Michael Sheehan’s dissertation was awarded a ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards honorable mention from the Rackham Graduate School. He presented his defense, “The evolution of individual recognition in paper wasps,” April 13, 2012. Sheehan’s mentor was Professor Elizabeth Tibbetts.

“While all graduating Rackham students produce dissertations of quality, some students write dissertations that are truly exceptional for the high caliber of their scholarship and for the significance and interest of their findings,” states the Rackham Graduate School website. “We recognize these exceptional dissertations with the ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards.”

Dissertations are nominated for the award by university faculty members who have served as chairs of dissertation committees of outstanding students. The nominations are then read by a review panel composed of members of the Michigan Society of Fellows, with assistance from other members of the university faculty and research community.

The awards are cosponsored by ProQuest, which publishes nearly 80,000 dissertations and theses annually, including more than 700 by U-M authors