Winners of 2018 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards Announced
    December 6, 2018


    Katherine Hazelrigg, Council of Graduate Schools

    (202) 461-3888 |


    Beth Dempsey, ProQuest

    (248) 349-7810 |


    Washington, DC The Council of Graduate Schools / ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious honors for doctoral dissertations, were presented to Mohamed S. Ibrahim and Eiko Strader during the Council’s award ceremony during the 58th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Dr. Ibrahim completed his PhD in 2018 at Duke University in electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Strader received her PhD in 2017 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in sociology.


    Bestowed annually since 1982, the awards recognize recent doctoral recipients who have made unusually significant and original contributions to their fields. ProQuest, an international leader in dissertation archiving, discovery, and access, sponsors the awards and an independent committee from the Council of Graduate Schools selects the winners. Two awards are given each year, rotating among four general areas of scholarship. The winners receive a certificate, a $2,000 honorarium, and funds for travel to the awards ceremony.


    “The Distinguished Dissertation Awards recognize the significant contributions young scholars make in their disciplines,” said CGS President Suzanne T. Ortega. “Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Strader’s work demonstrates the value and impact of graduate education to the world.”


    “These are exceptional scholars who have contributed important insights to their fields,” said Allan Lu, ProQuest Vice President, Research Tools, Services & Platforms. “We’re proud to recognize their work and are confident these dissertations significantly move forward their fields of study.”


    The 2018 Award in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering was presented to Dr. Ibrahim for his dissertation, Optimization of Trustworthy Biomolecular Quantitative Analysis Using Cyber-Physical Microfluidic Platforms. Ibrahim’s work involves microfluidic biochips, or lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology. These devices integrate one or more laboratory functions on a single integrated circuit, commonly called a chip, and operate using quantitative analysis protocols, including things like blood glucose testing, DNA forensics, pathogen detection, and cancer research. Ibrahim’s dissertation addresses the challenges associated with design optimization and security threats that exist in the development of microfluidic technology and bridges the fields of molecular biology, computing, and electrical engineering. Through his research, Ibrahim hopes to, “streamline design methodologies related to the miniaturization of quantitative-analysis protocols.” Dr. Ibrahim is currently a research and development engineer at the Intel Corporation.


    Dr. Strader received the 2018 Award in Social Sciences for her dissertation, Immigration and Within-Group Wage Inequality: How Queuing, Competition, and Care Outsourcing Exacerbate and Erode Earnings Inequalities. In response to the policy rhetoric regarding the economic threat of increased immigration to low-educated, native-born men in the labor market, Strader analyzes 100 metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2007 to better understand the regional differences in the way immigration affects wages. She concludes that, “the wage effects of immigration are the result of gendered, raced and classed queuing processes, as well as changes in household production decisions.” Dr. Strader is currently as assistant professor of public policy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at The George Washington University.


    More information about the CGS / ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award is available at or at



    About the Council of Graduate Schools (

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of approximately 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.


    About ProQuest (

    ProQuest is committed to supporting the important work happening in the world’s research and learning communities. The company curates content that matters to the advancement of knowledge, assembling an archive of billions of vetted, indexed documents and multimedia assets. It simplifies workflows so that people and institutions use time effectively. ProQuest connects information communities, enabling complex networks of systems and processes to work together efficiently. With ProQuest, finding answers and deriving insights is straightforward and leads to extraordinary outcomes.


    ProQuest and its companies and affiliates – Ex Libris, Alexander Street, Bowker – stand for better research, better learning, better insights. ProQuest enables people to change their world.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.