Author: cmc12028

NextGenCT Scholars Program Awards Recipients

NextGenCT is for outstanding doctoral students who are being recruited by departments/PIs/faculty members of the University. The NextGenCT scholars program is open to all departments/programs within the University. Additional information about the program, including the guidelines and application form for the current academic year is available on our website.

Dean Kent Holsinger is pleased to announce the recipients of the NextGenCT Scholars Program Awards:

Last Name First Name Department Start On NextGenCT
Guberman-Pfeffer Matthew Chemistry Fall 2014
Stanley Laura EEB Fall 2014
Snider Laura Linguistics Fall 2014
Reinka Mora Psychology – CLAS Fall 2014
Kou Wei ECE Fall 2014
Foehner Christopher Pharmacy Spring 2015
Perkins Laura Linguistics Fall 2016
Nadeau Christopher EEB Fall 2017


David Etim: Ph.D. Candidate, Recipient of 2016 NNSA Graduate Fellowship

David Etim, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. 

Currently a Ph.D. candidate studying in computer science and engineering, David Etim is a recent recipient of the 2016 National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Graduate Fellowship.  David has a strong interest in data analytics as well as development of applications that utilize the extraction of information from various documents. During his tenure at NNSA, David will work in the NNSA Office of Advanced Simulation and Computing, where he is to contribute to overseeing procurement of the most advanced high performance supercomputers for the NNSA National Laboratories across the country as well as identifying characteristics of next-generation platforms to procure necessary resources. David will also participate in improving high resolution 3-D Multiphysics simulations in support of the NNSA mission.

After David earns his Ph.D., his goal is to continue his career into Federal employment and make use of his skills and computer science background to facilitate cutting-edge projects that will serve the objectives of respective government agencies.

For more information about the NNSA fellowship, please visit

Previous Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Recipients

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Awards

Dean Kent Holsinger is pleased to announce the recipients of the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF). The DDF, geared towards advanced students in doctoral programs requiring a dissertation, enables students to place a higher priority on writing their doctoral dissertation as expeditiously as possible.Additional information about the program, including the guidelines and application form for the current academic year is available on our website.
The Fall 2016 DDF awardees listed below received $2,000 for a total support of $222,000.

Alanazi, Rasis Educational Psychology
Austin, Sara English
Bapat, Sudeep Statistics
Beard, James Geological Sciences
Beka, Lidia Microbiology
Bendtsen, Stephanie Materials Science
Benjamino, Jacquelynn Molecular & Cell Biology
Bjorngard, Emma Philosophy
Boscolo Suteu, Eleonora Italian Cultural & Literary Studies
Bravo, Carlos Gardeazabal Spanish Studies
Brown, Holly Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Burgio, Kevin Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Carrigan, Emily Psychology
Castelluccio, Brian Clinical Psychology
Chavez, Sonia Accounting
Chennamadhavuni, Divya Chemistry
Chou, Michael Mathematics
Ciofi, Joy Anthropology
Crovello, Nicholas Educational Psychology
Dabrowski, Robert Physics
Dardani, Ross Political Science
De Silva, Manawaduge Susini Physics
Deady, Lylah Physiology & Neurobiology
Deshpande, Ved Statistics
Diallo, Ana Nursing
Fagan, Abigail English
Fang, Rui Pharmaceutical Sciences
Flores, Katiria Psychology & Neurobiology
Frank, Andrew Accounting
Gebyanesh, Adane Eitan Zawdu Sociology
Griggs, Frank Political Science
Guild, Curtis Chemistry
Heafner, Joy Human Development & Family Studies
Heichel, Danielle Polymer Science
Hosokawa, Yuri Kinesiology
Hu, Changmin Materials Science
Hu, Qinglin Geography
Hudson, Jonathan Physics
Ikizer, Elif Psychology
Jin, Chenhao Civil Engineering
Jin, Jing Materials Science
Joseph, Michael Mathematics
Kadimisetty, Karteek Chemistry
Kanakkihodi, Arun Kumar Monnodi Materials Science
Kerwin, Allison Molecular & Cell Biology
Kim, Tonghoon Communication
King, Danielle Curriculum & Instruction
Kondo, Jun Electrical Engineering
Kowitt, Jennifer Educational Psychology
Kozlowski, Steven Business Administration
Kumar, Harish Polymer Science
Kumaresh, Ajay Babu Obla Molecular & Cell Biology
LaGuardia-LoBianco, Alycia Philosophy
Lambert, Kyle Chemistry
Lawner, Elizabeth Psychology
Lebel, Charles Literatures, Cultures & Languages
Li, Jianping Pathobiology
Libardo, Mark Daben Chemistry
Liu, Alicia Molecular & Cell Biology
Liu, Jingjing Materials Science
Luo, Chongliang Statistics
Ma, Xiaoyu Biomedical Engineering
Manicastri, Steven Political Science
Mariano, Phanuel Mathematics
Mei, Yiwen Environmental Engineering
Meinzer, Melanie Political Science
Milton, Glenn Molecular & Cell Biology
Mirdha, Pial Electrical Engineering
Mishra, Aditya Statistics
Missimer, Amanda Nutritional Science
Mocko, Kerri Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Nair, Meera Surendran Animal Science
Nemati Josheghani, Reza Chemistry
Nolan, Rachel English
Perez, Angela Literatures, Cultures & Languages
Pertuz, Orlando Deavila History
Peterson, Meghan Political Science
Piller, Erick English
Pruitt, David Philosophy
Qi, Jie Chemical Engineering
Ray, Dustin Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Reeve, Stephanie Pharmaceutical Science
Rivera, Dina Spanish Studies
Rohrer, Melissa English
Roy, Arnab Dutta Literatures, Cultures & Languages
Saha, Abhisek Accounting
Saha, Subrata Computer Science & Engineering
Sakamoto, Yuta Linguistics
Saman, Bander Electrical Engineering
Sandor, Manette Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Satterwhite, Jennifer Chemistry
Seraji, Mohammad Chemistry
Shen, Zheng Linguistics
Shuai, Qi Mechanical Engineering
Song, Wenqiao Chemistry
Stark, William Literatures, Cultures & Languages
Talic, Aida Linguistics
Tang, Xiaoyan Materials Science & Engineering
Teber, Ahmet Electrical Engineering
Tehranipoor, Fatemeh Electrical Engineering
Tian, Yiteng Physics
Vasu, Vignesh Polymer Science
Vora, Sahil Chemical Engineering
Wang, Chongyu Business Administration
Wasalathanthri, Niluka Chemistry
Williams, Reed Mechanical Engineering
Wu, Tai-Yee Communication
Yin, Shiqi Physics
Zeng, Songshan Materials Science
Zhao, Shuai Chemical Engineering

