Grad Howler

Are you (or do you know of) a University of Nevada, Reno graduate student that has recently won an award or honor? Published a major paper? Given a presentation at a conference? We would love to share these exciting accomplishments on our Grad Howler page for Graduate Student recognition. Submit your information, and we will add it to our page!

Submit to the Grad Howler

December featured student: Farzaneh Chalyavi

Headshot of Farzaneh ChalyaviCongratulations to Farzaneh Chalyavi! After graduating this December, Farzaneh will expand her doctoral research in a prestigious post-doctoral position in Dr. Martin Zanni’s lab at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. At the University, Farzaneh has worked in and helped build Dr. Matthew Tucker’s lab. Her research has helped develop a technique that examines protein dynamics through the use of 2D IR spectroscopy.

Farzaneh has received several prestigious awards and fellowships. In 2019, she was awarded the Hitchcock Chemical Ecology Fellowship, a competitive fellowship during the summer and fall semesters. In 2018, she received the Graduate Researcher Award from the ACS Sierra Nevada section as well as being named a 2018 Graduate Dean’s Merit Scholarship recipient. She was the recipient of GSA Outstanding International Graduate Student Scholarship in 2017.

Recent publications

  • “Tuning Molecular Vibrational Energy Flow within an Aromatic Scaffold via Anharmonic Coupling.” J. Phys. Chem. A (2019). 
  • “Genomic evidence of genetic variation with pleiotropic effects on caterpillar fitness and plant traits in a model legume.” Molecular Ecology 28 (2019): 2967-2985. 
  • “Synthesis and Infrared Spectroscopic Studies of 5-Cyano-Tryptophan.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57 (2018): 7528-7532.  
  • “Tyrosine as a Non-perturbing Site-Specific Vibrational Reporter for Protein Dynamics.” J. Phys. Chem. B 121 (2017): 6380-6389.

October 2019 Featured Student: Hector Arciniega

Congratulations to Hector Arciniega! Hector recently received a prestigious National Institute of Health fellowship: the Blueprint Diversity Specialized Pre-doctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award. The two-phase award will help Hector complete his doctoral dissertation and transition him into a postdoctoral research position.

Headshot of Hector Arciniega

A Ph.D. candidate in the Integrative Neuroscience program working in Dr. Marian Berryhill’s Memory and Brain Lab, Hector researches how to mitigate cognitive impairment. “Hector is a tremendously motivated, hard-working student. It is just fantastic that he received the DSPAN F99/K00 funding. It will provide him with stipend support during his final months at the University and enable him to be tremendously competitive on the post-doctoral market," said Berryhill. Hector uses behavioral, neuropsychological, electroencephalogram, and functional magnetic resonance imaging approaches to understand the effects of concussions. He is examining networks in the resting brain and how they are altered following injury.

Recent publications

  • Arciniega, H., Kilgore-Gomez, A., Harris, A., Peterson, D. J., McBride, J., Fox, E., and Berryhill, M. E. (2019). “Visual Working Memory Deficits in Undergraduates with a History of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

Spring 2019 award recipients

Outstanding Graduating Graduate Student

  • Jhony Habbouche, Pavement Engineering and Science
  • Alexander Redei, Computer Science and Engineering

Outstanding Graduate Student Researcher

  • Marcela Rosie Shrout, Social Psychology
  • Iman Niazazari, Electrical Engineering

Outstanding International Graduate Student Scholarship

  • Paschal Apanga, Public Health
  • Sima Aznavi, Electrical Engineering
  • Rushikesh Battulwar, Geo- engineering
  • Hatef Firouzkouhi, Atmospheric Sciences
  • Amir Ghasemkhani, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Ecem Ozsahin, Structural Engineering
  • Bijan Peik, Geo-Engineering
  • Birendra Rana, Geography
  • Liberatus J. Rwebugisa, Educational Leadership
  • Raj Shukla, Computer Engineering
  • Xiangjun Zhang, Public Health

Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship

  • Oveis Asgari Gashteroodkhani, Electrical Engineering
  • Michelle Aucoin Wait, Poetry
  • Jena Casas, Clinical Psychology
  • Rami Chkaiban, Pavement Engineering and Science
  • Salome Manska, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Christina McSherry, Anthropology
  • Frances Melhop, Interdisciplinary MFA
  • Seyed Mehdi Rahimi, Biomedical Engineering
  • Cassie Skipper, Anthropology
  • Su’ad Yoon, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • Martha Zimmermann, Clinical Psychology

Paper Competition, Engineering

  • 1st Place – Elmira Shoushtari, Civil Engineering
  • 2nd Place – Xinying Wang, Computer Science and Engineering
  • 3rd Place – Iman Niazazari, Electrical Engineering

Paper Competition, Liberal Arts/Education/Business

  • 1st Place – Yijyun Lin, Political Science
  • 2nd Place – Laura Valenza, Creative Writing
  • 3rd Place – Megan Cannella, Literature

Paper Competition, Sciences

  • 1st Place – Hector Arciniega, Integrative Neuroscience
  • 2nd Place – Jacob Francis, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • 3rd Place – Bimal Koirala, Chemistry

Milt Glick Memorial Scholarship

  • Hector Arciniega, Integrative Neuroscience
  • Corey Mitchell, Geography

Outstanding Creative Writer Scholarship

  • Donna Linzy Garcia, MFA English
  • Lauren Jane Valenza, MFA Creative Writing

Outstanding Graduate Artist

  • Frances Melhop

Outstanding Graduating Graduate Artist

  • Mark Combs

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award

  • Megan Cannella, English
  • Ilaria Vinci, Statistics

Vada Trimble Outstanding Mentor Award

  • Dr. Sergiu Dascalu, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Dr. Victoria Randlett, Geography

Research Grant Program

  • Jesse Acosta, Social Psychology
  • Alison Agneray, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • Valentina Alaasam, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • Sepideh Bahrami, Hydrological Science
  • Laura Barcelos Nomicos, Psychology, Behavioral Analysis
  • Aubrey Etopio, Social Psychology
  • Amir Ghasemkhani, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Riley Kellermeyer, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Nadya Muchoney, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • Devon Picklum, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • Liberatus J. Rwebugisa. Educational Leadership
  • Cassie Skipper, Anthropology

Fall 2018 Award Recipients

Poster symposium

Liberal Arts/Education/Social & Behavioral Sciences

  • 1st Place: Richard Rosencrance, Anthropology and Rose Perash, Anthropology (tie)
  • 2nd Place: Christina Peters, Psychology - Behavioral Analysis
  • 3rd Place: Leo Demski, Anthropology

Biological Sciences

  • 1st Place: Nadya Muchoney, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • 2nd Place: Vicki Thill, Biology
  • 3rd Place: Valentina Alaasam, Biology

Physical Sciences

  • 1st Place: Farzaneh Chalyavi, Chemistry
  • 2nd Place: Manuel Gracia Nava, Chemistry
  • 3rd Place: Yang Han, Physics


  • 1st Place: Kyung Eun You, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering
  • 2nd Place: Kathleen Rodrigues, Geological Sciences and Engineering
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Scalise, Mining and Metallurgical Engineering

Research grants winners

  • Matt Aguirre, Education
  • Rebecca George, Anthropology
  • YijYun Lin, Political Science
  • Kathleen Rodrigues, Geological Sciences
  • Samantha Romanick, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
  • Soumya Varma, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Kyung Eun Yoo, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Su'ad Yoon, Biology/EECB