UB is the proud home of several prestigious award recipients like Madelaine Britt, UB's first Truman Scholar. Take a look though our scholars gallery, where we highlight some of UB's other award recipients and scholarship applicants.
Clifton Park, NY
Christina holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology and psychology from SUNY Geneseo, where she also participated in varsity track and field. She has two years of prior research experience in neurobehavioral toxicology, studying the effect of pre/peri/post-natal THC exposure on rat offspring. She is pursuing her PhD through the PPBS program at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and has strong interests in neuroscience and pharmacology.
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Oluwatoyin Campbell is a responsible and driven chemical and biological engineering graduate student. Her research involves studying protein-lipid and lipid-lipid interactions and how they provide information about diseases for drug formulation applications.
Counseling, School and Educational Psychology
Julianna Casella is a PhD student in the combined counseling and school psychology program with a focus in school psychology. She received a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology with a minor in writing and rhetoric from Stony Brook University in 2020. During her time as an undergraduate, Casella had a diverse range of research experiences, while also working in a local elementary school, which led her to find her passion in school psychology. Casella's research interests primarily focus on crisis prevention and interventions in schools. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in schools either practicing or consulting as a school psychologist, while also continuing to work in academia pursuing her research. In her free time, Casella enjoys writing, photography and musical theatre.
Originally from Kolkata, India, Anindita is currently a PhD student working under Huamin Li in the Department of Electrical Engineering and also completed her master's degree under Li. Being at UB has given her an amazing perspective about research. Her current area of interest is understanding how two-dimensional ferromagnetic materials behave in nano scale devices and whether or not they will be able to create more efficient small scale magnetic devices in the future. Motivated by modern day technology and development she strives to be one of the best researchers in the STEM field, and help encourage more women from all across the world to pursue the fields of technology and engineering.
Luke Davidson is originally from Lee New Hampshire where he earned his bachelor's degree in biomedical science at the University of New Hampshire in 2019. He started working at Quest Diagnostics as a medical technologist during the early parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, where he performed COVID-19 testing. Since moving here, he has visited Niagra Falls on several occasions. He is excited to see what the rest of Buffalo has to offer. Davidson is looking to join a research group focused on organic synthesis and biological chemistry for applications towards drug development and discovery.
Xinxia Dong is pursuing her PhD in the Department of Communication. Before coming to Buffalo, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in law from Nanjing Normal University, and Master of Arts in communication from Renmin University of China. Dong's academic interests lie in health risk communication and narrative persuasion.
Fiona is a PhD student in the geological sciences department interested in nutrient and elemental cycling. She has previously conducted research on carbon dynamics of restored and natural wetlands. When she isn't studying our natural world, she enjoys catching discs and playing piano.
Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Zachary Kralles is a PhD student in environmental engineering at UB. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in environmental engineering from UB in 2018 and 2020. Kralles is passionate about the development of new technologies to provide safe drinking water to the public in the face of climate change, urban/agricultural development, and the associated water scarcity. Kralles' research focuses on byproduct formation during drinking water disinfection, as well as natural and engineered processes that affect their formation. Outside of research, he enjoys making music, cooking, hiking, cycling and playing disc golf.
Julia Pietromicca is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She obtained her bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Binghamton University in 2020. As a native of western New York, she is happy to have the opportunity to complete her graduate studies in her hometown. Her research interests lie in biomaterials and pharmaceutical development. Through her work, she hopes to improve diagnostic and treatment methods for better patient outcomes and care. In her free time, Pietromicca enjoys working out, reading, and eating at Buffalo's many incredible restaurants. She ultimately hopes to move into industry after graduation.
Stony Brook, NY
Claire Tranchino studies twentieth- and twenty-first century poetry and poetics. In 2019, her research on visual art and translation in Buffalo's Special Collections was funded by a riverrun fellowship. In her current research project, she considers the relationship between the serial poem and the archive. Her poetry and reviews appear in Seneca Review, grama and P-Queue.
Angelica Tutasi Lozada
Community Health and Health Behavior
Angelica is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. She is a public health and food science professional from Ecuador, holds an MPH from Columbia University, and has worked in food and nutrition policy since 2011. Lozada developed and implemented interventions and policies to improve the nutritional status of low-income communities in her country and participated in several initiatives to combat obesity in Latin America. She is interested in being an active member of the Buffalo community, especially in healthy eating.
Tyler Adamthwaite is a composer and performer whose music seeks to explore the existential and affective aspects of space through sound. This has led him to study linguistics, social theory and architecture, to craft pieces that draw on the concept of being. Some of his sources of inspiration come from the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of spatial design which give his music a shadowed quality. He has studied composition with Erin Gee and David Rakowski at Brandeis University, where he received his MFA. While there, he participated in numerous festivals as a composer fellow and has garnered attention for his sound designs. This resulted in him being invited as a collaborator on "White Rush," an opera in one act by the creative team of John Aylward and Laine Rettmer. As a performer, Tyler has studied violin and stage movement. He has created works that include the affective use of space including his solo set Interior||Exterior for solo man, organ, and electronics. His movement works have been hailed as being "haunting and cleverly developed" by his movement mentor Susan Dibble. He is currently pursuing his PhD in music composition and theory from the University at Buffalo under the instruction of David Felder.