The Spring 2016 DDF awardees listed below received $2,000 for a total support of $126,000.

Adams, William Kinesiology
Barnes, Alexander Physics
Bodhipaksha, Laleen Chemistry
Brozoska, Antoni Mathematics
Bugdal, Melissa English
Burns, Ryan Performance Arts
Canfield, Allison Psychology
Charter, Mollie Social Work
Chin, Iris Psychology
Chowdhury, Maqsud R. Chemical Engineering
Corekli, Cagnur Mathematics
Del Villar, Erika Mae Sociology
Del Visco, Stephen Political Science
Dhagat, Vishal Electrical and Computer Engineering
Divino, Jeffrey Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Flannery, Kaitlin Psychology
Flock, Genevieve Animal Science
Fu, Hailin Chemistry (Polymer Chemistry)
Ginsberg, Ricki Education
Goss, Devon Sociology
Gross, Kerry English
Harper, Takiyah Political Science
Judge, Jonathan Mathematics
Kadilak, Andera Chemical Engineering
Khan, Koyel Sociology
Khurana, Leepakshi Pharmaceutical Sciences
Kiper, Jordan Anthropology
Loiselle, Aimee History
Lorincz, Andras Mathematics
McAnnulty, Sarah Molecular & Cell Biology
Minkos, Marlena Educational Psychology
Mokaya, Fridah Physics
Moore, Timothy Ecology & Evol Bio
Mueller, Katherine Anthropology
Muraleedharan Pillai, Sambhu Animal Science
Murillo, Ana Nutritional Sciences
Neupane, Suman Ecology & Evol Bio
Otieno, Brunah Chemistry
Ou, Tze- Chun Mathematics
Piyadasa, Adimali Physics
Pratt, Brendan Physics
Ramli, Rozita Mathematics Science
Ren, Jian Chemical Engineering
Rodriguez-Arauz, Gloriana Psychology
Shum, Fan Ny Mathematics
Thomas, Zareen Anthropology
Wang, Chun Statistics
Wang, Kai Civil Engineering
Weisz, Bradley Social Psychology
Williamson, Kathleen Educational Psychology
Willis, Abbey Sociology
Wu, Qianzhu Statistics
Zia, Yan Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Xu, Huanan Economics
Xu, Man Civil Engineering
Yu, Haibo Material Science & Engineering
Yu, Peijingran Economics
Zawdu Gebyanesh, Adane Eitan Sociology
Zecca, Elizabeth Pharmaceutical Sciences
Zhang, Mengyao Geography
Malla, Spundana Chemistry
Mickley, James Ecology & Evol Bio
Ma, Junxia Electrical Engineering

The Fall 2015 DDF awardees listed below received $2,000 for a total support of $166,000.

