Award Details

Christine Waxstein

posted Nov 6, 2015, 8:38 AM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Nov 6, 2015, 8:55 AM ]

Christine Waxstein

Christine Waxstein won the award for her 2012 thesis, "Digital Illustration: The Costume Designer’s Process For East Tennessee State University’s Spring Dance Concert 2012", available at This thesis was the capstone for her graduate work towards a Master of Arts in Professional Communication at East Tennessee State University, USA.
In her master’s thesis, Christine Waxstein documents the research and developmental processes of creating East Tennessee State University's Spring Dance Concert 2012 costume designs and renderings. Her thesis describes design creation from research stage to idea formulation to the conception of costumes using inspirational images, illustrations, performance photos and videos. The show involved a collaboration of many in a compressed timeframe. Incorporating digital technology into the rendering process saved time, expenses, and helped clarify the designer’s choices. Christine’s thesis details this 2-year study while providing readers with valuable insight into her innovative process.
Technology was not only used throughout her research project, but was also incorporated into the presentation of her study. Christine found an inventive approach to incorporating visual representation of the performance footage from Spring Dance Concert 2012 which showcased the final product of her designs. She embedded YouTube videos into the PDF document of her thesis so that the viewer can watch the clip without being redirected to another site. The web addresses were also listed for the hardcopy version. This was a method not seen previously at East Tennessee State University and is something we found notable about her ETD.

Christine Waxstein is the Digital PR Specialist for the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Originally from Half Moon Bay, CA, Christine relocated to Tennessee in June 2006 upon graduating high school. She then attended Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech & Theatre in May 2009. Christine worked as the House, Volunteer Services, & Assistant Box Office Manger at the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College until leaving in January 2011 to attend graduate school. In December 2012, she graduated from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) with a Master of Arts in Professional Communication. Christine was then hired at ETSU as the Division Secretary & Box Office Manager for the Division of Theatre and Dance in the Department of Communication & Performance where she worked until being hired on at UTK.

Christine has an extensive marketing background with particular emphasis on graphic & web design as well as social media management. She has worked for other notable companies including Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, the Historic Tennessee Theatre, and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Award Acceptance Video

Transcript:  Greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee! My name is Christine Waxstein and I am truly honored to be this years recipient of the Innovative Learning through ETDs Award presented by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). I am forlorn that I was unable to attend the conference in New Delhi, India to accept this award in person, but I am grateful to be given this opportunity to Thank You via this recording. I owe a special debt of gratitude to the School of Graduate Studies at East Tennessee State University and, in particular to Emily Redd, who thought to nominate me for this award. I also would like to thank my wonderful Thesis Committee headed by Karen Brewster who served as Chair, Cara Harker, who additionally served as the Director for the Dance Concert, and Cher Cornett.  I could not have completed Digital Illustration: The Costume Designer’s Process For East Tennessee State University’s Spring Dance Concert 2012 to the same level without their guidance and expertise.

The use of technology played a vital role in not only the creation of the digital design renderings for the project, but also in the presentation of my thesis. I believe using embedded videos into the actual paper was an innovative means to present the finalized costumes while incorporating footage taken during the concert. This allowed for a real time representation of the completed design. Particularly with Dance, the way the costume moves is a crucial element that was considered throughout the design process and I was pleased to find a way to effectively present that.

Additionally, I utilized software in an innovative way. I incorporated the use of Adobe Photoshop, which is popular in the Photography World, to create my design renderings. This is not a program widely known to Costume Designers. Using any sort of computer programming to create renderings seemed to be foreign at the time of my research. I attended several conferences where I was able to meet Costume Design Professionals from around the country, many of whom still used the traditional method of hand sketching their renderings. The focus of my study was on finding new ways to utilize this technology to more effectively translate conceptualized ideas while potentially saving important resources like time and money.

In my thesis, I offer the novice Photoshopper step-by-step instructions on how to create these renderings. I hope that this presentation may inspire a few of you in the audience to take a look and try it out for yourself. Again, I thank you for your time and appreciation for my receipt of this honor. I hope you have 
a great rest of the conference and I look forward to reading all about it. Thank you.