Community Health and Health Behavior
Jacob Bleasdale is currently a PhD student in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. Bleasdale graduated summa cum laude from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences, with minors in pharmacology and toxicology, and public health. His research interests include primary and secondary prevention of HIV, the impact of food insecurity on HIV medication adherence, substance use and misuse, and patient-provider communication. In addition to his work, Bleasdale is an avid runner, and enjoys reading and traveling. Upon graduation, Bleasdale intends to pursue a career in academia.
Jiayu (David) Cao
Jiayu (David) Cao is pursuing his PhD in the Department of Physics at UB. He earned his Bachelor of Science in physics from Beijing Normal University. His academic interests lie in theoretical condensed matter physics, especially spin-dependent phenomena. Under the guidance of Igor Zutic, he is currently working on spin-lasers, which can operate much faster than the best commercial lasers. He will present this work at the American Physical Society March 2020 meeting. Besides spin-lasers, he will explore topics on novel two-dimensional materials and topological effects in his PhD studies.
Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics
Alex Caradori is pursuing a PhD in cancer sciences through the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before entering the program, he graduated from Canisius College with a bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in cellular and molecular biology. Caradori's research interests include the re-purposing of pre-approved therapeutics and the discovery of novel combination therapies for challenging breast cancers. He aspires to enter academia or a policy-focused career. Outside of the lab, Caradori enjoys martial arts, gaming, movies and politics.
Global, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Deirdre Carney is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. Before coming to Buffalo, she earned a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in women gender and sexuality studies from Harvard University, graduating cum laude. Carney's academic interests include theories of gender and sexuality, particularly the intersection of the two, global feminisms, fat studies, media studies, and queerness in medieval literature. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, traveling and reading speculative fiction. Carney's ultimate goal is to teach so she plans to pursue a career in academia.
Marianne Cooper is pursuing her PhD in biological anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, where she is a member of the Buffalo Human Evolutionary Morphology Lab. Before coming to Buffalo, she received a Bachelor of Arts in classical studies and a Master of Science in management from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Portland State University. Her research interests include osteology, bioarchaeology, morphology and human evolution.
Cristina de Rosa
Niagara Falls, NY
Cristina de Rosa is currently a PhD student in the School of Nursing. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English at UB, her Bachelor of Science in nursing at Binghamton University, and her Master of Science in nursing at Webster University. Her research interests focus on nursing workforce and professional issues, especially individually-driven measures to prevent burnout and reduce turnover. In the future, de Rosa plans to continue research on the effects of nurses' well-being on the outcomes of their patients.
Education, Leadership and Policy
Tatiana Dorff's motivation to understand interactions between school, family, culture, and class is rooted in her personal experience at a selective college preparatory boarding school as a working-class student raised by a single mother. She draws on experiences working with Latin families in East Oakland as well as refugee and immigrant students in Buffalo to inform her interest in the relationship between working-class immigrant families and schools. At Antioch College, she found a love for qualitative methodology and ethnography in her psychology and anthropology courses, where she studied works from authors such as Carol Gilligan and Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Following her French and Spanish language studies, Antioch provided her with opportunities to work at an art gallery in France, where she investigated the life of Saartjie Baartman, and at a birth center in Mexico, where she studied the medicalization of birth. Dorff's passion for education and research led her to join University at Buffalo's Graduate School in Education in the fall of 2019. Her current research interests include the relationships between families and schools, the gendered division of labor in the home, culturally-specific practices of concerted cultivation, and the experiences of scholarship students and international students at affluent private schools.
New Delhi, India
Shantam Goyal studies English literature at the UB. Based out of New Delhi, he was a school teacher, following which he spent two years teaching at Ashoka University. He completed his MPhil in 2018 from the University of Delhi with a dissertation titled "Listen Ulysses: Joyce and Sound." He hopes to continue this thread for his doctoral research on Finnegans Wake and mishearing. Besides Joyce Studies and Sound Studies, he works on Poetics and Jazz Studies, and is also attempting to translate parts of Ulysses into Hindi as a personal project. He plans to continue as a teacher after his PhD.
Environment and Sustainability
Maris Grundy is an urban ecologist and doctoral student in the Department of Environment and Sustainability at UB. Her studies center on native plants, urban soils and future climate change scenarios. She specifically uses population level dynamics to study ecological resilience for restoration projects. Prior to coming to UB, Grundy earned her MES in conservation ethnobotany at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her master's research investigated campesino farmer plant-use in Costa Rica and community resilience in the response to climate change impacts. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology in advertising and public relations. When she's not botanizing in an urban prairie or deep diving bibliographies, Grundy can be found with family, hiking, reading, swimming or singing around a bonfire.
Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Hyun-Myung Kim is a PhD student in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at UB. He received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a master's degree in structural engineering from University of California, Berkeley. Kim's research interests are the development of cost-effective seismic protective systems and predicting structural seismic performances of base isolated structures against earthquake loading. He is keen to understand and control structural performance after earthquakes and build a public infrastructure that contributes to the post-earthquake recovery of local communities. He is good at Taekwondo and loves working out at gym in his free time. After completing his PhD, Kim plans to work as an expert in the field of earthquake engineering.
Urban and Regional Planning
Micaela F. Lipman is a PhD student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo. Prior to joining UB’s Food Lab, Lipman graduated from Cornell University with a BA in developmental sociology with minors in international development and applied economics. Lipman has worked in academia and the nonprofit sector to explore creative solutions at the nexus of adolescent development, food policy, economic equality and community organizing. She has also worked on county-level projects with food policy councils, regional projects in upstate New York, and international projects while studying abroad in East Africa and the Andes region of South America. Lipman’s research interests lie in food sovereignty, the unique food system experiences of adolescents, and exploring best practices across disciplines to secure food justice.
A filmmaker, writer, and programmer, Jason Livingston has worked with many non-profits, including Cornell Cinema, the Experimental TV Center, the Standby Program and others. He is currently on the Board of Trustees with the Flaherty Seminar. His award-winning work has screened widely, including Rotterdam, Anthology Film Archives, the Austrian Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery and more. Under Foot and Overstory is distributed by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, and Lake Affect is available through Electronic Arts Intermix as part of the Experimental Television Center DVD boxed set. He is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD with the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo.
Shaker Heights, OH
Moira O'Neill is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, she holds a BA in history from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an MA in geography from Kent State. She came to UB to work with its expert faculty in economic and urban geography and is currently conducting research on the role of the state in facilitating and accelerating technological change. Her interest in the topic is rooted in both personal and professional experiences. She grew up in the rust belt and saw the effects of technological transformation on families and communities first hand. Then, her first state-side jobs after college (and after a few years living and working in France) were in retail management and publishing, two industries undergoing significant technological disruption. She hopes her writing and research can inform policy amid current and future waves of innovation. In her free time, O'Neill is an avid runner, likes to ski, and enjoys hiking with her family and chocolate lab.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Adrian Stein is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He earned his bachelor's and master's degree from Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) and absolved internships and working student jobs at Siemens, MAN and Volkswagen, in various areas of mechanical engineering. His current research interests include estimation, optimization and uncertainty. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing table tennis, swimming, volleyball and analogue photography.
Aria is originally from Long Island, NY, and is pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She earned Bachelor of Arts in both psychology and women's gender and sexuality studies from American University in 2017. After college, she spent two years working as a research assistant in the Adolescent Substance use and Addiction Program (ASAP) at Boston Children's Hospital. Wiseblatt's research interests include alcohol/substance use, sexual violence prevention and bystander intervention. Ultimately, her career goal is to become a faculty member at a university and engage in collaborative and intersectional research.
Natalie Anselmi is pursuing her PhD in oral biology at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. Before coming to Buffalo, she earned a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology at Binghamton University. Her research interests include bacterial outer membrane vesicles, innate immune cell migration and host/pathogen interactions in the oral cavity. Her hobbies include reading, swimming, embroidery and photography. She does not currently plan to stay in academia after earning her degree.
Early Childhood Education
Qinghua Chen is a PhD candidate in early childhood education. Her research focuses on the cross-cultural comparison of the preschool education between China and America. She earned a Master of Education from UB and also holds a master's degree in journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature, both obtained in China. Chen used to be a news reporter in finance and then worked in marketing for multinational companies in Shanghai, China. After her daughter was born, Chen shifted her career to early childhood education due to her growing interest in the area, and with years of working experiences and market insight in different industries, she is exploring what could be done to China's preschool education reform in comparison with America's early childhood education. Chen has been working on a research project that aims to support children and teachers at Head Start. She is also active in organizing and participating in children's programs. Before she came to UB, Chen started a two-year charity project in partnership with a local non-profit organization that supports autistic children in China. After she came to Buffalo in 2017, every year on the Chinese New Year Day Chen gave special lessons to schools where her daughter attended, spreading Chinese culture and lunar new year tradition to children there. She also created for local libraries children's programs including drawing contests and exhibitions. In March 2019, Chen helped organize the first International Women's Day event for a local middle school in Amherst and will continue to do the second one for the school in 2020.