Hernandez, Ruth Sociology
Andrews, Ulysses Mathematics
Ariyarathna, Thivanka Oceanography
Asaad, Malva Mathematics
Augyte, Simona Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Awad, Ibrahim Mechanical Engineering
Ballentine, Mark Oceanography
Berry, Sarah English
Bhattaram, Varunkumar Animal Science
Biswas, Sourav Chemistry
Bora, Mayank Philosophy
Botu, Venkatesh Chemical Engineering
Butler, Patrick Medieval Studies
DeRonck, Nicole EPSY
Difloriogula, Martina International Studies – Italian
Doan, Nhi Polymer Science
Flynn, Brianna Molecular and Cell Bio
Froude, Cameron Family Studies
Fu, Kan Material Science & Engineering
Goyes Vallejos, Sonny Johana Ecology & Evol Bio
Greco, Jordan Chemistry
Gu, Bing Pharmaceutical Sciences
Guo, Yang Polymer Science
Gurmen, Manevver Selenga Marriage & Family Therapy
Hong, Chenwen Literature, Cultures & Languages
Hu, Hongyu Mechanical Engineering
Ilhan, Ibrahim Physics
Kara, Selcan Business Admin – Marketing
Karumathil, Deepti Animal Science
Katyal, Priya Pharmaceutical Sciences
Kaur, Japneet Pharmaceutical Sciences
Kim, Joon-sung Polymer Science
Kooken, Janice Educational Psychology
Kujofsa, Tedi Electrical Engineering
Leake, Mary Medieval Studies
Lenz, Erin Clinical Psychology
Li, Song Chemistry
Li, Wenbo Physics
Long, Lauren Psychology
Lubner, Joshua Physiology & Neurobiology
Luo, Yu Computer Science & Engineering
Mahoney, Mary-Margaret History
McDannald, Austin Material Science & Engineering
Mercadante, Michael Chemistry
Miller, David Mathematics
Mitchell, Nora Ecology & Evol Bio
Moore, George English
Mooyottu, Shankumar Animal Science
Oberman, Miller English
Pahalagedara, Madhavi Chemistry
Patel, Kiran Physiology & Neurobiology
Pu, Lina Computer Sci & Eng
Razifard, Hamid Ecology & Evol Bio
Sah, Megha Physiology & Neurobiology
Samaraweera, Melinda Chemistry
Sathappa, Murugappan Biochemistry – Molecular & Cell Bio
Seger, Maria English
Shankar, Nilani Educational Psychology
Sharafi, Mastaneh Nutritional Science
Smith, Amanda Psychology – Behavioral Neuroscience
Soucy, Shannon Molecular & Cell Bio
Strom, Jessica History
Sun, Fu-Chang Physics
Sun, Xiaorong Electrical Engineering
Tagliarina, Corinne Political Science
Tucker, Emily English
Uddin, Md Aman Mechanical Engineering
Vachon, Todd Sociology
Verrette, Mark Music
Wang, Sining Economics
Wiehe, Jarred English
Wright, Laura English
Xhumari, Sandi Mathematics
Yan, Bing Electrical Engineering
Yan, Ying Electrical Engineering
Yankle, Allyson Political Science
Yin, Hsin-Bai Animal Science
Yordanova, Daniela Spanish
Young, Nicole Business Administration – Management
Yu, Yaowen Electrical Engineering
Zaffou, Madiha Ag & Resource Econ
Zhu, Zhihai Physics
Zito, Stephen Mathematics

The Spring 2015 DDF awardees listed below received $2,000 for a total support of $174,000:

