Graduate Dean's award recipients

2020 Graduate Dean fellowship winners

Kayla Furlano, Social Psychology

Kayla Furlano leaning on a railing with Nevada landscape in the background.Kayla graduate with honors from Ripon College where she was on the Dean’s List for multiple years and was part of the Ripon College Presidential leadership program. After gaining research experience at her undergraduate college, Kayla was selected for a 3-month NSF-funded research experience for undergraduates at Yale University, where she worked in a psychology lab. Kayla assisted with multiple quantitative and qualitative research projects, which led to her sharing authorships of 2 conferences presentation at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. In addition to her research experiences, Kayla has extensive experience as mentor and tutor of undergraduate students and is dedicated to the support and retention of students. This includes serving as an academic tutor for three years, as a student worker/research assistant in the Ripon College's Office of the President and as the psychology department's internship coordinator for a year. Kayla's main research interests are social inequality and social exclusion and while a graduate student, Kayla hopes to conduct research on the social-institutional causes and legal basis of policies that ultimately enforce inequalities.

Michael Lam, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Michael Lam surrounded by plantsMichael received a M.S. in Sustainable Communities in 2020 and a bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology in 2018 from Binghamton University. While at Binghamton, Michael was a McNair Researcher in the Sobel Lab and focused on Mimulus Cardinalis Mating System Plasticity in Response to Edaphic Conditions. In addition to being a McNair Scholar for two years, Michael worked as a Graduate Project Assistant with the McNair Scholars Office while completing his master’s degree. Michael's research has already led him to be a co-author on two peer-reviewed journal papers. Michael is passionate about problems of critical importance and is particularly interested in flood management, and reducing the contamination of the water supply after major catastrophic events such as tsunamis, hurricanes and tornadoes.

Leah Prescott, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology

Leah Prescott stands outside in front of green mountains and fog. Leah double majored in English and Biology at the College of Wooster, which required the completion of two different senior thesis projects. She received honors for both projects and was invited to present the projects as Feature Presentations at Wooster's Senior Research symposium. She currently has three separate publications about different aspects of her recent position working as the National Curator for the Seeds of Success program, which is the U.S.'s largest seed banking program, curating over 25,000 separate seed collections. Through her work with Seeds of Success she worked closely with the Plant Conservation & Restoration Program Lead for the Bureau of Land Management and helped draft major policy statements, presentations, and publications. Leah will continue research at our University that will strive to impact U.S. policies at the highest levels.

Mariana Jordan Webb, Hydrologic Science

Mariana Webb outside wearing a sun hatMariana graduated Magna cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 2018, majoring in Geography (High Honors), with a specialization in Environmental Earth Sciences and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She was named the James O. Freedman Presidential Research Scholar in 2016 and received the McKinsey Undergraduate Impact Award in 2017. In addition to research experiences at Dartmouth, Mariana was a NASA DEVELOP undergraduate fellow at NASA Ames Research Center where she led a team in developing a Google Earth Engine cloud computing tool to automatically process satellite imagery for agricultural water resource management.  She presented her team's findings at NASA headquarters and at the AGU Fall Meeting in 2017. After graduation, she was accepted into the Americorps Geoscientist-in-the-Park program where she spent a summer at Denali National Park mapping landcover changes in sensitive management areas. More recently while working at a leading international environmental engineering firm, Mariana co-developed a National Risk Index, that combines natural hazard incidences with social and environmental factors. She developed FEMA flood risk analysis maps, producing 200 maps used to engage stakeholders. Her work has led to one current publication and another first-author paper that is under review. In her graduate research she aims to focus on significant challenges involving climate change impacts on snow, glaciers, and at-risk watersheds.

Nandar Yukyi, Anthropology

Nandar Yukyi in graduation robes holding a mortar board.Nandar graduated with a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in anthropology from Texas State University. While at Texas State, she won the Department of Anthropology’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award in recognition of her exceptional academic work. Nandar's research interests are in forensic anthropology and bioarcheology and since receiving her MA three years ago, she has been working for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) in an effort to recover missing U.S. service members from previous conflicts. Working in this facility has given her advanced training in forensic anthropological methods and allowed her to contribute to the efforts to find and recover unaccounted-for service members across the globe. During the winter of 2019, she was invited to participate in a National Geographic grant to visit her home country of Myanmar to investigate archaeological sites and establish government contacts to begin archaeological work there. Through this work in Myanmar, her ultimate goal is to train students in archaeological excavation and analysis in an effort to involve the local community in investigating their past. Additionally, Nandar has presented at national and regional conferences, including the 2017 and 2018 meetings of the American Academy of Forensic Science.