Devon Gorbey is a PhD student in the Department of Geological Sciences. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Lafayette College in 2015, after which she worked as a geologist at Roux Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm. Through her undergraduate research projects and experience remediating groundwater contamination, Gorbey discovered her passion for using water isotopes to answer a wide range of environmental questions. At the University at Buffalo, Gorbey uses stable isotopes preserved in lake sediment to reconstruct changes in temperature, precipitation, and ecology on Baffin Island (Nunavut, Canada) over the past 250,000 years, which may be an analogue for future warmth. In her free time, Gorbey enjoys knitting, playing video games, reading and rock climbing. After graduation, Gorbey plans to pursue a career as a professor or as a technical consultant with an environmental law practice.
Theatre and Dance
Robyn Horn is a PhD student at the University at Buffalo. Her current research focuses on religious performances, specifically on performed transcendence/transcendence through performance. She has presented her research at the Mid-America Theatre Conference (MATC), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) conference, and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) conferences. Her paper, "Marked Women: Hell Houses, Abortion, and Performances of Misogyny" will be published by the University of Wales Press in the upcoming book Theatre and the Macabre. Before attending UB she worked as an actor in professional theatre and as a high school theatre teacher and director at a performing arts high school. In Buffalo, she is the director of development at Alleyway Theatre and has performed as Adult Alison in Fun Home and Ariel in The Tempest. Robyn holds a bachelor's (summa cum laude) in theatre and education from Kean University in New Jersey and an master's in English literature from the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont.
Rachel Martin is in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) program pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Prior to a career in nursing, Martin received an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in economics and finance from the University of Delaware and subsequently worked in the financial services industry. She completed the Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree (ABS) in Nursing Program at UB in 2017 and accepted a position as a hematology-oncology RN upon graduation. In 2018, she returned to UB as a Presidential Scholar to pursue her FNP DNP degree. She is currently a graduate assistant in the School of Nursing and also works as a hospice and palliative care registered nurse. Her areas of interest include women's health and palliative care. Outside of work and school, Martin enjoys yoga and volunteering with the Priscilla Project at Jericho Road Community Health Center.
Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Lindsey Mattick is pursuing her PhD through the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at UB. She completed her bachelor's degree in biological sciences at UB and went on to obtain her master's in epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. Since returning to Buffalo her research interests are focused on cancer epidemiology in special populations. She recently received a fellowship to evaluate downstaging of cervical cancer in women in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Additionally, she's involved in projects investigating perinatal exposures and breast cancer risk in women in Western NY and Puerto Rico. Her ultimate goal is to work to highlight the disparities which exist within our understanding of cancer epidemiology in regards to the developing world as well as minority populations here in the U.S.
A native of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Mike Montoro is a PhD student and a Presidential Fellow in mathematics at the University at Buffalo. He is also an undergraduate alumnus of UB’s Honors College, holding a bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and music. From his upbringing as a public school student to his current position as a PhD student, Montoro has been dedicated to serving the community with his unique set of skills. A passionate researcher and academic, Montoro has received numerous academic honors and has been published for collaborative work in motivic homotopy theory. His current area of research is in arithmetic geometry and arithmetic topology. Both of these subfields of mathematics are concerned with the connections between three classical fields: algebraic topology, algebraic geometry and number theory. Montoro is currently a teaching assistant in the math department, a teaching assistant for the Gifted Math Program and also is heavily involved in the Graduate Student Employees Union and the Living Stipend Campaign. In April 2019, Mike was elected to be the Student Representative on the University Council, serving as a key liaison between students, faculty and administration. In September 2020, he was elected to a second term. He looks forward to furthering both his own and the university’s academic mission in the future.
Gretchen Perhamus is a PhD student of clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology. She received BAs in psychology and sociology with minors in French and music performance from The Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, she received an Intramural Research Training Award to work for two years at the National Institute of Mental Health, studying brain and behavioral correlates of pediatric irritability in the section on mood dysregulation and neuroscience. Perhamus' current research interests include the role of emotional and social cognitive factors in the forms and functions of aggression in early childhood, as well as developmental associations between aggression, victimization, and internalizing problems in youth. In her free time she enjoys playing the viola, hiking and traveling. Perhamus' ultimate career goal is to become a faculty member at a research university.
Allison Scagel is a PhD student in behavioral neuroscience. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2015 with a major in wildlife and conservation biology and minors in both psychology and animal behavior. She then spent two years working as a wildlife technician in Fort Drum, NY, as a kennel attendant at the Humane Society of Rome, and as an intern at Smart Dog Training and Behavior, LLC. After discovering her passion for dog training and behavior modification, Scagel decided to pursue a graduate degree studying animal behavior, and accepted a position at UB studying behavioral neuroscience. Under the direction of Eduardo Mercado, Scagel is currently studying canine cognition and behavior with the goal of becoming a certified applied animal behaviorist and starting her own business after graduating.
Luis Javier Segura
El Pangui, Ecuador
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Luis Javier Segura, originally from Ecuador, is pursuing his PhD in industrial engineering. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas-ESPE, Ecuador; and a master's degree in manufacturing systems from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA, as 2010 Fulbright Scholar. In 2013, he worked in the automotive systems design program at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TUe), Netherlands. From 2014 to 2018, he has been a faculty member of the mechanical engineering department at ESPE. His research interests lie in the integration of physical and machine learning models to optimize processes and product quality in advanced manufacturing. He enjoys staying with his family, playing soccer and working out. After graduation, Segura aspires to pursue a career in academia so that he can research, teach and influence future generations through education.