Reiko Goto-Collins

posted Nov 2, 2015, 11:34 AM by NDLTD Admin

Photo of Reiko Goto-Collins

Ph.D. Art – Design and Technology (2012) / Robert Gordon University – Scotland

Reiko Goto-Collins’ dissertation “Ecology and Environmental Art in Public Place - Talking Tree: Won't you take a minute and listen to the plight of Nature?” includes the practice-led element which works with multimedia as a crucial and integral part of an experimental methodology. Her PhD study was focused on trees’ physiological response to atmospheric changes photosynthesis. She was thinking about the essential breath of all living things, and how trees contribute to the aesthetics of place while transforming carbon dioxide into the oxygen.

Goto-Collins set herself the question of how to create a different relationship between human beings and the natural environment. She explored trees as a context, creating access through multimedia to the transpiration and processes of photosynthesis working with the metaphor of 'breathing'. The premise was deceptively simple: breathing is what we share with nature. If we could experience how trees 'breathe', we would grasp in a direct and sensory way the interdependence between human beings and other living things in the environment.

Multimedia features significantly and appropriately at a number of stages and levels within this research, as data gathering and as giving form to experience through the representation of data as sound and sound/image. These are combined in ways that do not remove the research subject from its specific contexts e.g. an oak tree on a particular day in a particular place. This is an important quality of the work within an ecological discourse. The conventions of textual description and analysis of a conventional PhD could not have coped well with the intricate demands of this thesis to offer a sensory experience of the research subject founded in rigorous data gathering methodologies.

The doctoral thesis is openly available on the University’s institutional repository, OpenAir @ RGU at the URL:

Dr. Goto-Collins has sustained a creative inquiry that is concerned with empathic relationship with living things and the environment for over twenty years. She is an artist, a researcher, a designer and author. She is a Principal in the COLLINS & GOTO STUDIO in Glasgow Scotland, where she is recognized for her approach to environmental art and research. In 2014 the studio effort was focused upon photography, video and mapping work related to the Blackwood of Rannoch.
To learn more about Goto-Collins’ work, visit her website:

Samantha Oswald

posted Nov 2, 2015, 11:30 AM by NDLTD Admin

Photo of Samantha Oswald

Master of Architecture (2013) / University of Waterloo – Canada

Samantha Oswald’s master’s thesis “Brick: A Story of Construction”, is a creative and complex account of how contemporary construction techniques can be beneficially influenced by the “versatility and poetics” of the timeless material that is brick and the traditional brick-and-mortar system of construction.
Ms. Oswald’s research interests are centered on the life cycle of materials and the contribution of this cycle to the making of architecture. During her master's thesis research, her subject of study was clay brick, in which she documented different fabrication processes and then adapted these processes to the design and construction of a small shelter.

The work is filled with a myriad of carefully created images that illustrate the process of constructing a Terracott from the ground up. The thesis is in a genre that finds this expression in non-textual form a significant value-added; it is a thesis that describes a lengthy, hands-on process, evolving over time with exposure to changing conditions. The visual components of the thesis have an essential impact and convey the message with impressive force.
As well as Ms. Oswald’s adept and revealing photography, her production of an MPEG video is included as a file supplementary to the main body of the thesis in PDF. The video, “Building the Terracott”, is skillfully executed and engaging. Just under 20 minutes in length, it is sufficient to convey strong impressions of the beauty of the hands-on process while inciting an urge to know more about the process, inviting the viewer into the complexities that are found in the textual thesis.

The master’s thesis is openly available on the University’s institutional repository, UWSpace, at the URL:
Presently Ms. Oswald is working at an architecture practice in Switzerland. Part of her work involves expanding her knowledge of prefabricated concrete: the methods, raw materials, and logistics of its production. Independently, she is teaching herself woodworking to learn intuitive and tactile responses to material. She finds this combination of concrete and wood fascinating because the materials are so different, yet both are profoundly embedded in Swiss construction practices. As an immigrant in the country, she finds that studying its materials is a physical and immersive way to better understand its culture.
To learn more about Oswald’s work, visit her website: and her blog:

Evgeniya Lyubomirova (Jenny) Snauffer

posted Nov 2, 2015, 11:24 AM by NDLTD Admin

2013 Innovative ETD Award
Master of Science in Oceanography
University of British Columbia, Canada

Evgenia Snauffer
In Evgeniya Lyubomirova (Jenny) Snauffer's Masters Thesis "Modeling herring and hake larval dispersal in the Salish Sea" she used a 3-D Regional Ocean Modeling System studying the effect of strong winds in the Strait of Georgia on the drift of hake and herring larvae at different depths and locations. Pacific herring and hake are commercially important fish in the Strait of Georgia (the body of water that separates Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia in Canada), and both species use the Strait as their larval rearing grounds. The larvae are dependent on ocean currents to bring them to areas with enough food to sustain them. Larval mortality is the greatest of any life stages and it determines abundance at an adult age.