2020 Graduate Dean's Merit Scholars

  • Abigail Jo Miller - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
  • Acadia Worth Davis - Geography
  • Alex Munoz Viso - Geography
  • Alexander James Bolt - Chemical Engineering
  • Ali Molaie - Clinical Psychology
  • Alina Giri - Statistics and Data Science
  • Arielle Levin Koshkin - Geography
  • Arturo Macias Franco - Animal and Rangeland Sciences
  • Audrey Armstrong - Anthropology
  • Azin Ghaffary - Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Bin Li - Computer Science and Engineering
  • Bong Min Bae - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Byungchang Jin - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Cassandra Jeanne Carroll - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
  • Christian B. Sinnott - Cognitive and Brain Sciences
  • Christina H. Mcsherry - Anthropology
  • Chrystle M. Weigand - Biochemistry
  • Courtney J. Cliften - English M.F.A.
  • David Paul Bombara, Jr. - Mechanical Engineering
  • Drake Mccrimmon - Hydrologic Science
  • Ellyn G. Huggins - Geological Sciences and Engineering
  • Emily Mckeehan Smith - Anthropology
  • Francine Giotto - Animal and Rangeland Sciences
  • Haydon J. Hill - Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Humanath Poudel - Chemistry
  • Ian Mcdowell - Hydrologic Science
  • James Alton Phillips - Hydrologic Sciences
  • Janel Nichole Meldrum - Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Jingxuan Yang - Statistics and Data Science
  • Joshua A. Culpepper - Hydrologic Sciences
  • Katie Wolf - English Ph.D.
  • Kelly Loria - Environmental Science
  • Kelsey Marie Allen - Integrative Neuroscience
  • Kerri L. Minatre - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
  • Leah Elizabeth Auchter - Anthropology
  • Lindsey Ann Godoy - Public Health, M.P.H.
  • Masoumeh Saber Zaeimian - Biomedical Engineering
  • Mauricio Solorio - Economics
  • Md Idris Shareef - Integrative Neuroscience
  • Meg Pauline Diedrick - Public Health, M.P.H.
  • Megan Elizabeth Higley - Mechanical Engineering
  • Mohamed Abokifa - Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Mohammadreza Fakhraei - Chemical Engineering
  • Mst Sahrmin Akter Sumy - Statistics and Data Science
  • Natasha Monica Lang - Statistics and Data Science
  • Nicholas J. Zito - Integrative Neuroscience
  • Nisha Bista - Public Health, M.P.H.
  • Roya Salek Shahrezaie - Computer Science & Engineering
  • Rutendo Chidzodzo - English M.F.A.
  • Samantha Both - Sociology Master's Program
  • Samantha Hoeper - Public Health, Ph.D.
  • Saroj Dhital - Atmospheric Sciences
  • Savannah J. Halow - Integrative Neuroscience
  • Seth R. Odell - Integrative Neuroscience
  • Shuvo Kumar Paul - Computer Science & Engineering
  • Silvana G. Cooper - Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
  • Tengfei Ma - Mechanical Engineering
  • Ulyses Jesus Dorantes - Communication Studies
  • Victoria Marie Blue - Music M.M.A.
  • Vsevolod S. Dergachev - Chemical Physics
  • Yidi Shen - Materials Science and Engineering
  • Zejian Zhou - Electrical Engineering

Graduate Dean's Award past recipients

  • 2019 award recipients

    Graduate Dean's Fellowships

    • Shamminuj Aktar - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Laresa Lynne Dern - Anthropology
    • Beatrice Gordon - Hydrologic Sciences
    • Brian Prince - Cell & Molecular Biology
    • Louisiana Montserrat Sanchez Ramos - School of Community Health Sciences
    • Kaitlyn Anne Thomas - Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Graduate Dean's Merit Scholars - Spring

    • Olufemi Olamide Ajumobi - School of Community Health Sciences
    • Erin Benson - Biomedical Engineering
    • Crystie Deuter - English
    • Seddigheh Hasanpour Estahbanati - Civil & Environmental Engineering
    • Erika Groh - Geological Sciences and Engineering
    • Sarah Yoda Thomas Hartzell - School of Community Health Sciences
    • Samantha Hoeper - School of Community Health Sciences
    • Tianwen Hui - Geography
    • Aina V. Katsikas - Economics
    • Elizabeth Anne Langdon-Lassagne - Geological Sciences and Engineering
    • Bryson Blake Lingenfelter - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Lauren Alicia Mazurowski - Civil & Environmental Engineering
    • Sophie Rothman - Hydrologic Sciences
    • Samantha Charlotte Lee - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Monica Y. Zepeda Rojo - Clinical Psychology
    • Nathan Charles Thom - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Ashley Rebekah Thompson - Social Psychology
    • Ari Tobi-Aiyemo - Judicial Studies
    • Alana Sydney Walls - Anthropology
    • Ariana Nysha Watkins - Social Psychology
    • Manuela L. Williams - English
    • Huayu Zhou - Computer Science and Engineering

