10. 25. 2022

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 DDF Fellowship Recipients


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022-2023 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.

Ibrahim Abdelgawad

Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Advisor(s): Beshay Zordoky & Ling Li

“Molecular Mechanisms and Cardiovascular Ramifications of Doxorubicin-Induced Senescence”

Maral Abdollahi

Mass Communication
Advisor(s): Jisu Huh  

“Human Users' Responses to Virtual Social Media Influencers and Strategic

and Ethical Implications for Communication”

Zhuldyz Amankulova

Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Advisor(s): Christopher Johnstone  

“Education and Career Aspirations of Marginalized Youth in Kazakhstan: The Role of Social Capital”

Isaac Asante-Wusu

Advisor(s): Abdi Samatar  

“Democracy and urban water politics in Africa: Accra, Ghana and Pretoria, South Africa”

Sahar Aseeri

Computer Science
Advisor(s): Victoria Interrante & Evan Suma 

“Exploring Avatar Representations to Support Perception and Social Cognition in Virtual Environments”

Drishadwati Bargi

Comparative Studies In Discourse and Society
Advisor(s): Cesare Casarino  

“Images of the Common: Spectacular majoritarianism, conscientious objection and Dalit cultural resistance in contemporary India”

Radhika Bharathi

Food Science
Advisor(s): George Annor  

“Tempering: The secret to better refining intermediate wheatgrass”

Ruth Burrows

Advisor(s): Kathryn Grace  

“Exploring linkages between climate and child food insecurity in West Africa”

Athena Chung Yin Chan

Family Social Science
Advisor(s): Timothy Piehler  

“Resilience and Mental Health in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

A Mixed Methods Study of Adults in Minnesota and Hong Kong”

Neel Chatterjee

Electrical Engineering
Advisor(s): Sarah Swisher & Paul Ruden

“Optimizing Next Generation Flexible Electronics using Photonic Curing and Physical Models”

Sze Cheng

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Advisor(s): Jeongsik Yong  

“mTOR-regulated reprogramming of cellular proteome and metabolism”

Moon-ki Choi

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Advisor(s): Ellad Tadmor  

“Holistic Molecular Modeling of Tunable 2D Material Systems”

Margaret Clapham

Advisor(s): Renee Frontiera & Christopher Douglas

“Understanding polymorphism in rubrenes through synthetic design, crystallography and Raman spectroscopy”

Brianna Collins

Advisor(s): Jason Goodpaster  

“Predicting Adsorption Energies on Bimetallic alloys using Machine Learning”

Elizabeth Crist

Biomedical Engineering
Advisor(s): David Wood  

“Investigating cancer cell dissemination throughout breast cancer metastasis using a novel 3D cancer model ”

Kathryn Crone

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Advisor(s): Michael Freeman  

“Biochemical and Structural Interrogation of a Split Borosin RiPP System”

Caity Curry

Advisor(s): Chris Uggen & Michelle Phelps

“Public Defenders as the New Civil Rights Leaders? Resistance Lawyering in Southern Courtrooms ”

Meriah DeJoseph

Child Psychology
Advisor(s): Daniel Berry & Kathleen Thomas

“Cognitive and psychophysiological mechanisms of learning in early adolescence ”

Armani Del Franco

Advisor(s): Eric Newman  

“Norepinephrine Modulation of Astrocyte Volume and Synaptic Transmission in the Medial

Prefrontal Cortex”

Shuyi Deng

Public Affairs
Advisor(s): Samuel Myers  

“A Critical Examination of Racial Disparities in Nonprofit Funding: Bringing Nonprofits of Color into Focus”

Amanda Folk

Advisor(s): Daheia Barr-Anderson  

“Green Physical Activity in Natural Spaces: Motivators, Barriers, and the Role of Social Media in a Diverse Sample of Adults”

Celina Furman

Advisor(s): Alex Rothman & Traci Mann

“Fueling Physical Activity with a Hybrid Motivational System: How Multiple Sources of Motivation and Experiences Promote Physical Activity Across Contexts and Time”

Supriya Ghosh

Chemical Engineering
Advisor(s): Vipin Kumar  

“Physics-informed Machine Learning for Scientific Knowledge Discovery”

Sophie Givens

Biomedical Engineering
Advisor(s): Brenda Ogle  

“Understanding the epicardial-myocardial interface using an engineered human cardiac tissue model”

Yao Gong

Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology
Advisor(s): Yue Chen & Rui Kuang

“Development of bioinformatics strategies to explore functional protein isoform networks”

Qiangqiang Gu

Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology
Advisor(s): Steven Hart  

“Deep Learning in Melanoma Pathology”

Rishabh Gupta

Chemical Engineering
Advisor(s): Qi Zhang  

“Discovery of Decision-Making Mechanisms Via Data-Driven Inverse Optimization”

Katherine Hamel

Advisor(s): Marija Cvetanovic  

“Intra-Cerebellar Region-Specific Pathology in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1”

Alex Hamill

Advisor(s): Paul Crowell  

“Nonlinear Magnetization Dynamics in Low-dimensional Systems”

Benjamin Hansen

Advisor(s): Andrea Sterk  

“Between Trepidation and Hope:

Palestinian Christians after the Arab Conquests (c. 650-750 CE)”

Mckenna Hanson

Advisor(s): Theresa Reineke  

“Polymeric Materials for Improving Biological Drug Stability and Delivery”

Pooja Hegde

Medicinal Chemistry
Advisor(s): Courtney Aldrich  

“1)Antibacterial agents against Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Past, Present and Future

2) Development of a biocatalyst for chemoenzymatic synthesis of modified nucleosides”

Dustin Hemsath

Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Advisor(s): Samuel David & Mary Hermes

“Language Ideologies: Negotiations Between Teacher Candidates and Cooperating

Teachers of World Languages”

Hannah Holst

Advisor(s): Christopher Douglas  

“Formation of Phenonium Ions from Strained Heterocycles for the Synthesis of Complex Molecules and the Exploration of Asymmetric Hydroacylation of Alkenes”

Qiyin Huang

Advisor(s): Jürgen Konczak

“Robot-aided assessment of ankle proprioception in healthy adults and individuals after stroke”

Dingbin Huang

Mechanical Engineering
Advisor(s): Xiaojia Wang

“Investigation on Magnetization Dynamics in Spintronic Materials and Recording Media by Time-Resolved Magneto-Optical Kerr Effect”

Ashley Hufnagle

Educational Psychology
Advisor(s): Geoffrey Maruyama & David DeLiema

“Collaborative Emotion Regulation: Investigating Parents' Use of Social   Reappraisal-Based Strategies in Response to Children's Emotions in Naturalistic Interactions”

Alexander Hurben

Medicinal Chemistry
Advisor(s): Natalia Tretyakova  

“Using Chemical Tools to Map the Molecular Mechanisms that Drive Disease”

Aimzhan Iztayeva

Advisor(s): Ann Meier  

“Custodial Single Fathers and Employment Discrimination: Penalized or Protected?”

Katrina Jackson

Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology
Advisor(s): Kirsten Nielsen  

“Characterizing the genetics and pathogenesis of the ST93 clade of Cryptococcus neoformans”

Theo Jacobson

Advisor(s): Aleksey Cherman  

“Symmetries and Confining Gauge Theories in Various Dimensions”

Seon-Kyeong Jang

Advisor(s): Scott Vrieze  

“Expanding genetic architecture of complex behavioral traits through investigation of rare variant and multi-ancestry samples ”

Noah Jefferson

Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Advisor(s): Timothy Lensmire  

“Exploring Abolitionist Teacher Praxis: A Study Group With Abolitionist Teachers”

Seo Nyeong Jo

Political Science
Advisor(s): Lisa Hilbink  

“Gender Matters in the Judiciary: Adjudicating Sexual Assault in Korea ”

Katherine Jones

Advisor(s): Daniel Harki  

“Discovery and Development of Small Molecule APOBEC3 DNA Cytosine Deaminase Ligands”

Anusha Kamath Manjeshwar

Chemical Engineering
Advisor(s): Bharat Jalan  

“Ferroelectric Oxide-Based Devices for the Conversion of Waste Heat to Electricity”

Thomas Lake

Plant and Microbial Biology
Advisor(s): David Moeller  

“Predicting biological invasions using remote sensing and artificial intelligence”

Carolyn Lasch

Child Psychology
Advisor(s): Jed Elison & Bonnie Klimes-Dougan

“Maternal anxiety, infant attention, and amygdala development in the first 3 years of life”

Samantha LeBouef

Family Social Science
Advisor(s): Jodi Dworkin  

“First Generation College Students and Family Support”

Manci Li

Comparative and Molecular Biosciences
Advisor(s): Peter Larsen  

“Leveraging Machine Learning and Transcriptomic Data for Understanding LncRNA-associated Pathogenesis in Alzheimer’s Disease”

Chenxi Lin

Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management
Advisor(s): Zhenong Jin  

“Breaking the Data Limitation: Advancing the Utilization of Earth Observation for Sustainable Agriculture”

Rosa Lozano

Advisor(s): Robert Koch  

“Insecticide resistance management: understanding the biological mechanisms for soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura)”

Sophia Magro

Child Psychology
Advisor(s): Glenn Roisman & Robert Krueger

“Are teacher-student relationships causally implicated in child development? Evidence from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development”

Nina Medvedeva

Feminist Studies
Advisor(s): Aren Aizura & Miranda Joseph

“Home in the Sharing Economy”

Sophie Minor

Advisor(s): Kat Hayes  

“Life and Labor: An Archaeological Study of Enslaved African Americans at Fort

Snelling, Minnesota”

Ilias Mitrai

Chemical Engineering
Advisor(s): Prodromos Daoutidis  

“Learning to decompose mathematical optimization problems ”

Ariadna Mondragon Botero

Plant and Microbial Biology
Advisor(s): Jennifer Powers  

“Conservation and restoration of the Tropical Dry Forest in Berenty Reseve, Madagascar”

Haleigh Mulholland

Advisor(s): Gordon Smith  

"Circuit-mechanisms of large-scale functional networks in the developing visual cortex"

Meena Murugappan

Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Advisor(s): Randall Seifert & Joel Farley

“Treatment Selection in Multiple Myeloma”

Sreekishen Nair

Advisor(s): Brad Hokanson  


Arif Hayat Nairang

Advisor(s): Jean Langford  

“Halat kharab: Playful Existence in the Time of Political Violence”

Ayako Ohoka

Biomedical Engineering
Advisor(s): Casim Sarkar  

“Method development of affinity-based selection systems”

Ibrahim Oker

Political Science
Advisor(s): Teri Caraway  

“The Politics of Authoritarian Social Welfare Provision: Why Do Some Autocracies Develop Generous Welfare States?”

Charles Osingada

Advisor(s): Carolyn Porta  

“Perspectives of Ugandan patients and healthcare providers about the use of telehealth for follow-up HIV care and treatment.”

Romil Parikh

Advisor(s): Lin Yee Chen & Weihong Tang

“Associations of Cardiac Arrhythmias and Atrial Myopathy With Geriatric Syndromes.”

Michael Park

Business Administration
Advisor(s): Keisha Varma & Sashank Varma

“How can we better convey information with graphs? The critical role of magnitude

information in helping (and hurting) communication”

Caroline Pierce

Land and Atmospheric Science
Advisor(s): Brandy Toner & Ed Nater

“The Effect of Climate Change on Total Mercury, Methylmercury, and Sulfur in Boreal Peat Bogs: Production and Export”

William Postiglione

Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor(s): Chris Leighton  

“Voltage control of atomic structure and magnetism in oxide materials”

Joseph Rabaey

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Advisor(s): James Cotner

“Small Size, Huge Impact: Disproportionate Effects of Ponds on Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases”

Emmy Reilly

Child Psychology
Advisor(s): Megan Gunnar  

“Compassion in Action: A Micro-trial of the Effects of a Loving-Kindness Meditation on Parent Sensitivity”