Aldridge, Leland Physics
Anderson, Richard Philosophy
Ang, Ping Economics
Arthur, Frank Applied Mathematics
Berkaroglu, Can Economics
Brady, Kyle Mechanical Eng
Brigandi, Carla Educational Psychology
Cao, Zhen Polymer Science
Castillo, Mary Joan Chemistry
Chopra, Avijeet Genetics & Genomics
Chou, Hsuan Plant Science
Choudhury, Soud Mechanical Eng
Clarke, Megan Psychology
Coleman, Ailton Public Health
Corriveau, Jennifer Psychology
Creighton, Brent Exercise Science
Dombrowski, Caitlin Psychology
Egan, Jeffrey History
Eudy, Rena Biomedical Engr
Farokhniaee, Amirali Physics
Frediani, Maria Civil Engineering
Fuller, Micheal Communication Sci
Gambino, Louis Materials Science
Garceau, Timothy Geography
Gonzalez, Jennifer Speech, Lang, & Hrng
Graham, Daniel English
Gupta, Sapna Materials Science
Hamlin, Trevor Chemistry
Harvey, Jonathan Music
Hoke, Omer Ag & Resource Econ
Huang, Shujuan Mathematics
Jain, Rishabh Materials Science
Jiang, Zongliang Animal Science
Johnson, Katharine Geography
Kaus, Alaina English
Khakpash, Nasser Materials Science
Kim, Yujin Adult Education
Kukkadapu, Goutham Mechanical Engineering
Legendre, Nicholas Genetics & Genomics
Lemieux, Michael Cell Biology
Limberg, Michael History
Lingalugari, Murali Electrical Engineering
Liu, Bingchuan Environmental Eng
Magpusao, Anniefer Chemistry
Masterson, Melina Language
Maykel, Cheryl Educational Psychology
McKenzie, Amy Kinesiology
McShane, Adam Chemistry
Mudrick, Michael Kinesiology
Ostrander, Jason Social Work
Otley, Michael Chemistry
Ouyang, Guang Statistics
Parisi, Andrew Philosophy
Park, Jinhee Developmental Psychology
Pellico, Ryan Mathematics
Podurgiel, Samantha Psychology
Pryor, John Luke Kinesiology
Pryor, Riana Kinesiology
Puthenveetil, Robbins Structural Biology and Biophysics
Ranucci, Rebecca Management
Rawal, Shaisti Public Health
Ren, Yuan Chemistry
Riley, Kristen Psychology
Roy, Dooti Statistics
Sarkar, Saurabh
Serhiyenko, Khrystyan Mathematics
Serhiyenko, Volodymyr Statistics
Sharifi, Roholah Chemistry
Sharmin, Farzana Materials Science
Shepard, Ronnie Anthropology
Shi, Lisi Economics
Smith, Gregory Pharmaceutical Sciences
Smith, Peter Linguistics
Sun, Xiangcheng Chemical Engineering
Torres, Jose Geography
Trusiak, Savah Molecular & Cell Bio
Vigglione, Fabiana Literature & Cultural Studies
Wang, Zhuo Statistics
Woltornist, Steven Chemistry
Wu, Biyu Business Administration
Xia, Hongwei Polymer Science
Xie, Liyang Nutritional Sciences
Xie, Xin Psychology
Xie, Yingying EEB
Yu, Jingfang Chemical Engineering
Zhao, Bo Statistics
Zhou, Rong Economics
Zmetra, Kevin Structural Engineering

Professor Hertel: Recipient of 2015 Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award

Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award is given each year to a member of University of Connecticut Graduate Faculty in recognition of outstanding mentoring of graduate students over the past 10 years.  Established by The UConn AAUP, the Marth Award was founded to recognize the leadership and dedication of Edward Marth, former Executive Director of the UConn AAUP Chapter, as well as to encourage and reward outstanding mentoring of graduate students by UConn Graduate Faculty members.  This year a record number of nominations were received for the award.

Faculty and staff colleagues, Graduate students, and family members gathered in the Great Hall of the Alumni Center at UConn for a reception and champagne toast as Kent Holsinger, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School presented the award.  Provost Mun Choi opened the evening with words of congratulations making special mention that this award recognizes the importance of the successful relationship between an advisor and graduate student as the foundation for the intellectual and professional growth of graduate students and the advancement of knowledge.

Dr. Holsinger remarked that “Recipients of the Edward C. Marth Mentorship Award are UConn Graduate Faculty members who have extraordinary records of excellence and effectiveness in activities such as facilitating smooth transitions for both entering and exiting graduate students; showing sensitivity to students’ academic, personal, and professional goals and needs; being accessible to students; playing an active role in coaching graduate students through the graduate school experience and connecting them to appropriate intellectual and professional networks; and, guiding graduate students toward intellectual and professional independence. The committee considered a record number of nominations this year and faced a very difficult task in selecting only one winner. All of the nominees presented evidence of outstanding mentorship in many ways, but in the end, Shereen’s nomination was the most compelling. Shereen exemplifies the caring, thoughtful approach to mentorship that the Marth Award is meant to honor, and it gives me great pleasure to present her with this plaque to commemorate this honor.”

