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University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies Announces Winners of 2023 Dissertation of the Year Award

By Sharla Hooper

Exceptional dissertations by Dr. Daniel Collins, Dr. Elif Kalemdaroglu-Wheeler, and Dr. Eric Johansen in the academic fields of Business Management, Education and Health Administration to be honored at the Knowledge Without Boundaries Research Summit

The University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies has announced the winners of its 2023 Dissertation of the Year Award. All winners and nominees will be recognized at the university’s annual Knowledge Without Boundaries (KWB) Research Summit on October 14, 2023. The winners will receive a certificate commemorating their hard work and all nominees will be invited to present their research at the summit.

“All of the incredible dissertations nominated this year speak to the high-quality work of our students and faculty members at University of Phoenix,” said Mansureh Kebritchi, Ph.D., chair, Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR). “We are delighted to honor their exceptional work at this year’s summit.”

The Dissertation of the Year award program was developed to recognize excellence in dissertation work among University of Phoenix doctoral students. Doctoral students who successfully defended their dissertation within the past year and were nominated by their chairs or committee members were eligible for the award. A total of 15 high-quality candidates were nominated this year. From that pool, three winners were identified after rigorous evaluation through a double-blind peer-reviewed process.

The 2023 Dissertation of the Year Award Winners are:

·      Daniel Collins, DM, Doctor of Management, for The Experiences and Perceptions of Cultural Bias in Multinational U.S. Organizations. Chair: Julie M. Ballaro, DBA; Committee members: Diane Gavin, Ph.D., Marcia Hill, Ph.D.

·       Elif Kalemdaroglu-Wheeler, Ed.D., Doctor of Education in Leadership, for Perceptions of Test Score Pollution Stemming from COVID-19 and State Testing. Chair: Joshua Valk, Ph.D.; Committee members; Maureen Marzano, Ph.D., MBA, Marcia Hill, Ph.D.

·       Eric Johansen, DHA, Doctor of Health Administration, for Cross-Contamination and Personal Protective Equipment. Chair: Daniel Smith, Ph.D.; Committee members: Julie M. Ballaro, DBA, Marlene Blake, Ph.D.

“The dissertation process was the epitome of my doctoral degree, which cultivated the curriculum, pedagogy, and methodology of my studies at the University of Phoenix. It was an arduous process that required patience, respect, commitment, and a passion for research,” shared Kalemdaroglu-Wheeler. “It is an honor and a humbling experience to be selected for this award. It would not have been possible without the continuous support and encouragement of my dissertation committee. It was a privilege to work with such talented individuals.”

Other nominees will also be honored at the summit. Learn more about the Knowledge Without Boundaries Summit and register here.

About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program is built around the Scholar, Practitioner, Leader Model which puts students in the center of the Doctoral Education Ecosystem® with experts, resources and tools to help prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit