09. 17. 2021

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 DDF Fellowship Recipients


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021-2022 DDF Fellowship! The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) gives the University's most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year.

Jessica Friedman

Influences of parity, caregiving, and COVID-19 on depression in women
Advisor(s): Susan Mason & Darin Erickson

Marissa Milstein

Veterinary Medicine
The risk of zoonotic disease transmission from primate bushmeat in Guyana
Advisor(s): Tiffany Wolf & Peter Larsen

Jason Noer

Theatre Arts
Voices from the Margins of a Heterosexual Black Dance Form: A Study of the Hmong Experience and Queer Blackness in the Twin Cities Break(danc)ing Scene
Advisor(s): Ananya Chatterjea

Chelsea Cervantes de Blois

Modeling Human Vulnerability to Environmental Hazards in Azerbaijan
Advisor(s): Steve Manson

Cole Pulice

Comparative Studies In Discourse and Society
Fight Fantasies: Combat Sports, the Alt-Right, and the Crisis of Modern Masculinity
Advisor(s): Alice Lovejoy & Sumanth Gopinath

Stephen Heinsch

Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (All-University)
Decoding the mechanisms of disease-suppressive soils
Advisor(s): Michael Smanski

Caleb Vogt

Biomedical Engineering
3D Bioprinting Pre-aligned and Pre-vascularized Microtissues for Tissue Engineering of the Gastroesophageal Junction
Advisor(s): Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari

William Peria

Magnetic damping in ferromagnetic thin films and multilayer structures
Advisor(s): Paul Crowell

Zachary Levonian

Computer Science
Facilitating online relationships between health peers
Advisor(s): Loren Terveen & Lana Yarosh

Dominique Ebbenga

Understanding the Biology and Management of Japanese beetle in Minnesota Fruit Crops: Influence of a Changing Climate
Advisor(s): William Hutchison

Carlie Cervantes de Blois

History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Damming Indonesia: Contested Progress in Cold War Development
Advisor(s): Susan Jones

Upasana Arvindam

Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology
Overcoming mechanisms of immune suppression to improve natural killer cell-based cancer immunotherapy
Advisor(s): Jeffrey Miller

Pang Chaxiong

Educational Psychology
Hmong Parent Beliefs about Autism and Identification Experiences
Advisor(s): Jason Wolff & Rose Vukovic

Andrew Zhou

Insulin resistance promotes blood-brain barrier dysfunction during aging, type-II diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease
Advisor(s): Karunya Kandimalla

Nicholas Heller

Computer Science
An Open Science Approach to Kidney Tumor Segmentation
Advisor(s): Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos 

Timothy Rose

Inhibitory signaling in the prefrontal cortex: plasticity, regulation, and addiction-related behavior 
Advisor(s): Kevin Wickman

Corrie Nyquist

Effects of environmental temperature on dynamics of cold-adapted midges from Minnesota and Iceland
Advisor(s): Leonard Ferrington

Jacob Wittman

Harnessing the power of numbers to inform management practices of a devastating invasive insect, emerald ash borer
Advisor(s): Brian Aukema

Elise Toedt

Education, Curriculum and Instruction
"It's Really Hard to Pump as a Teacher!": An Inquiry into the Embodied Experiences of Lactating Teachers
Advisor(s): Timothy Lensmire 

Megan Smith

Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology
Development of Novel Screening Methods to Identify and Study Beta-Lactone Producing Bacteria and Genes
Advisor(s): Lawrence Wackett

Elizabeth Howard

Borrowed Grief: The Patchwork of Nineteenth-Century Consolation Verse
Advisor(s): Andrew Elfenbein

Magaly Ortiz

Hispanic and Luso Literatures, Cultures and Ling
The Iberian Veil: Veiling Practices in Medieval and Early Modern Texts
Advisor(s): Michelle Hamilton & Raúl Marrero-Fente

Soyi Kim

Comparative Studies In Discourse and Society
Virality, Feminism, and Neocolonial South Korea
Advisor(s): Travis Workman

Tessa Cicak

Examining the role of competition in primate dietary morphology and isotopes
Advisor(s): Kieran McNulty

Shen Cheng

Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Understanding the impact of pharmacogenetic differences in drug-drug interactions (DDIs): A model-based approach to predict differences in drug exposure
Advisor(s): Richard Brundage & Mahmoud Al-Kofahi

Rafa Della Coletta

Plant and Microbial Biology 
Structural variation and genomic prediction in maize
Advisor(s): Candice Hirsch 

Laise Moreira

Applied Plant Sciences
Phenotypic and genetic characterization of flavor and aroma compounds in cold-hardy grapes
Advisor(s): Matthew D Clark

Jian Tang

Medicinal Chemistry
Targeting N-Myc with Selective Aurora Kinase A Degraders
Advisor(s): Dan Harki

Collin Calvert

The Role of Policies in Cancer Pain, Health Disparities, and Substance Use
Advisor(s): Rhonda Jones-Webb & Darin Erickson

Angelica Maier

Art History
Toxic Matter: American Sculpture, Materials Science and Cultural Fear, 1962-1979
Advisor(s): Jane Blocker

Jose Manuel Santillana

Feminist Studies
Racial Motherhood Ecologies: Towards a Mapping of Social Life, Violence & Resistance in the Southwest Borderlands, 1980-Present
Advisor(s): Zenzele Isoke & Edén Torres

Alexandra Klapperich

Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Contending Purposes of Pre-Kindergarten: A Comparative Case Study of Early Childhood Education Policy in Minnesota
Advisor(s): Roozbeh Shirazi 

Abraham Seda

A Contested Ring: African Boxing, Social Control and "Subversive Culture" in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890 to 1980
Advisor(s): Allen Isaacman & Helena Pohlandt-McCormick

Mara McPartland

Characterizing the persistent effects of drought in North American forests
Advisor(s): Scott St. George

Surabhi Talele

Optimizing chemo- and radio-sensitizing drug regimens that inhibit DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms for brain tumor therapy
Advisor(s): William Elmquist

Gian Pujakusuma

Music for Aurally Diverse Audiences; Inclusive Design in Composition
Advisor(s): Alex Lubet

Jacqueline Patz-DiPiero

In the Air: Atmospheric Tonality and the Death of Plot
Advisor(s): Timothy Brennan

Andrew Hardt

Lattice models, Hamiltonians, and Generalized Free Fermion Conditions
Advisor(s): Ben Brubaker

Ozge Ersan Cinar

Educational Psychology
Advances in Item Selection and Test Adaptivity to Improve Measurement in Computerized Adaptive Testing
Advisor(s): Michael Rodriguez

Gerardo Rodriguez Orellana

Biomedical Engineering
Investigating Ultrasound Effects on the Auditory System for a Novel Hearing Aid
Advisor(s): Hubert Lim

Eric Xu

Business Administration
Guaranteeing the Right to Health: The Role of Supply Chains and Access to Care
Advisor(s): Kevin Linderman

Morgan Brisse

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
The RIGI/MDA5 pathway as a source of innate protection against arenaviruses in mice
Advisor(s): Hinh Ly

Amber Hamilton

Doing Race Online: An Exploration of Race-Making on Social Media Platforms
Advisor(s): Joyce Bell & Michael Walker

Alyssa Palmer

Child Psychology
Promotive and Protective Influences of Early Childhood Mental Health in the Context Rural Poverty
Advisor(s): Ann Masten & Dan Berry

Amanda Shopa

Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Exploring the Life and School Histories of First-Generation College Graduate Teachers
Advisor(s): James Bequette 

Dmitry Chichinadze

Competing instabilities in the particle-hole channel and superconductivity in strongly-correlated electronic systems
Advisor(s): Andrey Chubukov

Natalie Dollison

Theatre Arts
The Paradoxical Twenty-fifth”: Performance, Race, and Conditional Belonging on the American Imperial Frontier, 1870-1935
Advisor(s): Margaret Werry & Cindy Garcia

Aamod Zambre

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Dynamics of sexual signal divergence
Advisor(s): Emilie Snell-Rood

Vidya Chhabria

Electrical Engineering
Machine-learning-based Open-source Chip Design Tools for Power Management
Advisor(s): Sachin Sapatnekar

Keira Leneman

Child Psychology
The Psychophysiology of White Fragility
Advisor(s): Dan Berry & Megan Gunnar

Katherine Pierpont

The Public Body: Sex Work in 12th and 13th Century Southern France
Advisor(s): Kathryn Reyerson & Ruth Karras

Sarah Hammarlund

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
The Ecological Stability of Microbial Mutualisms
Advisor(s): William Harcombe

Rachit Shrivastava

Electrical Engineering
Regulation of Intracellular Transport by Molecular Motors: Theory, Instrumentation and DNA based Single Molecule Methods
Advisor(s): Murti Salapaka

Caroline Doenmez

Water Carriers: Indigenous Women Reclaiming Birth along the Red River
Advisor(s): Hoon Song & Jean O'Brien

Aditya Dhumuntarao

Applications of Holographic Models and Black Holes Phase Transitions
Advisor(s): Joseph Kapusta

Brendan Cook

Poisson learning: A new approach to semi-supervised learning with very limited data
Advisor(s): Jeff Calder

Clementine Hamelin

Earth Sciences
How does material flow in the depth of continents?
Advisor(s): Donna Whitney & Christian Teyssier

Elizabeth Hazel Rickard

Theatre Arts
Material Spirits: Race and Performing Objects in Nineteenth-Century American Spiritualism
Advisor(s): Margaret Werry

Yiao Wang

Enzymatically lipidated chemically self-assembled nanorings for cell-based cancer immunotherapy and targeted drug delivery
Advisor(s):  Mark Distefano & Carston Wagner

Rafid Mahbub

Primordial black hole formation in the inflationary universe
Advisor(s): Joseph Kapusta

Diana Chandara

Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Complicating Racialized Femininity: An Exploration of Lao and Cambodian American Girls
Advisor(s): Bic Ngo

Tristan Truttmann

Materials Science and Engineering
Hybrid Molecular Beam Epitaxy Growth of Group-IV-Based Ultrawide Bandgap Semiconductors
Advisor(s): Bharat Jalan

Allison Steinke

Mass Communication
The Institutionalization of Solutions Journalism
Advisor(s): Valerie Belair-Gagnon & Matthew Weber

Pearl Han Li

Child Psychology
Acquiring Moral Knowledge: Children’s Use and Evaluations of Moral Testimony Across Two Cultures
Advisor(s): Melissa Koenig

Henry Ward

Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (All-University)
Developing next-generation methods for analyzing CRISPR genetic screens
Advisor(s): Chad Myers

Isabella Stallworthy

Child Psychology
Infant-parent physiological and affective synchrony in the context of technological distraction
Advisor(s): Daniel Berry & Jed Elison

Lun Gao

Civil Engineering
Advancing Satellite Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture and Vegetation Water Content
Advisor(s): Ardeshir Ebtehaj

Sijin (Cathy) Chen

Sex-modulated strategy in Value-based Decision making
Advisor(s): Nicola Grissom

Mohammad Reza Zamani Kouhpanji

Electrical Engineering
Introducing novel and cost-effective approaches for large-scale fabrication and characterization of multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles
Advisor(s): Bethanie Stadler

Rashad Williams

Public Affairs
Twin Cities, Split Politics: Reparations and the Politics of Recognition and Redistribution
Advisor(s): Edward Goetz

Sang Min Lee

Globalization, Innovation, and Economic Growth
Advisor(s): Timothy Kehoe

Cedric Ndinga Muniania

Plant and Microbial Biology 
Effect of ecological context on the evolution of plant-symbiont interactions
Advisor(s): Georgiana May

Christopher Warkentin

Understanding Plasmon-Mediated Chemistry and Photophysical Processes in a Selection of Plasmon-Molecule Systems
Advisor(s): Renee Frontiera

Tao Tao

Public Affairs
Nonlinear and threshold effects of built environment attributes on travel behavior
Advisor(s): Jason Cao

Kedar Nawathe

Mechanical Engineering
Effects of Aero-thermal Interactions among Different Coolants on Vane Passage Surface Cooling in a Gas Turbine
Advisor(s): Terrence Simon