    Graduate Dean's Merit Scholars - Fall

    • Julia Ausmus - Public Health
    • Rushikesh Battulwar - Mineral Resources Engineering
    • Mary Brady - Natural Resources & Environmental Science
    • Megan Cannella - English
    • Jena Breanne Casas - Clinical Psychology
    • Pranay Chakraborty - Mechanical Engineering
    • Linh Dieu Do - Chemical and Materials Engineering
    • Michelle E. Dunn - Geological Sciences & Engineering
    • Hatef Firouzkouhi - Atmospheric Sciences
    • Oveis Asgari Gashteroodkhani - Electrical and Biomedical Engineering
    • Salvador Gutierrez-Portocarrero - Chemistry
    • Lacey Elizabeth Hankin - Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology
    • Shoeib Heydari - Electrical and Biomedical Engineering
    • Molla S. Islam - Chemistry
    • Katherine R. Johnson - Chemistry
    • Laura M. Johnson - Public Health
    • Sharif Kamran - Computer Science & Engineering
    • Ashish K. Kasar - Mechanical Engineering
    • Dimitrios Kyriakou - Education
    • Elizabeth Durga Mckenna - Civil & Environmental Engineering
    • Samantha Meckes - Clinical Psychology
    • Patricia D. Milham - Mathematics
    • Steven Mueller - Business Administration
    • Iman Niazazari - Electrical Engineering
    • Ecem Ozsahin - Civil & Environmental Engineering
    • Bijan Peik - Mineral Resources Engineering
    • Holly M. Scala - Political Science
    • Francisco Arturo Reinosa Segovia - Clinical Psychology
    • Mary Olegovna Smirnova - Clinical Psychology
    • Fatemeh Tabatabaei - Visual Arts
    • Ilaria Vinci - Statistics and Data Science
    • Michelle Wait - English
    • Christopher Wolfe - Anthropology
    • Ryan J. Wu - Mathematics
    • Xiangjun Zhang - Public Health
  • 2018 award recipients

    Graduate Dean's Fellowships

    • Brianna Preiser - Clinical Psychology
    • Lauren Phillips - Geography
    • Riquel Hafdahl - Social Psychology
    • Xixi Guo - Mechanical Engineering
    • Foram Gathia - Education Informational Technology
    • Aghata Silva - Animal and Rangeland Science

    Merit Scholars 

    • Andrea Corral - Clinical Psychology
    • Elaine Yih-Ning Chu - Anthropology
    • Fatemeh Tabatabaei - Fine Art
    • Francisco Arturo Reinosa Segovia - Clinical Psychology
    • Kristen Ann Broehl - Anthropology
    • Laura M. Johnson - Public Health
    • Samantha Meckes - Clinical Psychology
    • Alicia J. Devault - Social Psychology
    • Amir Ghasemkhani - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Bijan Peik, Sr. - Geo-Engineering
    • Bruce T. Lensch - Public Health
    • Chrystle M. Weigand - Biochemistry
    • Heather B. Winslow - Geological Sciences and Engineering
    • Horohito Norhatan - Political Science
    • Huy X. Pham - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Jenna Weiner - Communication Studies
    • Jorge Valencia Lopez - Geo-Engineering
    • Karla A. Henricksen - Statistics and Data Science
    • Kyle W. Killebrew - Cognitive and Brain Science
    • Liberatus J. Rwebugisa - Education
    • Masoumeh Saber Zaeimian - Biomedical and Medical Engineering
    • Pamela Barraza-Flores - Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
    • Rushikesh Battulwar - Mining Engineering
    • Seyed Pourya Hoseini Alinodehi - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Sima Aznavi - Electrical Engineering
    • Taissa K. Lytchenko - Cognitive and Brain Science
    • Tara Chenielle Langus - STEM Education
    • Babak Azarfar - Mining Engineering
    • Alex John Richardson - Cognitive and Brain Sciences
    • Anjana Parandhaman - Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
    • Ankita Himmatlal Thakkar - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Hai Huu Nguyen - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Haley Julene Torres - Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Jonathan A. Watkins - English
    • Joshua Thomas Sturtevant - Hydrologic Sciences
    • Kassandra R. Lee - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Leann Silvia - Geography
    • Marie Perez Navarro - Communication Studies
    • Michael Joseph Walecke - English
    • Mollie Ann Mcdonald - Clinical Psychology
    • Rocio Gonzalez - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Silvana G. Cooper - Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
    • Tori Speicher - Biochemistry
    • Brielle Jackson - Criminal Justice 
    • Courtney Lyons - Social Psycology
    • Erica L. Shebs - Animal and Rangeland Science
    • Francine Giotta - Animal and Rangeland Science
    • Gunner Scott - Mechanical Engineering
    • Jacob Andrew MacDonald - NRES
    • Nikhil Rahul Dhabarde - Chemical Engineering
    • Rebecca Nealis Histed - Mechanical Engineering 
    • Shelby Rae Curtis - Social Psychology 
    • Weston Scott Lee - Fine Arts
  • 2017 award recipients

