Kit for Forensic Casework: Validation, Degradation, and Contact DNA Studies
DNAWander, M.E. PanacekAn Investigation of Touch DNA Collection Methods from Clothing: Traditional Cutting Techniques Versus a Wet Vacuum System
DNAWilliams, J.D. SmithThe Evaluation of Different DNA Extraction methods on Ancient Bone Samples
DNAWilliams, S.E. PanacekRecovery of Saliva from Sexual Assault Victims Using the Microbial Vacuum After Showering
DNAWong, H.G. SensabaughThe Automation of the Differential Digestion Process of Sexual Assault Evidence in a High Efficiency Format
DNAYuen, M.R. RiceInvestigation of somatic mosaicism at the IdentifilerT and Y-FilerT human DNA identification loci in 400 rooted hairs from a single individual
DNAZoccoli, J.G. SensabaughQuantitative & qualitative YSTR kit comparison
EntomologyAndrade, J.R. KimseyAnemotaxis of flies using physical barriers to food
EntomologyDaman, K.J. StachowiczUsing sessile invertebrate growth to determine season of year a body was disposed of in Bodega Bay
EntomologyGallagher, M.R. KimseyTemperature mediated growth rate of the common Green bottle fly Lucilia sericata
EntomologyMcPartland, S.R. KimseyBlowflies appearance at diverse carrion and their frequency
FingerprintingMoses, H.J. ThorntonA critical comparison of black fingerprint powder formulations to improve latent fingerprint clarity and contrast on common substrates
FirearmsChu, A.D. HowittThe continuity and reproducibility of striations on a fired bullet
FirearmsCornell, A.J. ThorntonCAPSTONE: Breech Face Markings: A review of techniques, methods, and issues regarding the examination of this tool mark.
FirearmsMcClorry, S.D. G. HowittAn Objective Measure for Determining Whether Two Cartridge Cases Have a Common Origin
FirearmsRichards, V.D. G. HowittEvaluating the Gray Scale Response Difference Associated With Bullet Comparisons Using Optical Microscopy
FirearmsWeller, T.D. HowittConfocal and Comparison Microscopic Characterization of Toolmarks from Consecutively Manufactured Breech Faces
MiscellaneousBeddow, M.D. HowittMicro-Serial Numbered Firing Pins: Character Durability and Micro-Mark Legibility
MiscellaneousCurrie, G.E. PanacekDifferences between sexual assault examinations and crime-related outcomes in homicide victims and living individuals
MiscellaneousGarces, B.E. PanacekVariation in healing Bruise Evolution among Hispanic or Latino Women between the ages of 18 and 35
MiscellaneousHumphreys, M.E. PanacekObjective comparison of methods for measuring decomposition of submerged carrion for research purposes
MiscellaneousMalik, J.E. PanacekColor Development and Evolution of Bruises in Different Ethnic Groups
MiscellaneousMarcum, J.G. GoodmanForensic interviews of children victims and jury response parameters
MiscellaneousMcManus, M.B. RavaniThe Influence of Terrain on the Development of Individual Characteristics on Shoe Outsoles
MiscellaneousMetichecchia, J.R. KimseyA Review of the SLOFIST Forensic Fire Death Investigation Course
MiscellaneousPerry, A.B. RavaniEvaluation of mathematical and emperical models used in pedestrian accidents
MiscellaneousPugh, S.D. HowittForensic Evidence of Electrical Arcs
MiscellaneousQian, X.B. RavaniAn Evaluation of Biomechanical parameters for Head/neck of Infants
MiscellaneousRodriquez-Cruz, S.R. RiceImmunolocalization of TGM1-like proteins in Tilapia tissues
MiscellaneousSaifi (Pender), J.W. RistenpartA double blind investigation of bloodstain pattern impact velocity assessment: In conjunction with verification od proposed objective criteria
MiscellaneousSiu, S.W. RistenpartQuantitative Analysis of Medium and High Velocity Impact Bloodstain Patterns
MiscellaneousSpence, C.B. RavaniSoftware implementation of vehicle dynamic equations: involving cornering and backing
MiscellaneousZimmerman, S.D. HowittScrewdriver Toolmarks: A Statistical Analysis of the Comparison of Non-Matching Samples
Trace EvidenceBaca, A.J. ThorntonDetermination of Unique Fracture Patterns in Glass and Glassy Polymers
Trace EvidenceChan, K.Y. HsiehStatistical Evaluation of Torn Duct Tape Physical Matching
Trace EvidenceMcCabe, K.D. LandThe Statistical Evaluation of Torn Duct Tape Physical Matches





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