Winners Announced for From Abstract to Contract: Graduate Student Research Competition

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Chancellor Gearhart and Provost Gaber honored students and mentors who competed in the Graduate Student Research Competition.

Chancellor Gearhart and Provost Gaber honored students and mentors who competed in the Graduate Student Research Competition.

Gov. Mike Beebe presented awards to 23 first-place winners during ceremonies Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House. He told the students that the state needs them — to research and develop inventions and processes that will help not only the state, but also the country and the world.

The governor told the students that no one realizes, at this point in time, the problems they will solve, the ways they will make lives better, through their research. And he exhorted them to persevere because the world will need the products of their work, and the jobs that work can make possible.

This year’s competition is the largest with three times as many students entered over the previous year, the broadest with double the number of categories of study, and the first time that both first and second prizes were awarded in each category. Student research covered all areas of graduate study. Wide-ranging research topics included drought tolerance in soybeans, x-ray diffraction from atomistic simulations, SEC reporting requirements, implications for phyllosilicates on Mars, sustainable supply chain networks, cost effective armor for theater, ethics labor standards, African American funeral directors in Arkansas, rural entrepreneurship development, and many more.

Winners are:

First place

  • Vijay Singh, a doctoral student in crop, soil, and environmental sciences; his adviser is Nilda Burgos.
  • Tyson Raper, a doctoral student in crop, soil, and environmental sciences; his adviser is Derrick Oosterhuis.
  • Emily Arijaje, a doctoral student in food science; her adviser is Ya-Jane Wang.
  • Ujvala Deepthi Gadde, a doctoral student in poultry science; her adviser is Hilary David Chapman.
  • George Botha, a master’s student in crop, soil and environmental science; his adviser is Nilda R Burgos.
  • Mahmoud Sharara, a doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering; his adviser is Samy Sadaka.
  • Samantha Conroy, a doctoral student in management; her adviser is Anne O'Leary-Kelly.
  • Jessica Spicer, a master’s student in industrial engineering; her adviser is Ashlea Milburn.
  • Payel Chaudhuri, a doctoral student in cell and molecular biology; her adviser is Ines Pinto.
  • Steven Mussmann, a doctoral student in biological sciences; his advisers are Michael and Marlis Douglas.
  • Aaron Russell, a doctoral student in chemical engineering; his adviser is Keith Roper.
  • Fatemeh Sedaghatpour, a doctoral student in space and planetary sciences; her adviser is Fangzhen Teng.
  • Kelli Dougan, a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction; her adviser is John Pijanowski.
  • Latricia Reichman, a master’s student in drama; her adviser is Patricia J. Martin.
  • Emily McPherson, a master’s student in music-advanced instrumental performance; her adviser is Ronda Mains.
  • Katherine Knierim, a doctoral student in environmental dynamics; her adviser is Phillip Hays.
  • Adam Wiewel, a doctoral student in anthropology; his adviser is Kenneth L. Kvamme.
  • Ashley Binns, a master’s student in kinesiology-exercise science; her adviser is Ro Di Brezzo.
  • Shawn Coleman, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering; his adviser is Douglas Spearot. 
  • Prashanth Kumar, a doctoral student in electrical engineering; his adviser is Vijay K. Varadan.
  • Jonathan Mills, a doctoral student in education policy; his adviser is Gary Ritter.
  • John Blanchar, a doctoral student in experimental psychology; his adviser is Scott Eidelman.
  • Crystal Wilson, a doctoral student in industrial engineering; her adviser is Sarah Root.

Second place winners are:

  • Jill Motschenbacher, a doctoral student in soil physics; her adviser is Kristofor Brye.
  • Dimitra Loka, a doctoral student in cotton physiology; her adviser is Derrick M. Oosterhuis.
  • Nicole Poquette, a master’s student in food science; her adviser is Sun-Ok Lee.
  • Jessica Robinette, a master’s student in animal science; her adviser is Paul A. Beck.
  • Sandeep Rana, a master’s student in crop, soil, and environmental sciences; his adviser is J. K. Norsworthy.
  • Gurdeep Singh, a master’s student in biological and agricultural engineering; his adviser is Dharmendra Saraswat.
  • Stacey Kaden, a doctoral student in accounting; her adviser is Juan Manuel Sanchez.
  • Zach Steelman, a doctoral student in information systems; his adviser is Moez Limayem.
  • Jacob Lum, a doctoral student in cell and molecular biology; his adviser is Yanbin Li.
  • Brenna Levine, a master’s student in biological sciences; her advisers are Steven Beaupre, Michael Douglas and Marlis Douglas.
  • Rohit Dhamdere, a doctoral student in chemical engineering; his adviser is Jerry W. King.
  • Melissa Hebert, a master’s student in chemical engineering; her adviser is Shannon Servoss.
  • Ming-Hua Chung, a doctoral student in statistics, department of mathematics science; his adviser is Joon Jin Song.
  • James Bilnoski, a master’s student in drama; his adviser is Andrew Gibbs.
  • Samantha Dixon, a master’s student in master of fine art – printmaking; her adviser is Kristin Musgnug.
  • Rebecca Rowland, a doctoral student in environmental dynamics; her adviser is Dave Stahle.
  • Deborah Raiees-Dana, a master’s student in anthropology; her adviser is Kenneth Kvamme.
  • Yuan Ren, a doctoral student in mathematical sciences; her adviser is Junhee Han.
  • Luke Brockman, a master’s student in biomedical engineering; his adviser is Yanbin Li.
  • Benjamin Davis, a doctoral student in space and planetary sciences; his adviser is Julia Kennefick.
  • Stacey McCullough, a doctoral student in public policy; her adviser is Valerie Hunt.
  • Melissa Zielinski, a doctoral student in clinical psychology; her adviser is Jennifer Veilleux.
  • Jingjing Tong, a doctoral student in industrial engineering; her adviser is Heather Nachtmann.

Contacts:

Diane Cook, Director of Graduate Student Activities
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-2350, dlcook@uark.edu

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