Jae Shin Yoon

Computer Science
Human Rendering Machine: Learning to Render Photo-realistic Human from a Single Image
Advisor(s): Hyun Soo Park

Sarunas Verner

No-Scale Supergravity and Inflation
Advisor(s): Keith Olive

Cristian Aguilera Arellano

The China Shock and Job Loss in Mexico
Advisor(s): Mariacristina DeNardi

Aaron Morris

Conservation Sciences
Elephant carcass effects in savanna ecosystems and how ivory poaching reshapes
carrion ecology

Advisor(s): Joseph Bump

Chen Shi

Scattering of the Colinear Three-Body problem
Advisor(s): Richard Moeckel

Huda Zahid

Development of Small-Molecule Inhibitors and Biophysical Methods for the Epigenetic Protein BPTF
Advisor(s):  William Pomerantz

Yangzesheng Sun

Machine learning in conjunction with molecular simulations for nanoporous materials discovery
Advisor(s): Ilja Siepmann

Einar Gunnarsson

Industrial and Systems Engineering
Modeling genetic and non-genetic heterogeneity in cancer: From the evolution of premalignant mutant fields to drug resistance driven by phenotypic switching
Advisor(s): Kevin Leder & Jasmine Foo

Sagar Tamang

Civil Engineering
Advancing the Predictability of the Earth System Processes: Insights from Optimal Mass Transport Theory
Advisor(s): Ardeshir Ebtehaj

Samuel Reed

Natural Resources Science and Management
Compounding Disturbances, Ecological Resilience, and the Turbulent Forest
Advisor(s): Peter Reich & Lee Frelich

Cydney McGuire

Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration
Pathways to Participation: Health and Structural Racism as Determinants of Individual Political Behavior
Advisor(s): Sarah Gollust

Zhichen Shi

Chemical Engineering
Strategies for selective and stable conversion of methanol to light olefins
Advisor(s): Aditya Bhan

Neil Razdan

Chemical Engineering
Mechanism, site requirements, and thermodynamic barriers of catalytic CH4

Advisor(s): Aditya Bhan

Andreas Mueller

Materials Science and Engineering
Origins of Low Symmetry Particle Packings in Diblock Copolymer Melts
Advisor(s): Mahesh Mahanthappa & Frank Bates

Sarah Anderson

Biomedical Engineering
The Role of Cell Migration in Glioblastoma Progression
Advisor(s): David Odde

Robert Alvarez-Quinto

Plant Pathology
Study of the vertical transmission and activation of the plant pararetrovirus - Pelargonium  vein banding virus
Advisor(s): Benham Lockhart

Julia Brokaw

Maximizing the potential of prairie restoration and policy to benefit wild bees
Advisor(s): Daniel Cariveau

Isaiah Tolo

Conservation Sciences
A new tool for an old problem: Investigating koi herpesvirus as a biocontrol tool for common carp
Advisor(s): Nicholas Phelps

Anna Bennett

Plant and Microbial Biology 
Hidden in plain sight: uncovering the diversity, distribution and functional potential of phototrophic Chloroflexi in Yellowstone hot springs 
Advisor(s): Trinity Hamilton

Yue Wu

Rehabilitation Science
The Feasibility of Tele-Music Therapy on Children with Autism - A Concurrent Mixed Methods Study
Advisor(s): Peggy Martin

Ilya Slizovskiy

Veterinary Medicine
THE AGRICULTURAL ‘LABOR-OME’ PROJECT: Profiling the resistome and mobilome shared between pigs and agricultural workers
Advisor(s): Noelle Noyes & Jeff Bender

Hon Ki Cheung

Different Uses of Chinese Musical Traditions and Their Sociocultural Implications in Contemporary Chinese American Music
Advisor(s): Sumanth Gopinath

Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries

Earth Sciences
Glacier change in Southern Patagonia: observations, forcings and feedbacks
Advisor(s): Andrew Wickert & Emi Ito

Maria Ramirez

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Molecular and Cellular Forces in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Advisor(s): James Ervasti & Wendy Gordon