DSU Awards Graduate Research Initiative Grants

The Graduate Research Initiative at Dakota State University has selected five graduate students to receive grants to conduct mentored research for the 2023-24 academic year.

A team of graduate faculty and doctoral students reviewed the applicants and made the

selections, according to Dr. Mark Hawkes, Dean of Graduate Studies.

Hawkes says a stipend of $600 is provided to each student researcher which may be used for data collection, analysis, or results dissemination.

To learn the research results and speak with the student researchers, people can attend the annual Research Symposium in March 2024.

The award winners for this year include:


College of Business & Information Systems:

  • Chris Kreider, Ph.D.IS; Advisor Dr. Omar El Gayar. Project title: “A Randomized

Control Experimental Assessment for a Novel Model of Authentication for

Augmented and Virtual Realities.”


  • Gary Zhou, Ph.D.IS; Advisor Dr. Omar El Gayar. Project title: “An NLP-based

Knowledge Extraction Approach for IT Tech-support Transcripts.”


  • Brad Fowler, Ph.D.IS; Advisor Dr. Omar El Gayar. Project title: “The Role of

Privacy in the Adoption of Internet-of-Vehicles Technology in Consumer



The Beacom College of Computer & Cyber Sciences

  • Sunil Arora, Ph.D.CD; Advisor Dr. John Hastings. Project title: “Cybersecurity

Professionals’ Stress, Burnout, and Mental Health Issues Due to Challenging

Work Environments.”


  • Bijay Shakya, Ph.D.CS; Advisor Dr. Omar El Gayar. Project title: “Blending

Hierarchical Attention Mechanism in YOLO Architecture for Small Object