Dr. Hertel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, jointly appointed with the Human Rights Institute at UConn. Her research focuses on changes in transnational human rights advocacy, with a focus on labor and economic rights issues. She has served as a consultant to foundations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations agencies in the United States, Latin America and South Asia and conducted fieldwork in factory zones along the US-Mexico border, in Bangladesh’s garment manufacturing export sector, among NGO networks in India, and in the multilateral trade arena.

If you are more interested in Dr. Hertel’s research, you can view additional information about here.

2015 APF/COGDOP Scholarship Winner

Lauren Long, Ph.D.Candidate, Department of Psychological Sciences. 

Currently a Ph.D candidate studying in vivo hippocampal electrophysiology in behaving rodents, Lauren Long is a recent recipient of the American Psychological Foundation/Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (APF/COGDOP) 2015 scholarship. Lauren has a strong interest in understanding cooperative interactions between groups of neurons and how such interactions may underlie high-level cognitive operations, such as memory. By using rodent models, Lauren is able to probe critical questions in neuroscience—what determines the strength of memory representations and what is the time course for neuronal activation? A better understanding of neuronal circuit mechanisms that underlie memory formation should facilitate our understanding of how pathophysiological disruptions in network activity relate to cognitive and sensorimotor processing.

After Lauren earns her Ph.D, her goal is to make use of her skill-set and knowledge by gaining post-doctoral experience working with human clinical populations using cutting-edge electrophysiological techniques such as ECoG, depth electrodes and DBS.

Fall 2015 3 Minute Thesis (3MT)

First developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

Following a successful launch in 2013, the U21 3MT competition will pits the leading presenters from each U21 member university against one another. Each participating member will hold their own internal 3MT competition to select a local winner who will then be put forward for the U21 final, to be judged by an international panel consisting of industry and academic professionals. The U21 competition brings together the very best of the best doctoral students from around the globe in one virtual encounter.

3MT® provides doctoral students with the opportunity to develop their communication skills by explaining their research to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. The local competitions will challenge the students to present face-to-face, and additionally the virtual final will hone skills associated from being filmed for an international audience, receiving international peer review, and gaining skills surrounding the presentation of their research to a wider audience.

UConn Fall 2015 3MT Winners

First Place
Sarah Vitale – 3rd  Year
Using Dissolved Oxygen in Groundwater Wells to Interpret Contaminant Migration
Center for Integrative Geosciences

2nd Place
Reihaneh Mohammadi – 4th Year
Cartilage-mimicking, High-density Polymer Brushes by Growing From “Bottom-Up”

3rd Place
Nicholas Legendre- 5th Year
Of Mice and Muscle
Molecular and Cell Biology

Other Uconn Fall 3MT Contestants

Pouya Tavousi – 5th Year
Developing Mechanics Frameworks for Analysis and Design of Nano-Machinery
Mechanical Engineering

Ting Jiang – 5th Year
Development and Applications of Magnetically Recyclable Mesoporous Iron Oxide Supported Catalysts
Chemical & Bimolecular Engineering

Chaoran Wang – 4th Year
Stable Isotopic Alteration of Organic Biomarkers during Simulated Diagenesis

Allison Horrocks – 7th year
Ambassador with Cookbooks: The History Race Politics of Home Economics

Katrina Velle – 3rd Year
Putting itself on a Pedestal: How E. coli Causes Disease
Molecular and Cell Biology

Sarah McAnulty – 3rd Year
How do Bobtail Squid choose their Glowing Bacterial Partners?
Molecular and Cell Biology

Chenwen Hong – 7th Year
Women Soldiers’ War Memoirs
Literature, Cultures, and Languages

U21-3MT 2015 Competition Videos»

November 4th: Lessons Learned With Dr. Jeffrey Shoulson

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Each month faculty and staff members are invited to give an interactive lecture on “lessons learned” during their journey in and outside of academia. At the conclusion of the lecture graduate students engage faculty in an informal question and answer session. Please bring your snack, a friend and plenty of questions. This is guaranteed to be a great time!

Dr. Shoulson is the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies; Director – Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life; Professor of Literatures, Cultures & Languages and English at the University of Connecticut.

Shoulson research interest  include early modern literature and culture; Jewish-Christian relations; Christian Hebraism; Jewish literature; The Bible as literature.  Having recently completed a book on conversion in early modern Europe, Professor Shoulson is at the beginning stages of a new project, one that examines the cultural and literary history of the English Bible. Specifically, he is interested in how Jewish learning, Jewish interpretations, and Jewishness in all its various manifestations and understandings figures in–and sometimes haunts–the various efforts at translating the Bible into English, beginning with the late medieval Wycliffite Bible and through the different translations that appeared in early modernity, culminating in the King James Version and beyond.

Read More about Dr. Jeffrey Shoulson »

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