    Graduate Dean's Fellowships

    • Birendra Rana - Geography
    • Grant T. Fairchild - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Isayas Berhe Adhanom - Computer Science and Engineering
    • Katherine Chang - Political Science
    • Mahmoud Amin Aboukifa - Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Sarah Anne Moody - Social Psychology

    Graduate Dean's Merit Scholars

    • Adrian Matthew Zytkoskee - English
    • Aleksandr Lykhin - Chemistry
    • Alexandra N. Scurry - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Alison Agneray - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Amir Mohammadi Nasab - Mechanical Engineering
    • Ana Teresa DelaRosa - Speech Pathology
    • Angela M. Pitera - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Aramee C. Diethelm - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Arpith Siddaiah - Mechanical Engineering
    • Ayokunle Olagoke - Public Health
    • Blake Watson - English
    • Carrie L. Branch - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Cassie E. Skipper - Anthropology
    • Charles Kwame Amponsah - Statistics and Data Science
    • Chengli Wang - Political Science
    • Christian B. Sinnott - Cognitive and Brain Sciences
    • Chrystle M. Weigand - Biochemistry
    • Colin A. Fox - Biochemistry
    • Daniel R. Szoke - Clinical Psychology
    • David Knupp - Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Derek J. Reaux - Anthropology
    • Devin K. Smith - Biochemistry
    • Dinesh Adhikari - Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Edurne Arostegui - Center for Basque Studies
    • Edward Mendez - English MA in Public Engagement
    • Edyl Zarah Ymalay-Magdamo Peck - Speech Pathology
    • Evan Murphy - Social Psychology
    • Farzaneh Chalyavi - Chemistry
    • Frances Melhop - Art
    • Frances Rosario Gonzalez - Clinical Psychology
    • Francesco Zuniga - Statistics and Data Science
    • Frank R. Debraga - Criminal Justice
    • Gabriela Rios-Sotelo - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Gurlaz Kaur - Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Hannah M. Carter - Education
    • Harrison B. Hayes - Social Work
    • Heather Slinn - Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Horohito Norhatan - Center for Basque Studies
    • Ian Scot Nesbitt - Sociology
    • Jamey Wilcher - Natural Resources and Environmental Science
    • Jena Breanne Casas - Clinical Psychology
    • Jeremy J. Grubbs - Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Jianqing Wu - Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Jonathan C. DeBoer - Geography
    • J. Guillermo Villalobos - Social Psychology
    • Julia M. Duncan - Chemistry
    • Julie Williams Regan - Environmental Sciences
    • Kara Emery - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Karla I. Rodriguez - Public Health
    • Kristina Rikkonen - Social Psychology
    • Marinn E. Clampit - Social Work
    • Melissa J. Bedford - Education
    • Mina Khoshdeli - Electrical Engineering
    • Morgan Smith - Communication Studies
    • Nada Amroussia - Public Health
    • Oveis Asgari Gashteroodkhani - Electrical Engineering
    • Paschal Apanga - Public Health
    • Piera Mburia - Environmental Sciences
    • Reuben T. Roberts - Music
    • Rezvan Kazemi Khouzani - Chemistry
    • Roxanne Strahan - Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Sandra M. Loria Salazar - Atmospheric Sciences
    • Scott M. Shumaker - English
    • Seyed Mehdi Rahimi - Biomedical Engineering
    • Stephanie J. Cole - Anthropology
    • Talia L. Retter - Integrative Neuroscience
    • Tandace S. Crane - Communication Studies
    • Tatiana M. Fontelonga - Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology
    • Torrie L. Kellie - Social Work
    • Valentina Alaasam - Biology
    • Walid A. Ghani - Mechanical Engineering
    • Xudong Zhang - Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Yuan Sun - Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Zachary Speth - Cell and Molecular Biology