Shanley Roach

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Advisor(s): Ryan Langlois  

“Immune response to viral infections at barrier surfaces”

Fredrik Sadler

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Advisor(s): Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan  

“Autoregulation of GPCR signaling through the third intracellular loop”

Consuelo Sanchez-Bautista

Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
Advisor(s): Frances Vavrus  

“Educational Inclusion of Overaged Youth on the Move: Flexible Education in Public Urban Schools in Colombia”

Marie Schaedel

Applied Plant Sciences
Advisor(s): Julie Grossman  

“Climate-smart forages: impact of a proposed agricultural intervention on soil microbial communities and soil fertility in Rwanda ”

Margaret Shanahan

Advisor(s): Marla Spivak  

“Supporting bee health and resilient agricultural systems”

Arun Sharma

Computer Science
Advisor(s): Shashi Shekhar  

“Analyzing Trajectory Gaps for Possible Abnormal Behavior”

Alexander Shephard

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Advisor(s): Emilie Snell-Rood

“Too much of a good thing? How organisms cope with anthropogenic increases in nutrient availability”

Elizabeth Shih

Biomedical Engineering
Advisor(s): Patrick Alford  

“Evaluating Growth and Remodeling in Cerebral Aneurysm Formation and Rupture”

Guanyu Song

Mechanical Engineering
Advisor(s): Chris Hogan  

“Fundamental investigation of aerosol deposition process: experimental and computational studies”

Duarte Sousa

Electrical Engineering
Advisor(s): Tony Low  

“Advanced Spintronic Devices Based on Novel Materials ”

Erin Standen

Advisor(s): Traci Mann & Alex Rothman

“Mapping the Beneficial and Adverse Consequences of Receiving Weight-Related Advice from a Healthcare Provider”

Kshitij Tayal

Computer Science
Advisor(s): Vipin Kumar  

“Advancing Machine Learning for Scientific Knowledge Discovery”

Emily Tibor

Advisor(s): Ben Brubaker  

“Combinatorics of Whittaker Coefficients”

Michael Valdez

Theatre Arts
Advisor(s): Sonja Kuftinec  

“Palestine in your Parish: Church Performance and the Shaping of British Public Opinion on Middle East Expansion, 1891 to 1917”

Krisna Van Dyke

Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics
Advisor(s): Frank Albert  

“Investigating the causes and consequences of trans–-acting genetic variation”

Alex Villarreal

Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology
Advisor(s): Ryan Hunter  

“Co-colonizing microbiota govern the growth and virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa within the cystic fibrosis airways”

Amy Waananen

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Advisor(s): Ruth Shaw

“A spatiotemporal framework for gene flow in fragmented prairie populations”

Rebecca Walker

Public Affairs
Advisor(s): Bonnie Keeler & Edward Goetz

“Greenness, Whiteness, and the Construction of Value”

Fan Wang

Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Advisor(s): Melanie Nicol & Angela Birnbaum

“Penetration of anti-infective agents in female genital tract”

Shi'an Wang 

Civil Engineering
Advisor(s): Michael Levin   

“Planning, operation, and management of automated transportation systems: A control-theoretic perspective”

Dechen Wangmo

Advisor(s): Subree Subramanian  

“Role of Tumor Cell-Intrinsic Factors in Colorectal Cancer Progression and Immune Landscaping”

Ryan Webler

Advisor(s): Shmuel Lissek  

“Increasing safety generalization by disrupting hippocampal pattern separation: A personalized, connectivity guided TMS study”

Trevor Weiss

Plant and Microbial Biology
Advisor(s): Feng Zhang  

“Dissecting CRISPR-based genome engineering and DNA repair mechanisms”

David Wolfson

Conservation Sciences
Advisor(s): David Andersen & John Fieberg

“Trumpeter Swan migration ecology and conservation”

Xinwei Zhang

Electrical Engineering
Advisor(s): Ke Wang  

“Manipulating Novel Quantum Phenomena in Graphene Nanostructures”