This Year's Award Recipients

The Graduate School is excited to announce the winners of the 2017-18 Graduate fellowship and research awards. The awards, most of which are donor supported, range from $500 to $18,000 per year and, in some cases, include tuition support. Taking tuition support into account, these awards provide over $1 million of support to our outstanding graduate students. This year, the awards will support 44 of the Graduate School’s most outstanding students. We are proud to support the work of these incredible individuals. Congratulations to our winners!

This year’s most prestigious award, the UO Doctoral Research Fellowship, which carries with it an $18,000 per year stipend and a full tuition waiver, went to Catherine Hsu, a PhD student from the Mathematics department. Hsu’s dissertation concerns algebraic number theory, a field of mathematical research whose origins date back to the 3rd century. Hsu’s research focuses on congruences of two specific families of modular forms, elliptic modular forms and Hilbert modular forms, and will establish new properties of algebraic structures associated with each family.

Rita Ludwig, Psychology PhD student, was the recipient of this year’s Sandra Morgen Public Impact Fellowship, which provides a $6,000 stipend to support the work of students whose research has the potential to have a significant impact on society. Ludwig’s research aims to advance scientific knowledge about the effects of living in poverty by examining the habits and thoughts of people who live below the poverty line, with the goal of developing tailored intervention programs to aid them in acting adaptively in resource-scarce environments.

“This project has a potential to make a large impact on local, state, and national government by developing low-cost, scalable programs that are specifically targeted at improving long-term outcome for poor Americans.” Rita says. “Additionally, by taking a person-level approach to studying poverty, this project may reveal trends previously missed by other macro-focused research, and contribute new and informative information to scientists and policy makers.”

Allison Ford, a PhD candidate in Sociology, also received the Sandra Morgen Public Impact Fellowship for her research on “preppers”, individuals who respond to collective risk, like an impending natural disaster, by preparing themselves and their households without government intervention. Ford’s research aims to illuminate the important connections between individual practices, institutional and cultural constraints, and the possibility for shifting environmental practices that could ultimately contribute to a more sustainable organization of society.

Michelle Fong, Li Jin, and Joshua Kahn each received the Betty Foster McCue Scholarship, which awards $5,000 to doctoral candidates whose dissertation interests primarily revolve around topics related to human development and performance. Fong, a PhD candidate in Psychology, and who also received a College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Research Fellowship, is conducting research on child development strategies in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Her work centers on Care for Child Development (CCD), an early intervention technique that shows promising child and caregiver outcomes in low-and-middle income countries. Jin, of the Department of Human Physiology, is conducting research on how lower extremity joint stiffness affects gait performance in walking and running. Kahn, a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership, is developing a means of analyzing the decision-making skills of school-based administrators with regard to student disciplinary measures.

The following fifteen individuals received a UO Dissertation Research Fellowship in partnership with their College or School:

Belal Abboushi, Architecture, School of Architecture and Allied Arts

Justin Barry, Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Tiffany Beattie, School Psychology, College of Education

John Bedan, History, College of Arts and Sciences

Ashley Cordes, Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication

Theresa Gildner, Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences

Patrick Jones, Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication

Gwynhwyfer Mhuireach, Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture and Allied Arts

Paul Olejarczuk, Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences

Sean Peterson, Musicology, School of Music and Dance

Brandon Reich, Marketing, Lundquist College of Business

Benjamen Taber, Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Johanna Tomorsky, Biology, College of Arts and Sciences

Yolanda Valenzuela, Counseling Psychology, College of Education

Ying Xiong, Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Sciences

The David S Easly Memorial Award supports outstanding masters and doctoral students pursuing degrees related to environmental conservation and preservation. This year’s recipient is Jamila Baig of the Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy Department. Baig’s research seeks to integrate watershed science and policy in the mountain wetlands region of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan.

The Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award provides support to outstanding masters or doctoral students pursuing academic, professional development, or training enrichment opportunities during the summer. This year’s winners are:

Crystal Brown, Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

Zara Foroughifar, Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences

Katherine Hagan, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Elizabeth Loi, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Allison Taylor-Adams, Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences

Michael Their, Educational Leadership, College of Education

Jacqlyn King from Human Physiology received the Graduate Teaching Excellence Award, designed to recognize outstanding teaching performances by experienced graduate employees (GEs) who have demonstrated a commitment to developing their instructional skills, while at the same time excelling in their academic degree program.

Michelle Crowson from Comparative Literature and Irene Awino from Media Studies both won the Margaret McBride Lehrman Fellowship, designed to support graduate students pursuing studies in writing and communication. Anderson studies and writes about arts integration and the role of creativity in public education.

Palita Chunsaengchan, from Comparative Literature won the Southeast Asian Studies Award. Through her research, Chunsaengchan seeks to understand the history of Thai cinema through the lens of the Thai people. She will look at how they understand this new medium, how cinema has managed to compete with local performances and forms of entertainment, and what films they watched during the time when cinema just arrived in Thailand. This summer, she will travel to Thailand to seek out remnants of early Thai cinematic artifacts.

James Miller, a PhD candidate from the Department of Architecture, was the winner of the Oregon SYLFF Graduate Fellowship for International Research for his research on the impacts of climate change on the inhabitants of the Marshall Islands. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean that is disappearing beneath the waves as sea levels rise due to the melting of the ice sheets at the planet’s extremes. Miller’s research seeks to develop a re-building plan for the Marshallese government that will help maintain the cultural identity of the nation in the face of forced displacement due to the impacts of climate change.

Anna Cook, a PhD candidate in Philosophy, won the Margaret Wiese Graduate Research Award, which she plans to use to attend international conferences on Indigenous philosophy, which will aid her in her dissertation research on settler denial and the work of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Student Innovation Award is designed to support up to four doctoral students who are interested in developing their skills and experience in innovation and/or entrepreneurship in preparation for careers outside of academia. Fellowship recipients carry the title of Dixon Fellow and join a community of current and former UO graduate students who have combined learning and innovation. Each fellowship carries an award of $14,000 to be used either to support the recipient's graduate employee (GE) salary or for specific activities tied to the project or both. In either case, the recipients are appointed as a research graduate employee (GE appointment) at .40 FTE or greater for the academic year. This year’s winners are:

Samantha Young, Chemistry

Katie Warden, Sociology

Lyndsey Deaton, Architecture

Joshua Fitzgerald, History

Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipients. In the next few months, we will also be announcing the recipients of the Kimble First-Year Teaching Award.

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