back to news May 27, 2018

15 Arts and Sciences graduate students awarded Presidential Fellowships

Fifteen graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences have received a spring 2018 Presidential Fellowship, the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School.

Awarded each semester to graduate students of outstanding scholarship, the Presidential Fellowship gives fellows one year of full-time financial support so they can complete their dissertations or terminal-degree projects unimpeded by other duties. Fellows are nominated by graduate studies committee chairs and selected through a university-wide competition led by a faculty committee. 

Spring 2018 Arts and Sciences Presidential Fellows include:

Bethany Christiansen, Department of English
Christiansen’s research involves analyzing medieval medical manuscripts to provide one of the first scholarly accounts of how early medieval culture understood women’s bodies and health.

Deidre Damon, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Damon is studying alternative ionization sources for mass spectrometry, specifically paper-based ionization. Her work in this area has resulted in a patent and commercial attention.

Navid Farnia, Department of African American and African Studies
Farnia’s current work concerns the geopolitical and historical manifestations of U.S. power between 1959-80, with a focus on racial oppression, resistance, and domestic and foreign policy.  

Kelly Fulkerson-Dikuua, Department of African American and African Studies
Fulkerson-Dikuua’s research investigates the concept of “consent” during the era of Jim Crow laws in the United States and apartheid in South Africa, specifically Namibia.

Chad Iwertz, Department of English
Iwertz’s dissertation combines disability studies, rhetorical analysis, social inquiry and critical theory to help understand fundamental issues in human communication, specifically issues related to real-time captioning of speech.

Cassandra Lochhaas, Department of Astronomy
Lochhaas is studying the effects of galactic winds on the circumgalactic medium, which is the gas-filled region of space surrounding galaxies. Her work will help scientists understand more about galaxy formation and evolution.

Yunqiu (Kelly) Luo, Department of Physics
Luo’s research focuses on spin and magnetism dynamics in 2D hybrid systems, which are promising candidates for information storage, logic and opto-electronic applications.

Celia Martinez Saez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Martinez-Saez’s dissertation explores how mass media contributes to the creation of national and gender identities in modern Spain, with a focus on the revival of colonial narratives and conceptions of masculinity.

Lora Phillips, Department of Sociology
Phillips is studying how economic insecurity is contextualized geographically, historically and politically across U.S. counties.

Andrew Rosenberg, Department of Political Science
Rosenberg’s research centers on measuring racial biases in international migration flows.

Abhijoy Saha, Department of Statistics
Saha’s current work involves developing novel methodology for modeling probability density functions (PDFs) as geometric objects, which has practical and important biomedical applications in areas such as imaging and genomics.

Ilana Seager van Dyk, Department of Psychology
Seager van Dyk’s research will examine the emotional mechanisms underlying psychopathology in high-risk, sexual-minority youth.

Ethan Wappes, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Wappes’ research is focused in the area of C-H functionalization, which is innovating how complex organic molecules are constructed.

Kelly Yotebieng, Department of Anthropology
Yotebieng is interested in the intersections of hope, risk, resilience and migration status. Her current research focuses on Rwandan refugees in Cameroon.

Ning Zhang, Department of Geography
Zhang is developing novel techniques to provide accurate soil moisture estimates across the U.S., which will have applications in crop yield forecast, drought monitoring and flood prediction, as well as provide a better understanding of the global water cycle.