Hope is a PhD student studying clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology. She received a Bachelor of Science in applied psychology from New York University in 2016. Following graduation, White served as a junior research scientist at New York University working on a longitudinal study examining the effects of a social-emotional learning program on children and early adolescents' academic and behavioral outcomes. White currently works with Julie Bowker in the Child and Adolescent Relationships Lab. She is interested in the role of close relationships, such as those with parents and peers, in the physical and mental health of children and adolescents. Hope plans to pursue a research career as a faculty member at a university. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, sailing on Lake Erie and hiking.
Samantha Auerbach is a sexual and reproductive health nurse practitioner and PhD student in nursing. She received a bachelor's degree in neuroscience from Skidmore College and worked clinical research at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) before obtaining bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Her research interests include sexual and reproductive health disparities and upstream determinants of contraceptive behavior. Specifically, she aims to identify attitudinal determinants of contraceptive nonuse, and determine how individual attitudes towards pregnancy and contraception interact with the sociostructural context in which contraceptive decisions are made. This will generate an actionable understanding of contraceptive nonuse that will support the development of tailored and person-centered contraceptive counseling interventions.
Ridwan Al Aziz
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Ridwan Al Aziz is currently a Presidential Fellow and a PhD student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at UB. Aziz received his BSc degree in 2014 and MSc degree in 2017 in industrial and production engineering (IPE) from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). He has also been serving as a lecturer in the Department of IPE in BUET from 2014. His research interest includes leveraging data analysis, machine learning and game theory for analyzing data diffusion, debunking rumors in social media and quantifying threat-consequence along the U.S. border. His hobbies include reading books, watching movies, serial and football. In the future, Aziz aspires to be a faculty member at a university.
Heather Campbell is a PhD candidate in the immunology department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is interested in pursuing cancer immunology research with the goal of creating bench top to bedside therapies that will directly benefit patients’ lives. In addition to research Campbell enjoys baking, craft projects and playing percussion. After graduation she plans to work in academia so that she can continue to pursue her research interests while also influencing the next generation of scientists through education.
Saint James, NY
Eric Deutsch is pursuing a PhD in UB's Department of History. Before coming to Buffalo, Eric earned a bachelor's degree in history and in English literature at the University of Miami (FL) and a Juris Doctor at Emory University's School of Law in Atlanta, GA. Eric's primary research focuses on disability history, and specifically animals as used in American veterans' and civilians' rehabilitation and therapy schemes. When not reading super-exciting congressional reports from the 50s, he occupies his spare time watching Florida Panthers hockey, streaming movies on the Criterion Channel, and over analyzing his life.
Allison Drake is pursuing her PhD in counseling psychology through the department of counseling, school and educational psychology. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology/psychology from Union College and a master's degree in natural sciences/immunology from UB. Drake has been actively involved in clinical research in the areas of neurology and neuropsychology with UB's Department of Neurology. Her current interests within the field of counseling psychology include: personality, emotion regulation and stress response. In addition, she is interested in exploring interpersonal interactions/styles in the work setting. Drake is an active member of the Albright Knox Art Gallery's Convergence Council and a board member for Advancing Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ARMS).
Brandon Graham is a PhD student in the department of geology. His research is to quantify the extent and timing of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the last 20,000 years. Graham's research focuses on cosmogenic radionuclide exposure dating, erosion quantification, geophysical measurements and modeling complex exposure/erosion events to constrain ice sheet models to predict the Greenland Ice Sheet's response to future climate change. Graham enjoys spending time with his family, amateur radio, model warship combat, and various shooting sports. Graham plans to enter a research field as a professor or with a geologic survey.
Andrew Irish is a PhD student in social welfare. After earning a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in social work, he was employed as a mental health counselor in the clinical behavioral health setting. Drawing on this background in a return to academics, he has published research on recovery capital and opioid policy. His current research examines the ill-effects of population income inequality on substance use, mental health, and suicide. He is a recipient of multiple academic honors including the National Association of Social Workers Social Work Student of the Year award; and the University at Buffalo Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity award. His personal interests include psychological non-attachment, determinism, chess, and pirates. Upon graduation he intends to pursue a career of research and teaching through a professorship.
Natalie Jay is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biochemistry. Before matriculating into UB, she graduated from Wells College with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. Currently, she is working with Fernando Estrada studying the structure and function of CYP24A1 and adrenodoxin involved Vitamin-D metabolism. Outside the lab, Jay spends her free time reading, skiing or with her family. After completing her PhD, she plans to pursue a career in academia.
