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Student and Faculty Highlights

Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Ignacio Adriasola (fifth-year doctoral student) received a Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship for 2010-2011.

Rebecca Keegan (fourth-year doctoral student) received a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Dissertation Fellowship in American Art for academic year 2010-2011.

Neil McWilliam (Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Art and Art History) curated the Nasher Museum Show “Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature,” February 4 – May 16, 2010. The show involved Katherine de Vos Devine (third-year doctoral student) and Alexis Clark (third-year doctoral student) and Corina Apostol (Art, Art History & Visual Studies, ’09). The exhibition is supported by a grant from the Provost’s Common Fund.

Erica Sherman (first-year doctoral student) and Alexandra Dodson (second-year doctoral student), will participate this summer in a pilot project to create a Web site that will present the historical buildings and urban development of Venice. The site will reproduce historic materials (maps, plans, early views, restoration reports) and written documents, as well as provide digital visualizations of topography and the growth and construction of major complexes. The project is supported by a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and was jointly awarded to the doctoral programs of Duke University and the University of Venice.

Sandra van Ginhoven (third-year doctoral student) was awarded a Samuel H. Kress Travel Fellowship for the academic year 2010-2011.

Student Placements:

Samantha Noel has received a two-year Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Art, Art History & Design, University of Notre Dame.

Karen Gonzalez Rice will be Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Art History, Beloit College.

Cultural Anthropology

Student Placements:

Alvaro Jarrin has received a Mellon/ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) postdoc in Brazil.

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Jennifer Ayers (third-year doctoral student) whose paper, “Physical controls on the seasonal migration of the North Pacific Transition Zone chlorophyll front,” recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research was selected for the Dean’s award for outstanding Ph.D. student manuscript for 2009-2010. She also has received the Graduate School Stearns fellowship for 2010-2011.

Avner Vengosh has been promoted to Professor in the Duke University Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jill Desmond (first-year doctoral student) received an Honorable Mention for the 2009 Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Electrical & Computer Engineering Student Award.

Sara Duran (second-year doctoral student) has been awarded a three-year NSF Fellowship.

Brandon Noia (second-year doctoral student) has been awarded a Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Graduate Fellowship.

Akin Olugbade (first-year doctoral student) has received a three-year NSF Fellowship.

Germanic Languages & Literature

Michelle Eley (fifth-year doctoral student) has accepted a semester-long teaching assignment in the Germanistik department at the Universitat Duiesburg-Essen during the winter of 2010/2011 while she continues to research her dissertation.

Caroline Kita (fifth-year doctoral student) will be traveling to Marburg, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden this summer to undertake research for her dissertation on the composer, Gustav Mahler and writer, Siegfried Lipiner.

Lynda Nyota (fourth-year doctoral student) received a Conference Travel Fellowship from the Duke Graduate School in order to present a paper at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention in Montreal April 8th-11th this year.

Johanna Schuster-Craig (fourth-year doctoral student) received a German Chancellor’s Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and will conduct fieldwork in Berlin and Cologne for 12-15 months beginning in August. She will receive training this summer at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, made possible by an Ernestine Friedl Award from the Women’s Studies Department.


Student Placements:

Kinohi Nishikawa has accepted a two-year postdoc in the Department of African American Studies, Northwestern University.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Suzanne Sikes (M.A.T. student) presented “Transforming Students into Scientists” at the 2010 regional Robert Noyce Scholarship Mini-Conference, Clemson University, Greenville, SC.

Student Placements:

Harry Maxon has accepted a position as a Film/Video Secondary Teacher at Viewpoint School, Los Angeles, CA.

Carolyn Starz has accepted a position as a Biology Teacher at Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC.


Student Placments:

Rachel Thomas has a position as a Quantitative Analyst at Exelon Corp, Kennett Square, PA.

Jeffrey Jauregui has a postdoc position as Lecturer at University of Pennsylvannia, Department of Mathematics.

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Steven Clark (third-year doctoral student) won a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) grant which was awarded through the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program. It carries three years of support, including tuition and stipend. He also won a Summer Graduate Research Fellowship which was awarded through the NASA/North Carolina Space Consortium. This award provides summer support for travel and technology upgrades.

Robert Kielb (Senior Research Scientist) is program coordinator for a new partnership that includes Duke’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and the University of Liege in Belgium that offers a new international master’s program in turbomachinery aeromechanices (dubbed THRUST). The program offers students the opportunity to earn degrees from mulitple partner institutions; Duke participants will earn both a Masters degree from KTH (where they will spend the first program year in residence), and a master’s degree from Duke (where the second year will be spent). The European Union will award approximately 20 scholarships a year for five years, four of which will be at Duke.

Medical Physics

Andrew S. Thomas (second-year doctoral student) was awarded Carey E. Floyd, Jr., Graduate Fellowship for the 2010 -2011 academic year.

Ehsan Samei (Professor of Radiology, BME, and Physics) was honored as a new SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) fellow for specific achievements in medical imaging.

Student Placements:

Samuel L. Brady has accepted a position as a Medical Physicist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Matt Freeman will be working at Duke University Medical Center in Radiology/Radiation Oncology.

Travis C. Greene has been granted a residency position, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sangroh Kim has accepted a position as Junior Physicist at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Xiang Li will be working as a postdoc resident in the Carl E. Ravin Advanced Imaging Laboratories, Duke Radiology.

Deep Sunil Mehtaji has entered a two-year leadership program, the Edison Engineering Development Program, at GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

(Students in this program are pursuing the MD/Ph.D. degree.)

