11 Arts and Sciences graduate students named Presidential Fellows

December 18, 2019

11 Arts and Sciences graduate students named Presidential Fellows

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Eleven graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences have received an autumn 2019 Presidential Fellowship, the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School at Ohio State. Awarded each semester to graduate students of outstanding scholarship, the Presidential Fellowship grants fellows one year of full-time financial support in their final year of dissertation work.

Fellows are nominated by graduate studies committee chairs and selected through a university-wide competition led by a faculty committee. A total of 18 fellows were selected for autumn 2019. Those in the Arts and Sciences are:

Ashlee Dauphinais, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Anna Babel, advisor
Dauphinais is studying the intersection of language, gender identity and medical treatment in Brazil, with a specific focus on individuals with Turner syndrome, a rare genetic condition in which a female baby is born with a partially or completely missing X chromosome. 

Scott Duxbury, Department of Sociology

Dana Haynie, advisor
Duxbury’s research uses innovative computational approaches to explore how racial attitudes throughout the past century have shaped the growth and entrenchment of racial disparity in the U.S. prison system.

Mael Glon, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

Meg Daly, advisor
Glon’s dissertation will provide a new taxonomic framework for a group of burrowing crayfish known as Devil Crayfish, which are threatened due to habitat loss and biological invasions. His research has already described a new genus and several new species.

Roberto Hernández Palomares, Department of Mathematics

David Penneys, advisor
Using sophisticated algebraic, analytical and combinatorial techniques, Hernández Palomares seeks to describe new spaces and symmetries found across quantum theories, specifically non-commutative spaces and their quantum symmetries.

Aidan Lee, Department of Physics

Fengyuan Yang, advisor
Lee’s research focuses on finding new types of materials that can stabilize nanoscale structures known as skyrmions at room temperature. Skyrmions are under intense investigation for their potential to improve and miniaturize magnetic data storage, but have limited viability outside of low temperatures.

Zhiying Li, Atmospheric Sciences

Steven Quiring, advisor
Li is conducting one of the first investigations into how climate change and human activities are altering river discharge (the volume of water flowing in a river) cycles across the U.S. Her project will inform water resources management, climate change mitigation strategies, drought and flood prediction and soil erosion studies.

Brandon Neel, Biochemistry Program

Marcos Sotomayor, advisor
Neel’s research will focus on a unique protein called the NOMPC ion channel to better understand the physiological basis for sensations like hearing and touch in invertebrates. His work will also inform sonogenetics, or the ability to noninvasively activate brain cells using sound.

Mackie O’Hara, Department of Anthropology

Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, advisor
O’Hara is evaluating the evolutionary relationship between dental morphology and dietary adaptations across primates through the framework of Homo naledi, an ancient human ancestor only known from recent fossil discoveries.

Mahesh Parsutkar, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

T.V. RajanBabu, advisor
Parsutkar is developing less expensive, more environmentally friendly methods to synthesize drug candidates, specifically through the use of cobalt, an abundant Earth metal, and naturally occurring amino acids.

Justin Seffernick, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Steffen Lindert, advisor
Seffernick’s research centers on developing computational algorithms to predict protein structures and protein-protein interactions, which will further the understanding and treatment of human disease.

Jiayi Sun, Department of Astronomy

Adam Leroy, advisor
Sun’s dissertation centers on characterizing the fundamental properties of molecular clouds — the interstellar nurseries in which stars are born — in nearby galaxies, including how these clouds relate to their galactic environments. His work will make important contributions to astronomers’ understanding of star formation.

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