Himangshu Kumar Paul
Industrial Systems and Engineering
Himangshu Kumar Paul, originally from Bangladesh, is pursuing his PhD in operations research in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He obtained his BS and MS degrees in industrial and production engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and also has been serving there as lecturer. His current research focuses on learning to rank, Bayesian experimental design and quantifying similarity among communities. He enjoys music, traveling and reading novels in leisure time. After graduation, Paul plans to pursue a career in academia.
Faizan Ul Haq Mir
Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Faizan Ul Haq Mir is pursuing PhD in civil engineering at UB. Before moving to Buffalo, he earned his master's from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), where he received the prestigious ASR Sai Gold Medal and an academic excellence award. Mir originally hails from Kashmir that lies in the earthquake-prone Himalayan region of North India. He is interested in understanding and improving response of civil infrastructure to extreme-earthquake loading. Currently, he is working on the interaction between fluids and structural elements under earthquake loading in mission-critical structures. Mir plans to continue in academia after graduation. Apart from engineering, he loves reading classical Urdu and Kashmiri poetry.
Kathleen (Katie) Naughton is a poet and PhD student in the poetics program in the English department at UB where she studies twentieth- and twenty-first century American experimental poetry. Prior to coming to UB, she earned an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and a BA in English with a creative writing concentration from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. She was also an English teaching assistant on Fulbright Fellowship to Thailand and has worked professionally as a writer and editor. In 2019, she was a poetry resident at the Vermont Studio Center and her poems have been published in Jubilat, Opon, Flag and Void, Grama, Lambda Literary's Poetry Spotlight, and on Poets.org. She is currently at work on a chapbook-length manuscript "Hour Songs" and a book-length manuscript "Debt Rituals" and is the publicity editor for Essay Press.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Katie Paige is a doctoral student in clinical psychology. She works in Craig Colder's child and family development lab. She studied psychology and Spanish as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame. Paige's research focuses on the intersection of substance use and psychopathology across the developmental period of adolescence. Specifically, Paige is interested in the mechanisms by which early socio-environmental experiences impact developmental trajectories of executive functioning, and how these pathways intersect with psychopathology.
Physiology and Biophysics
Bianca Quade is a PhD student in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. She earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Mississippi State University before joining Mark Parker's lab at UB. Her current focus is proton transporter SLC4A11 which is expressed in the eye. Mutations in this protein can lead to corneal dystrophy, ultimately leading to loss of vision. By using electrophysiology to understand how transporters in the cornea work together, Quade hopes to reveal why the mutation of one protein leads to such a drastic phenotype. In the future, she intends to put her passion for education to use wherever her career path leads her.
Aditya Singh Rathore
Computer Science and Engineering
Originally from India, Aditya Singh Rathore is currently a PhD student in the computer science department at the University at Buffalo. He completed his undergraduate studies at UB and, based on his performance in research, was offered the opportunity to work in mobile computing. Rathore's research focuses on biometrics and application security and strengthening the security of fingerprint biometrics, which billions of people rely on in their everyday lives. Outside the lab, he enjoys reading comics, playing games and traveling. Rathore's future plan is to join a research team in the industry to work on technologies that enhance people's lives on a day-to-day basis.
Communicative Disorders and Sciences
Antara Satchidanand, CCC-SLP is a PhD candidate in communicative disorders and sciences. She holds master's degrees in secondary English education and speech pathology. Her research interests include technology mediated communication, communication in robot-assisted surgery, conversation analysis augmentative and alternative communication, and helping typically developing children learn to be sensitive to there differently abled peers.
Rachel Seibert (Kinney)
Rachel Seibert is pursuing her PhD in epidemiology through the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health. She holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a Master's of Business Administration from UB, as well as a master's in public health from Johns Hopkins University. Seibert has been actively involved in clinical research in kidney transplant with UB's Department of Surgery. Her research interests are health care access disparities both domestically and abroad. Seibert's hobbies include reading books, playing volleyball, skiing and spending time with her family. After completing her PhD, Seibert plans to continue her work in research in private industry.
Kansas City, MO
Elizabeth Soper is pursuing her PhD in Linguistics from the University at Buffalo. Before coming to UB, she received a BA in German from the University of Tulsa in 2017. Her research focuses on computational semantics, especially vector space representations of meaning. Her hobbies include knitting, running and playing the piano.
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Shirley Xu is a PhD student in the department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and previously graduated from Idaho State University with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. She is currently working with Umesh Sharma in cardiovascular medicine and Saraswati Pokharel in pathology at Roswell Park. Her research interests include cardio-oncology with toxic side effects on the heart from various cancer treatments. Outside of the lab, she enjoys knitting and cooking.
Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Abdul Hassaballah is a PhD candidate in the department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University. Hassaballah's research focuses on the inactivation of microorganisms in water resource recovery facilities. He aspires to develop new wastewater disinfection technologies that would protect human and ecosystem health. Hassaballah is the student president of the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) UB Chapter. As an Egyptian born in Chicago and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Hassaballah loves to go on travel adventures and learning about different cultures. After graduation, he plans to work as an engineer and help protect water resources.