Jessica Amenta (first-year doctoral student) has received a Gertrude Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award. The Gertrude B. Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award provides an annual grant of $10,000 to women medical students who are interested in pursuing health-related research projects.

Vikas Gupta (first-year doctoral student) has received the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) MSTP Supplemental Award, which supports Ph.D. research conducted by Medical Scientist Training Program MD/Ph.D. trainees.

Veronica Rotemberg (fourth-year doctoral student) has received a Gertrude Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award. The Gertrude B. Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award provides an annual grant of $10,000 to women medical students who are interested in pursuing health-related research projects.

MSTP faculty members Bruce Sullenger, Ph.D, Joseph W. and Dorothy W. Beard Professor, Surgery – Experimental Surgery, and Dennis Thiele, Ph.D., George Barth Geller Professor, Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, are among 28 winners of the 2010 Heath Care Heroes Awards announced by the Triangle (NC) Business Journal. Winners are chosen from among area doctors, nurses, volunteers, and administrators.

Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Student Placements:

Keisha Findley has been selected to participate in the National Human Genome Research Institute Intramural Health Disparities Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Bethesda, Maryland. She will be conducting research in the laboratory of Dr. Julie Segre examining the human skin microbiome in health and human disease.


Paul Berliner (Arts & Sciences Professor of Music) was awarded a fellowship at the National Humanities Center for 2010-2011.

Janet Chen (fourth-year doctoral student). Janet’s “Beyond Distance,” for chamber orchestra, was the winner of the ALEA III International Composition Competition.

Stephen Jaffe (Professor of Music Composition) had a new work, “Light Dances“ (Chamber Concerto No. 2), premier in Philadelphia. This is a three-movement chamber concerto composed in 2009-2010 and takes its title from Brian Peterson’s phrase “my whole creative life is a dance around the light.”

George Lam (fifth-year doctoral student) had two orchestral premieres commissioned from the Hong Kong Sinfonietta: “The Queen’s Gramophone“ and “The Gestures of Farewell.” He was awarded an American Music Center Composer Assistance Program grant for “The Queen’s Gramophone.”

Angela Mace (fourth-year doctoral student) has received a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) grant.

Jacqueline Waeber (Associate Professor of Music) was awarded a fellowship at the Franklin Humanities Center 2010-2011.

Psychology & Neuroscience

Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia (Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology & Neuroscience) has received the Richard E. Snow Award for Early Career Contributions from Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the APA. The Snow Award is given based on scholarly contributions and potential further contributions to the field.

Student Placements:

Stephanie Helena Best will be a postdoc at the Durham VA Medical Center, in the Interprofessional Fellowship Program in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Oriented Services.


Ellen David (Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible & Practical Theology) has been named University Scholar-Teacher of the Year for Duke University.

SherAli Tareen (sixth-year doctoral student) has received the Charlotte Newcombe Award.

Student Placements:

David Fink has been appointed Assistant Professor (tenure-track), at Aurora University, IL.

Sheryl Overmyer Grubb has been appointed Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at DePaul University, IL.

Romance Studies

Lesley Curtis (fifth-year doctoral student) has been awarded a Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Graduate Student Research Travel Award to do research in Martinique and Guadeloupe this fall.

Meg Mahon (fourth-year doctoral student) has been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to do research in Senegal and Cameroon next year. She will be researching “The Role of the Contemporary Francophone Sub-Saharan African Writer of Trauma Fiction.”

Martin Repinecz (fourth-year doctoral student) received a Fulbright scholarship to Italy for dissertation research next year.

Student Placements:

Kadji Amin has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, Humanities and French at Columbia College, Chicago.

Zach Erwin will be Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish, Swarthmore College, fall 2010.

Micah True has accepted a tenure-track position at University of Alberta as Assistant Professor.

Statistical Science

Anirban Bhattacharya (second-year doctoral student), Richard Hahn (third-year doctoral student), Matt Heaton (third-year doctoral student), Kristian Lum (fourth-year doctoral student), and Debdeep Pati (second-year doctoral student) have received student travel awards from the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) to present papers at the biennial ISBA World Meeting in Spain this June.

Andrew Cron (first-year doctoral student), is co-author of a paper that was fast-tracked for advance publication by one of the leading statistical journals (Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics) based on its contributions to “…. a hot topic of significant interest to the … computational statistics community”. The paper concerns developments in GPU (graphics processing unit) computing that are poised to change the face of scientific computing in coming years. Andrew will present the work in a special session at the 41st Symposium on the Interface: Computing Science and Statistics, in Seattle this June.

Matt Heaton (third-year doctoral student) is a recipient of the 2010 Student Travel award from the Section on Bayesian Statistical Science of the American Statistical Association, based on a paper he will present at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver this August.

Student Placements:

Simone Gray is moving to the position of Postdoctoral Fellow in statistics at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park.

Chunlin Ji has been appointed as the founding vice-president for research and education at the Kuang-Chi Institute of Advanced Technology, in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, following a brief postdoctoral term at Harvard University.

Simon Lunagomez has accepted a position as a postdoc in statistics at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas at Houston.

Kai Mao has begun a position as a Quantitative Researcher with LYZ Capital Advisors, Stamford, CT.

Hao Wang has been appointed to the position of Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of South Carolina.

Melanie Wilson is working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in statistics and genetics at the University of Southern California.

Women’s Studies

Kimberly Lamm, a visiting postdoc, has been hired as an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Duke.

Women’s Studies 2010-2011 Dissertation Fellowships have been awarded to Ka Man Calvin Hui (sixth-year doctoral student, Program in Literature) and Ignacio Adriasola Munoz (fifth-year doctoral student, Art, Art History & Visual Studies).