Two recentWest Virginia Universitygraduates are being recognized internationally by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), a consortium of more than 200 universities worldwide.

Aaron Steele of Roseburg, Ore., and Ana Torres of Mexico are among six winners of the Innovative ETD (Electronic Thesis and Dissertation) Award ( The consortium is honoring the WVU grads for their exemplary workSteele for his electronic dissertation and Torres for her electronic thesis.

John Hagen, program coordinator for WVU s ETD program and an NDLTD board member, applauded each of the graduates for creating a unique model of digital media research that will encourage further endeavors in their respective areas.

Their efforts have improved graduate education and raised the standard of scholarship on a global scale,he said.Their work will provide a clear road for others to follow.

Steele, a December 2007 graduate of WVU sDepartment of Physicsin theEberly College of Arts and Sciences, developed a multimedia dissertation,Collective Behavior in Chemical Systems,that includes animated simulation models and computer software code. He wanted other scholars to easily follow in his footsteps, using the same software and methodology he developed.

A key element to Steeles dissertation is its interactive components. He added links throughout the document, so readers can easily find all the supporting materials, and he also included images.

Its appealing and is more than just text,Steele said.Theres quite a bit of visual information included. Its more like having a Web page.

To access the dissertation online, visit

Torres, a graduate of WVU sCollege of Creative Arts, developed a multimedia thesis that includes film clips and photographic files to allow others to experience her dramatic art presentation. Her thesis,The 3 Pigs: Interactive Performance,is a dramatic parody within the realm of conceptual art.

Because Im a painter, the idea was to bring the people, the life back into the work,Torres said.The other point was to take a traditional story and use it in an environment of today. As a Mexican, it was also a political statement about the wall, the border and the conditions and issues of today. It was a play I wrote that became a documented performance and then a video installation.

To access Torreselectronic thesis, visit

WVU became the second institution in the world to require electronic thesis and dissertation submission in 1998. As with paper submissions of the past, the program is managed by the WVU Libraries. WVU graduate research is now accessed on the Web millions of times per year by academia, industry, government and the public, which includes people from more than 100 countries.