Benjamin Kersten is pursuing a PhD in visual studies. Originally from Chicago, he earned a BA in art history from Pomona College before matriculating to UB. His research focuses on how Jewishness figures in constructions of race, paying particular attention to Jewish involvement in efforts for racial and economic justice, issues of inclusion in arts institutions and questions of nationalism. He hopes to tie his research to more recent conversations about anti-Semitism and investigate rifts among Jews that have become more visible amidst recent changes in the political landscape. He enjoys cooking, traveling and going on hikes. In the future, he plans to teach and continue his research.
Evolution, Ecology and Behavior
Laura LaBarge's research focuses on animal spatial ecology and the effects of predation risk on prey behavior. Her dissertation fieldwork was conducted on wild samango monkeys in the Soutpansberg mountains of South Africa and used GPS-recorded locations, direct behavioral observations, and the non-invasive collection of physiological data. This research was supported by grants from the Leakey Foundation, Animal Behavior Society, and Explorer's Club. She is currently conducting lab work in Buffalo and writing her dissertation. Recent publications from this work have been published in the American Journal of Primatology and Animal Behavior.
Danny JM Kim
Danny JM Kim is a PhD student from Korea studying consumer behavior in the marketing department. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Seoul National University and the University of Michigan. Kim's research focuses on animal-friendly consumption and hopes to find factors that nudge consumers towards caring for animal welfare. Kim's career goal is to become a professor in the field of marketing.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
After completing his MS in physics at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram, Sushruth Muralidharan joined the physics department at UB as a PhD student in fall 2016. He is interested in the field of theoretical high energy physics (particle physics). Currently, he is working on developing and applying modern techniques to make high-precision predictions within the theoretical framework of the widely accepted standard model of particle physics. Testing these predictions against observations from proton-proton collisions at the LHC will point us in the direction of new physics. Upon graduation, he hopes to stay in academia, teaching and exploring the boundaries of our understanding of the physical universe.
Ben Rein is a PhD student in the department of neuroscience. Originally from Buffalo, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in psychology from West Virginia University. Rein's current research investigates how a specific chromosomal abnormality (16p11.2 duplication) confers risk for psychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Through his work, he hopes to improve our understanding of the neurobiology of these disorders, while generating potential for novel intervention strategies. Outside of the lab, he enjoys reading, playing disc golf and producing music. Rein ultimately intends to become an independent investigator in the field of neuroscience.
Arjun Singh was born in Kanpur, India, in 1994. He received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at the University at Buffalo in 2016. As a Presidential fellow since 2016, he has been pursuing a PhD in electrical engineering from his alma mater, under the guidance of Josep M. Jornet. During this time, he also obtained a Master of Science in electrical engineering. His research interests include the design of plasmonic nano-antennas and devices in the Terahertz range, for next generation wireless communication networks.
Oak Park, IL
Hannah Stokes-Ramos is a PhD candidate in geography. Her research interests involve critical approaches to bridging the social and environmental sciences, previously through an MS in food systems and a double major in anthropology and environmental studies. In geography she engages primarily with theories of political ecology to investigate interactions of climate change with complex food systems, specifically focusing on food sovereignty and impacts of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico for her dissertation. She also leads a Graduate Pursuits interdisciplinary research project through the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. Outside of research, she participates in local economic- and social-justice activism, and enjoys traveling, singing, and dancing. After graduating, she plans to pursue a research career in academia or a policy-focused institute.
Rebecca (Beccy) Biermann
Rebecca (Beccy) Biermann is a German-American PhD candidate in physical anthropology. She completed a five-year BA/MA program in anthropology at the George Washington University before coming to UB. Her research focuses on tools from the Stone Ages, and what their manufacture and use can tell us about their hominin users. Her research intersects with both physical anthropology and archaeology. Her goal is to understand the interactions between hominin behavior and hominin evolution, tracing our human history back to its beginnings. In her scarce free time, Biermann enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her family and friends. After her PhD, Biermann plans to pursue a career in academia.
Community Health and Health Behavior
Amanda Crandall is currently a PhD student in community health and health behavior. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and a Bachelor of Arts in honors psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Crandall also completed her master's degree in psychological science at Montana State University; working on research related to eating behavior and childhood predictors of obesity. Currently at UB, Crandall is a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Her research interests include the effects of scarcity and childhood stress on eating behavior, adolescent dieting behaviors, and social influences on health behavior.
Derick Evans is a PhD candidate in composition, in the Department of Music. His artistic output often seeks to highlight the interactions involved in specific social environments (e.g., music for an ensemble about the drama of rehearsing in an ensemble); and, further, to compose environments of performance where the dynamic between audience and performer becomes an identifiable expression of community. His compositions, which adopt both experimental and popular styles and, more recently, embrace elements of performance art, have been performed by groups such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Wooster Symphony Orchestra, Verb Ballets, the Rivertown Duo and Norway's Bifrost Ensemble. In 2017, he premiered his one-person musical, "Through The Night," at Buffalo's Sugar City, which he later brought to Oberlin College. Evans frequently performs music and art pieces as both a solo act and a collaborator with artists around Buffalo.
