2022 U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Award Doctoral Fellowship Award Winners Introduced

September 26, 2022


The Texas A&M College Graduate and Skilled Faculty has chosen its U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Fellowship award winners for 2022. These fellowships are awarded yearly to excellent present doctoral college students whose excellence in each analysis and instructing exemplifies the that means of scholarship and mentorship within the highest sense.

Made attainable by presents from donors in honor of Senator Gramm, these awards replicate Gramm’s appreciation of the important position graduate college students play in serving to Texas A&M College obtain its instructing and analysis missions, in addition to honor his legacy of scholarship, management and public service.

Gramm earned a Ph.D. in economics from the College of Georgia and served as an economics professor at Texas A&M for 12 years earlier than turning to politics. Gramm first represented Texas’ sixth congressional district within the U.S. Home of Representatives earlier than being elected to the U.S. Senate, the place he served for practically twenty years. He’s at the moment the senior companion of Gramm Companions, a public coverage agency in Washington, D.C., and is the senior advisor at U.S. Coverage Metrics.

The 2022 awardees every obtain a customized certificates and a fellowship within the quantity of $5,000 to help their persevering with research. They are going to be honored at an invite-only ceremony on Oct. 5.

The 2022 U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Award winners are:

Amanda Beckman is a doctoral candidate within the ecology and conservation biology. She holds a bachelor’s diploma in biology and a minor in chemistry from Florida State College. Beckman’s analysis, co-advised by Dr. Sarah Hamer and Dr. Gil Rosenthal, investigates how administration efforts and numerous sources of anthropogenic choice have impacted the evolutionary trajectory of turkeys. Collaborating with hunters and wildlife companies throughout North America, Beckman has collected a whole bunch of turkey feathers to function sources of DNA, permitting for her to research inhabitants construction and hybridization between subspecies of untamed turkeys at an unprecedented scale. Utilizing these sources of DNA, her dissertation explores the genomic impacts of turkeys’ shut affiliation with people in numerous contexts and advances our understanding on the trendy evolutionary pressures that form the populations of all species. Beckman has been acknowledged for her analysis and repair by means of the Ecology and Evolutionary Program Scholar Award, the Schubot Heart for Avian Well being Director’s Award, and the Bryan/School Station Lady Scout Service Unit Star Volunteer Award.

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Ana Cristina Chang-Gonzalez is a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering with a concentrate on molecular biomechanics. Beneath the advisement of Dr. Wonmuk Hwang, Chang-Gonzalez has labored to develop strategies to assemble quantitative floor fashions of human and zebrafish embryo brains from three-dimensional picture stacks. Her analysis at the moment focuses on uncovering the mechanics of the T-Cell Receptor, a key element of the adaptive immune system, through molecular dynamics simulations. Change-Gonzalez is an awardee of the Nationwide Science Basis Graduate Analysis Fellowship for 2016, and has acquired awards from the Korea Institute for Superior Examine, the Biophysical Society, and the Protein Society. She was not too long ago featured on the quilt article of the journal Biophysical Stories for her paper on three-dimensional picture stacks. Chang-Gonzalez enjoys creating supplies to show scientific ideas, corresponding to contributing to the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Scholar Affiliation’s youngsters’s guide venture “ABC’s of Biomedical Engineering” and main an AggiE-Problem crew.

Mary Colleen “MC” Hannon is a doctoral candidate within the marine biology on the Texas A&M College at Galveston campus. Beneath her advisor, Dr. Anja Schulze, Hannon researches the reproductive cycle of an area marine worm, increasing the present understandings of the genetic drivers and related muscular transformations behind this worm’s sexual metamorphosis. Hannon’s analysis has garnered funding from the American Microscopical Society, Texas SeaGrant, and the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past. As a member of the Invertebrate Zoology instructing crew, Hannon helped developed a novel curriculum for distant instructing in 2020. Hannon has served on a number of administrative committees and government boards at each the college and departmental ranges and, for organizing a workshop for her fellow graduate college students on assets and coaching for mentoring undergraduates, has accomplished the necessities for the advanced-level skilled improvement certificates provided by the Graduate and Skilled Faculty.

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Hannah Justen is a doctoral candidate within the ecology and evolutionary biology. After finishing her bachelor’s in Environmental Influence Evaluation and her grasp’s in Molecular Biology and Evolution in Germany, she joined Texas A&M in 2018, the place she works below the advisement of Dr. Kira Delmore. Her analysis has the potential to fill necessary gaps in our understanding of the method of speciation, or the creation of latest species that happens when teams inside a species develop new and distinctive traits. Her dissertation particularly tracks songbirds within the wild, investigating which genes management their seasonal migration patterns and the way that contributes to speciation. Justen’s work has been supported by a number of grants and fellowships, together with funding from the American Philosophical Society, Animal Habits Society, the Schubot Heart, and an Worldwide Fellowship by the American Affiliation of College Girls. Obsessed with schooling and outreach, Justen has been concerned in classroom instructing and mentoring undergraduate college students throughout subject assortment journeys and is a part of a bunch devoted to make analysis on seasonal migration extra accessible to college students and the general public.

Aravindh Nagarajan is a doctoral candidate within the interdisciplinary graduate program in genetics and genomics. Having graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in biotechnology from Anna College in Chennai, India, and a grasp’s diploma in biotechnology from Texas A&M, Aravindh joined the lab of Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis to review the host-pathogen interplay. His present analysis, utilizing laboratory mice and multidrug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, seeks to know the genetic components behind why some individuals contaminated with the identical pathogen get sick whereas others keep asymptomatic. Aravindh is co-author of a number of peer-reviewed publications, teaches genetics lab programs (for which he was awarded the Genetics and Genomics 2020 Scholar Selection Award) and serves as a mentor for quite a few undergraduate college students by means of the Aggie Analysis program and the Summer time Analysis program. After commencement, Aravindh hopes his analysis will broaden the accessibility of personalised medication and protected analysis/academic areas for college students from underprivileged communities.

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Donnie Secreast is a doctoral candidate in English. She holds bachelor’s and grasp’s levels in English from Radford College and the College of North Carolina-Wilmington, respectively. Her present analysis focuses on the intersections of ecocriticism and humor in twentieth and twenty first century literature. Her present dissertation, written below the route of advisor Dr. Emily Johansen, examines how nature writing makes use of grotesque and absurdist humor to maneuver past preconceived notions in regards to the environmental literature style. Just lately honored with the 2021-2022 Elizabeth Qualls ’89 Endowed Graduate Fellowship, Secreast has introduced her work at a number of nationwide and worldwide conferences, and at the moment serves as an affiliate editor for the literary journal Artemis.