LAWRENCE – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognized two University of Kansas master’s graduates with its award for Outstanding Thesis. The awards were presented at the College’s graduate recognition ceremony during Commencement weekend.
Lizzy Adams, who finished her master’s in classics in spring 2013, was recognized for her thesis, “Esse videtur: Occurrences of Heroic Clausulae in Cicero’s Orations.”
Adams’ thesis makes a significant contribution in a century-long debate concerning the heroic clausula, a sequence of long and short syllables that end a line of Greek or Latin epic poetry. Her research discovers a new and fresh way to hear the echoes of ancient voices. Adams studied works of Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, in Greek and Latin, as well as scholarship on the great orators, in German and French. She asserts in her thesis that Cicero used the “heroic clausula” to mock opponents and not as a flawed use of rhythmic adornment, as has often been stated by scholars. Her findings have begun to gain attention among major scholars and at national conventions. Adams’ adviser, classics professor Tony Corbeill, praised the thesis as the most original and persuasive of all those he has guided.
Laurie Gayes, now a doctoral student in the Clinical Child Psychology Program, was recognized for her thesis, “A Meta-Analysis of Motivational Interviewing Interventions for Pediatric Health Behavior Change.”
Gayes conducted a quantitative analysis of the body of research literature on motivational interviewing, a therapeutic technique used to treat substance abuse problems and other health concerns. Although several individual studies had been performed, no one had examined the body of literature to determine the overall effectiveness of the method in children and adolescents. Her results suggested a moderate effect size, meaning that clinicians can have confidence that motivational interviewing can effectively address a range of behavioral health concerns in children (e.g., diabetes, obesity). Gayes’ adviser, professor Ric Steele, noted that her work will have a broad effect on service delivery for children with behavioral health concerns, as the thesis was recently accepted for publication in the premier journal in clinical psychology, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Funds for the awards are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.