The significant innovation is the inclusion of animated time series graphs (AVI movies) showing the drift of hake and herring larvae over time. In addition to many complex graphs in her thesis, Ms Snauffer included four .avi moving graphs as supplementary materials. The moving graphs give a visual of the results that could not be described as clearly in words, and that would be cumbersome to get across in a series of static graphs. This visual method enables the research results to be shared more quickly and effectively, increasing cooperation and collaboration among different researchers.

Snauffer is currently an ocean modeller with an extensive software programming background. Upon completion of her thesis, Snauffer will seek opportunities to apply her modelling and software development skills in the Victoria or Vancouver area.

Acceptance Video:

NDLTD Innovative ETD Award

Helen J. Burgess

posted Nov 2, 2015, 11:19 AM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Nov 2, 2015, 11:20 AM ]

2013 Innovative ETD Award
Ph.D. English
West Virginia University, USA

Helen Burgess
In Helen J. Burgess’ doctoral dissertation "Highways of the mind: the haunting of the superhighway from the World's Fair to the World Wide Web" she produced the first truly digital dissertation in the United States which took full advantage of a Web-based format - incorporating an HTML and multimedia environment. Her dissertation consists of well-organized Web pages, persistence index links, photographs as well as video and audio clips linked throughout the document. This allows the reader to completely immerse into the digital environment and provide immediately accessible examples indicated in textual format. As a true testament to time and durability, Burgess’ ETD is still as functional today as the day it was posted online a decade ago. The bundle of dissertation files contain the Web page version as well as a “linear” book format version in PDF format, along with copies of all multimedia objects preserved in their original format, for preservation purposes. 

Helen J. Burgess is an Associate Professor of English in the Communication and Technology track at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Burgess received her BA(Hons) and MA(Dist.) in English Language and Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand, and her PhD in English from West Virginia University. She is active in the new media research community as editor of the online journal Hyperrhiz: new Media Cultures, and technical editor of Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge. Dr. Burgess is coauthor of "Red Planet: Scientific and Cultural Enounters with Mars and Biofutures: Owning Body Parts and Information", both titles published in the "Mariner10" interactive DVD-Rom series at the University of Pennsylvania Press.

She has interests in multimedia and web development, open source and open content production, electronic literature, and science fiction. Her next project is Futurama, Autogeddon: Imagining the Superhighway from the World's Fair to the World Wide Web, a study of media representations of the American Interstate Superhighway system.

Acceptance Video:

NDLTD Innovative ETD Award

John Christopher Williams

posted Sep 15, 2012, 4:42 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 3, 2013, 3:54 PM ]

2012 Innovative Learning through ETDs Award
Master of Arts in Art Education
West Virginia University, USA

In his master’s thesis, Chris Williams demonstrated the effectiveness of artist-in-residence programs through his analysis of artist immersion programs nationally and then applying his findings within the school setting in West Virginia for a hands-on experience. The cultural focus of these activities included celebration of the International Day of Peace and the Chinese New Year, incorporating learning components regarding multicultural dimensions and the international Peace movement as well as Chinese symbolism and history. Activities also included puppet-making skills utilizing various art techniques and media such as paper Mache, textiles, painting, music and performance. WVU chief among a handful of puppetry programs nationwide - collaborations have included guest lectures from legendary Jim Henson's "Sesame Street Muppets" and their puppeteers.

Williams resides in New York City where he uses his considerable skills to organize projects as an art educator, teaching artist, arts advocate, community arts coordinator and puppeteer. Presently he is Project Coordinator for CITYarts in New York City where he organizes all project elements for their residencies. CITYarts' projects frequently foster community revitalization by galvanizing businesses, schools, and community organizations into developing youth programs and constructing playgrounds and gardens. CITYarts has also organized the international Pieces for Peace program, providing a mosaic with youth from around the world. His professional Website JCWArts contains a variety of arts education resources.


John Williams accepts.