Francesco Franda, originally from Italy, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy. After having pursued his joint degree in France and Italy, he obtained his master's degree in philosophy from the University of Bologna. His main research interests lie in social ontology and the philosophy of social science. His project focuses in particular on social kinds, namely groupings of people like congressperson and refugee, or groupings of things like border and money, all of which are characterized by bearing certain social properties. These categories guide our behavior by informing us about social reality, and they are the object of scientific investigation. Philosophical interest has increased in recent years over social kinds: How are they created? How do they play a role in our knowledge of the social world? How can we give an objective account of value-laden social kinds? His project has the goal of answering these questions by giving a pluralistic account of social kinds, and applying this framework to the case study terrorist, a vexed but important category, given the serious policy implications of its understanding. In addition to his research and teaching activities, he enjoys playing the electric guitar, traveling, and working out. In the future, Franda aspires to become a faculty member at a university.
Paige (Daniels) Garrison
Microbiology and Immunology
Paige Garrison grew up in Purcellville, VA, and obtained her bachelor's degree in molecular, cellular and physiological biology with a minor in leadership studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. She is currently pursuing her PhD in microbiology and immunology. Garrison works for the Bangs lab investigating molecular aspects of the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei brucei, with a focus on Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein turnover.
Jena (Walczyk) Hazen
Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Jena Hazen is a PhD candidate in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics in the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on how different cell populations within prostate tumors produce energy. Her goal is to identify new therapeutic options to target highly drug resistant cell populations. In addition to her research activities, Hazen enjoys reading and hiking. Her future career plan is to become a professor in the field of biology.
Igor Coelho A. S. Marques
Igor Coelho A. S. Marques hails from Curitiba, Brazil. He was a Johannesen Scholar at Brigham Young University, graduated cum laude and then spent the next two years with Morris Rosenzweig as the University of Utah's Geersten Glad scholar. Currently, he is a Presidential Fellow at the University at Buffalo, studying under David Felder. As a composer, Marques is particularly curious about the intersection of artifice and organicity and the incorporation of sounds and concepts related to natural phenomena and human industry. Marques has won a call for scores by Rosetta Ensemble (Japan), the second prize in the Alba Rosa Viëtor Competition (Netherlands) and an honorable mention in Paraguay's first International Symphonic Composition Competition. His piece Escenas became a finalist in the seventh Mivos/Kanter Prize as a string quartet and in the fourth Música Hoje National Composition Contest (Brazil) as a piece for chamber orchestra. Most recently, he has been selected to participate in the 2018 edition of Fondation Royaumont's Académie Voix Nouvelles.
Roberto Mondini is originally from Italy and is a PhD candidate in the Department of Physics. His academic research interests lie in the field of theoretical particle physics. More specifically, his studies involve performing high-precision particle physics calculations that are then used to analyze the experimental data obtained at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator. With his work, Mondini aspires to further expand our understanding of nature at the subatomic level. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and watching sports. Mondini's career goal is to become a faculty member at a research university.
Environment and Sustainability
Heather Williams is pursuing her PhD in the evolution, ecology and behavior program in the Department of Environment and Sustainability at UB. Her thesis, "From Microbiota to Macroecology: Three Levels of Purple Martin Ecology" has focused on a single species, but has included a wide variety of ecological studies from microbial vector ecology, population level parasite ecology and species distribution modeling. Her work tackles both applied questions related to conservation, and theoretical questions concerning the links between abundance, distribution and demography. Prior to moving to Buffalo, Williams completed her bachelor's degree in Durham, England, worked in the conservation and environmental education sector, and earned a master's degree in Denmark at the University of Copenhagen.
Lucena City, Philippines
Department of Chemistry
Originally from the Philippines, Patrick Fernandez is a PhD candidate in the department of chemistry. He holds both bachelor's and master’s degrees in chemistry from the University of the Philippines - Diliman, where he did research on natural products chemistry and organic synthesis in ionic liquids. His current work on the mechanistic enzymology of tuberculosis targets will aid in designing potent drugs to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens. He aspires to be a medicinal chemist either in the pharmaceutical industry or in the academe. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing the violin, listening to classical pop and training for half-marathons.
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Jida Huang, originally from China, is a PhD candidate in the department of industrial and systems engineering. His research focuses on realizing design automation and generative design for 3D printing through the use of geometric deep learning methods. He aspires to use the knowledge gained from his research to develop novel intelligent design and control system in additive manufacturing area. Huang enjoys swimming, hiking and fishing. His future career plan is to become an academic investigator in the field of advanced manufacturing.