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Graduate School names 2007 Shaheen Award winners

Author: Arts and Letters

Four doctoral candidates at the University of Notre Dame will receive 2007 Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Awards at the school’s first commencement ceremony at 1p.m. Saturday (May 19) in the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts.

Named in honor of a Notre Dame alumnus and his wife, the award recognizes the top graduating doctoral degree recipients in the humanities, social sciences, science and engineering. Nominated by their departments, the Shaheen Award winners are chosen for their superior ability as exhibited by grades, research and publication records, fellowships, and other awards received during the course of study at Notre Dame, and teaching ability.

The Shaheen Award recipients are:

Matthew Grow

Grow, in history, wrote his dissertation, “Liberty to the Downtrodden’: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer,” under the direction of George M. Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History.

Grow’s dissertation on the eccentric 19th century reformer Thomas Kane established him as one of the finest young religious historians currently in training. The dissertation takes the life of an elite Philadelphian and connects his work to issues of political and reformist thought that long have been ignored by those working in 19th century religion. The dissertation is now in the last stages of review by Yale University Press.

Grow also is writing a second book on the 1850s Mormon War and is beginning research on a third project on a major fugitive slave case.

His research has won four awards.

Grow, who was graduated from Brigham Young University, also served as a documentary editor and as a successful teacher during his studies at Notre Dame.

He was graduated from Notre Dame in August 2006 and currently is an Edward Sorin Postdoctoral Fellow at the University.

Joshua D. Cameron

Cameron, in aerospace and mechanical engineering, wrote his dissertation, “Stall Inception in a Transonic Axial Compressor,” under the direction of Scott C. Morris, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

During his graduate studies, Cameron has transformed the research focus in the University’s Center for Flow Physics and Control. His dissertation on advancing the understanding of the physics of compressor systems is significant in its own right, but the transonic axial compressor facility he designed, constructed and commissioned has thrust Notre Dame in prominence by having one of the best gas-turbine research facilities in the world. The facility has drawn visits from researchers at MIT, Cambridge University, and from such major turbomachinery manufacturers as Pratt&Whitney, Honeywell and General Electric.

Cameron, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology, is currently a visiting assistant professor at Notre Dame, where he is spearheading the development of a new turbine research facility.

Joseph R. Rausch

Rausch, in psychology, wrote his dissertation, “Investigating Change in Intraindividual Factor Structure Over Time,” under the direction of Steven M. Boker, associate professor of psychology, and Scott E. Maxwell, Matthew A. Fitzsimon Professor of Psychology.

Rausch has developed a new statistical procedure for examining how relationships among psychological phenomena change over time. Historically, studies of such phenomena have implicitly assumed that relationships remain stable over time, leading to the examination of relationships across people. Rausch’s perspective, however, is that the structure of relationships may change over time, leading to the examination of relationships within a person, instead of across people. He delineated his method in his dissertation, which is the source of an article he submitted to a top-tier journal in quantitative psychology.

While at Notre Dame, Rausch served as the psychology department’s statistical consultant and as a teaching assistant for the two-semester, graduate-level statistics course. In the process, he helped numerous members of the department further their individual lines of research.

Rausch, who earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati, was graduated from Notre Dame in August 2006. His strengths as an applied statistician, psychologist and teacher helped him secure a position as an assistant professor of quantitative/psychometric methods at the University of Minnesota, widely recognized as one of the best quantitative psychology programs in the nation.

Dori Woods

Woods, in biological sciences, wrote her dissertation, “Follicle Selection and Differentiation of the Granulosa Cell Layer in the Domestic Laying Hen, Gallus g_allus,”_ under the direction of Alan L. Johnson, professor of biological sciences.

Her dissertation topic was the study of mechanisms that define ovarian follicle selection and, specifically, the examination of the key physiological mechanism that directly impacts female fertility. Her research has great significance for enhancing the reproductive potential of endangered species. Her thesis research resulted in five first-authored manuscripts, all of which have been published, or accepted for publication, in top-tier journals.

During the time she was completing her doctoral thesis, Woods initiated a new project involving the study of human tumors from granulose cell origin that has important implications for the study of ovarian cancer. She is currently preparing a full-length manuscript based upon her novel studies.

Woods came to Notre Dame from the University of Arizona, where she completed a double major in animal science and veterinary science, with a minor in chemistry. She has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Notre Dame.


After earning his bachelor’s and law degrees from Notre Dame in 1934 and 1936, Eli Shaheen taught at the University for five years, then served as an officer in the Army during World War II. A community leader in Sturgis, Mich., he was owner and president of the Sutton Tool Company from 1945 to 1986, at which time he sold the company and formed Sturgis Enterprises.

Shaeen was an honorary member of the Notre Dame Monogram Club and served as secretary/treasurer, trustee and adviser to the Notre Dame Council of the Knights of Columbus for more than 50 years. In recognition of his service, the Knights of Columbus building on campus was dedicated in his honor in 1969.

Shaheen, who died in 1993, and his wife, Helen, supported the University in many ways, including four fellowships in the Law School, the Shaheen-Mestrovic Memorial on campus, and the Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Endowment for Architecture.

The Shaheen Graduate School Awards were established by an endowment from their daughters, Christine Broussard and Paula Eide.

Originally published by William G. Gilroy at on May 17, 2007.