John "Chris" Williams receives his Innovative Learning through ETDs Award

Michael Otremba

posted Sep 15, 2012, 4:39 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 3, 2013, 4:07 PM ]

2012 Innovative Learning through ETDs Award
Doctorate of Medicine
Yale University, USA

In his thesis, Michael Otremba's research path and development as a physician for human rights was defined and refined though the development of a visual thesis that documents the ethical and societal conflicts at the intersection of inadequate national health infrastructure, extraordinary poverty, and chronic shortages of skilled physicians in the world’s poorest nations. This thesis portfolio also includes a documentary film entitled, “Twero: The Road to Health,” made over the course of 2 years, including 6 months of filming on location in Uganda, and is presently under consideration for international media distribution. the documentary follows a journalist who uses his radio station as a means to expose what is happening to patients, like Esther Ayugi, who find themselves unable to pay their medical bills. Otremba's work will continue to be an agent for social change as the thesis and documentary are disseminated in wider international circles, giving power to the people whose lives are impacted by socio-economic and political challenges in advocating for proper health care as a basic human right.

Michael has an M.D. and is presently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Section of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at Yale. His continued advocacy efforts, film documentary commentaries and other research interests are reported in his Blog.


Michael Otremba accepts.

Michael Otremba (center) receives the Innovative ETD Award from Charles Greenberg (left), Yale librarian and NDLTD Board Member, and Mark Gentry (right), Yale librarian who provided administrative support for Michael's internal medicine rotation in Uganda. 

MIchael's acceptance video:

Jessica Claire Menck

posted Sep 15, 2012, 4:37 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 3, 2013, 3:51 PM ]

2012 Innovative ETD Award
Ph.D. Leadership & Change
Antioch University, USA

In her dissertation, Claire Menck revisited the twice-told tales of New Orleans' tragic flooding with a unique perspective - food, and did so with a research methodology and reporting format that involved several media. Mench looked at New Orleans, five years after the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, and asked: Is food a way for individuals and groups to make meaning following critical change events such as the failure of the federal levee system in New Orleans? Her study found there are 4 common leadership discourses in talking about food in relation to critical change including culture, ecology, economics and politics. This dissertation integrates multimedia to express data and findings, and is accompanied by 26 audio files, truly bringing to life the dissertation text with rich oral histories by research participants.

Claire is an international award winning chef, restaurateur and scholar. She is also a passionate advocate for social media and research in disaster recovery with continuing work on her Website Girlchef.


Jessica "Claire" Menck receives her Innovative ETD Award.

Clifford Gouws

posted Sep 15, 2012, 4:35 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 3, 2013, 3:49 PM ]

2012 Innovative ETD Award
Master of Architecture
University of Pretoria, South Africa

In his Master’s thesis, Clifford Gouws focuses on architecture’s potential to adapt according to the passage of time, through the process of aging and weathering. The project questions current approach to heritage design, in particular the conventional museum and memorial typologies are investigated. The unexplained explosion in 1945 (and subsequent preservation) of the Central Magazine Building on Magazine Hill (in the military precinct of Pretoria) forms the basis of the investigation. The candidate investigates a site that is trapped in time. The proposed a new brass foundry will recycle spent ammunition shells. In the words of Gouws; [w]here ammunition was once produced, ammunition is now reduced to brass artworks and utilitarian products. This multimedia thesis portfolio contains separate PDF chapters with specialized architectural-sized renderings as well as unique and stunning visual presentations.

The thesis culminates in the production of a short film (posted on YouTube) where concept is explored three-dimensionally:


Cliff Gouws accepts award.

Cliff Gouws receives his Innovative ETD Award.

Paula Stofer Cordeiro de Farias

posted Sep 15, 2012, 4:33 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 3, 2013, 4:10 PM ]

2012 Innovative ETD Award
Master of Mechanical Engineering
Pontifical Catholic University - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In her Master's thesis, Paula Farias employs a non-intrusive optical technique to provide time-resolved images of the lower portion of the liquid film of horizontal annular flow of air and water, revealing the interfacial wave behavior. The stereoscopic technique developed is an original contribution of the present work to the set of experimental techniques available for the study of two-phase flows. Time–resolved images of longitudinal and cross section views of the film were recorded and analyzed, what constitutes in valuable information for the understanding of the dynamics of the liquid film in horizontal annular flow. The work by Farias has made use of state-of-the-art equipment and image processing techniques to produce visualization movies of the dynamic characteristics of annular flow that have not been seen up to now. This is a significant contribution that opens new opportunities for studying complex flow fields. This multimedia thesis portfolio contains the thesis in PDF and provides supplementary high definition video clips.

In 2011 Paula received the ABCM Award for best thesis and in 2012 she published her work as a scientific paper in The Journal of Experiments in Fluids.


Acceptance Video:

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