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Faculty and Student Highlights

Leah Allen (6th-year Ph.D. candidate, Literature) has received a Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship for 2011-2012.

Laura Barnard (4th-year Ph.D. candidate, Psychology) had an article entitled “Self Compassion: Conceptualizations Correlates & Interventions” accepted for publication in the Review of General Psychology, as the lead article for the December 2011 edition.

Elizabeth Bloomhardt (4th year Ph.D. candidate, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Award.

Andrew Camacho (2nd-year year Ph.D. student, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship Award.

Stephen Clark (4th -year Ph.D. candidate, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received an AIAA Orville & Wilbur Wright Graduate Award and an ASME (IGTI) Graduate Student Scholarship.

Nathan Clement (2nd-year Ph.D. student, Cognitive Neuroscience) received a National Science Foundation award this spring.

David Dunson (Professor of Statistical Science) was chosen as a recipient of an Outstanding Alumni Award from the Eberly College of Science at the Pennsylvania State University.

Greg Foderaro (2nd-year year Ph.D. student, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received a National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship Award.

Devendra P. Garg (Professor, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) was awarded the 2011 Capers & Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, which was presented to him at the Engineering Alumni Banquet at the Washington Duke Inn in April this year. He also received the 2011 DSCD (Dynamic Systems & Control Division) Yasundo Takahashi Education Award.

Alan Gelfand (Professor of Statistical Science) delivered the 40th Craig Lectures at the University of Iowa in April 2011.

Mariano Gonzalez-Roglich (3rd-year Ph.D. student, Environment) has been awarded a 2-year National Science Foundation Doctoral Research Enhancement grant to accompany his ongoing 3-year NASA Graduate Research Fellowship.

Claudia Gunsch (Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering) is one of 85 of the nation’s young engineers to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 17th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium. The participants–engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in industry, academia, and government–were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from approximately 315 applicants. They will come together for the three-day event held Sept. 19-21 at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Christopher Hans (Ph.D. ISDS, ’05) has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Statistics at The Ohio State University.

Helen Hsu-Kim (Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering) has received a five year Early Career Research Award from the Department of Energy (DOE). Out of the pool of about 1,150 University and national laboratory-based applicants, 65 were selected this year for funding. Hsu-Kim plans to spend the next five years teasing out all the subtle biochemical reactions and microbial influences that occur within the sediments to cause the formation of methymercury, a form that is readily taken in by living things.

Jaclyn Lautz (2nd-year year Ph.D. student, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship Award.

Rosa Li (1st-year Ph.D. student, Cognitive Neuroscience) received a National Science Foundation award this spring.

Theodore Lyman (4th year Ph.D. candidate, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Award.

Thomas Morse (2nd-year Ph.D. student, Civil & Environmental Engineering) won an Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship that will provide $42,000 per year for three years. Thomas is working to remove invasive species through gene silencing in microalgae cultivation for biodiesel.

Sayan Mukherjee (Associate Professor of Statistical Science) was given tenure and promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2011.

Jouchi Nakajima (2nd-year Ph.D. student) was selected as the BEST Award Winner 2010/11 in recognition of his research on Bayesian Dynamic Factor Models: Latent Threshold Approach.

Jarad Niemi (Ph.D. Statistical Sciences ’09) recently moved from his position as Assistant Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara to Iowa State University as Assistant Professor.

Desiree L. Plata (Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering) has joined the CEE faculty after serving as a visiting professor in the Department of Chemistry at Mount Holyoke College and as a visiting professor in the Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Her work focuses on the development of novel chemicals, materials, and engineered systems to include performance, cost and environmental metrics.

Dimitri Putilin (5th-year Ph.D. candidate, Psychology) has received a Fulbright to travel to India and will be working with the psychology departments of the University of Delhi and Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. His research explores relationships between empathy, altruism and well-being.

Jerry Reiter (Associate Professor of Statistical Science) has been elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association. The official awards ceremony took place at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Miami Beach in August, 2011.

Fabio Rigat (Ph.D., ISDS ’04) recently moved from his position as Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Warwick (UK) to Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (Siena, Italy) as head of pre-clinical research Biostatistics. Dr. Rigat will maintain an affiliation with the Statistics department at Warwick as Associate Fellow.

Jennifer Rinker (1st-year Ph.D. student, Civil & Environmental Engineering) has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Kathy Rudy (Associate Professor of Women’s Studies) has published Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy (University of Minnesota Press 2011).

Marcela Schlueter (2nd-year master’s student, Religion) has received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for 2011-12.

Matt Strickland (2nd-year Ph.D. student, Civil & Environmental Engineering) won an Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship that will provide $42,000 per year for three years. Matt is studying biofiltration of waste gasses containing dilute concentrations of methane by utilizing a biphasic reactor.

Sharda Umanath (3rd-year Ph.D. Student, Psychology) has received a National Science Foundation Nordic Research Opportunity, a collaboration between the NSF and the Danish National Research Foundation and spent the summer in Denmark at Aarhus University at the Center on Autobiographical Memory Research working with Dr. Dorthe Berntsen.

Eric Vance (Ph.D. Statistical Science ’08) traveled to Mozambique in Southern Africa this summer to work as an “on-the-ground” statistician on a project to evaluate the impact of installing hand pumps in rural villages without access to clean water. Dr. Vance is the director of LISA (Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis), which provides statistical advice, analysis, and education to Virginia Tech researchers on more than 300 projects annually.

Ivan Wang (2nd-year year Ph.D. student, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science) has received a National Defense Science & Engineering (NDSEG) Fellowship Award.

Kathi Weeks (Associate Professor of Women’s Studies) has published The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries (Duke University Press 2011).

Paige Welch (4th-year Ph.D. student, History) has received a Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship for 2011-2012.

Christina Williams (Professor of Psychology) won a 2011 Trinity College Teaching award.