University Fellows represent a variety of programs across campus. Click on the University Fellows' names below to learn more about which departments they come from and each University Fellow's interests.
2022-2023 University Fellows
- Ayrton Pablo Almada Jimenez, Applied Mathematics
- Maura Beste, Gender & Women's Studies
- Maria Fátima Corona del Toro, Musical Arts - Conducting
- Gözde Durgut, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
- Catherine Ellis, Physiological Sciences
- Jenna Green, Art History & Education - Art and Visual Culture Education
- Hilary Houlette, Higher Education
- Gabriella LaRose, Philosophy
- Eden McEwen, Optical Sciences
- Joona Mikkola, Arid Lands Resource Sciences
- Mary Monaghan, Musical Arts - Performance
- Crystal Morales, Arizona Biological/Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Program
- Enrique Olivares-Pelayo, Geography
- Richard Park, Microbiology
- Addison Plummer, Aerospace Engineering
- Jamie Schafroth, Anthropology
- Claire Taylor, Art
2021-2022 University Fellows
- Mourad Abdennebi, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Amy Banka, Microbiology
- Brianna Billingsley, Physics
- Jacob Blitz, Philosophy
- Lauren Bridgeman, Anthropology
- Rishi Chandra, Planetary Sciences
- Benjamen Douglas, Applied Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Clar Gobuyan, Higher Education
- Raine Ikagawa, Entomology & Insect Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Fatima Jebahi, Speech Language and Hearing Sciences
- Marshall Ledford, Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- José Malvido, Jr. , Mexican American Studies
- Chosen Obih, Plant Science
- Gloria Ines Orozco Dorado, Musical Arts - Performance
- Jordan Osness, Molecular & Cellular Biology
- Rebecca Renteria, Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Ernie Sandoval, Clinical Translational Sciences
- Avery Sanford, Mechanical Engineering
- Anupam Singh, Art History & Education - Art and Visual Culture Education
- Catherine Vasquez, Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Sarah Weinstein, Nursing
2020-2021 University Fellows
- Mario Alberto Aguilar Buenrostro, Mexican American Studies
- Mosiah Bluecloud, Linguistics
- Austin R. Cruz, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Carlie Felion, Nursing
- Diana Wanjiru Githu, Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Ana Julieta González-Gómez, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Anuj Gupta, Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English
- Gabe Holguin, Psychology
- Sóley Hyman, Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Katherine King, Anthropology
- Carlos Krapp-López, Spanish – Hispanic Linguistics
- Patrick Joseph Lohr, Chemical Engineering
- James McKenzie, Language, Reading & Culture
- Ivette Merced, School Psychology
- Mariel Miranda, Art
- Anna Roche, Physics
- Cozette Shen, Philosophy
- Brooke Sykes, Plant Science
- Emmy Tisdel, Musical Arts - Performance
2019-2020 University Fellows
- Kathleen Barvick, Anthropology
- Nicholas Bielski, Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program
- Alicia Brown, Spanish - Hispanic Linguistics
- Romi Castillo, Biomedical Engineering
- Noah DeFino, Entomology & Insect Science GIDP
- Emmanouil Georgios Drimalas, Physics
- Robert Ferrando, Applied Mathematics GIDP
- Caroline Jäger, Transcultural German Studies
- Rebecca Jarnutowski, Mathematics
- Sana Khan, Epidemiology
- Marta Kozlowska, Plant Science
- Sierra Lauman, Natural Resources - Ecology and Management of Rangelands
- Annalysa Lovos, Psychology
- Iggy Matheson, Aerospace Engineering
- Raven Moffett, Art (MFA)
- Lucy Mugambi, Art History and Education - Art and Visual Culture Education
- Kyle Norland, Systems and Industrial Engineering
- Sy Simms, Higher Education
- Marie Tanaka, School Psychology
- Wunetu Tarrant, Linguistics
- Tina Workman, Nursing
2018-2019 University Fellows
- Jared Baker, Dance
- Ian Briggs, Optical Sciences
- Nina Conrad, Second Language Acquisition & Teaching Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Jonathan Credo, Clinical Translational Sciences
- Sonia Delphin Pérez, Natural Resources
- Richmond Embeywa, Transcultural German Studies
- Erin Jennings, Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program
- Elizabeth Johnson, Nursing
- Ashok Kaliyamurthy, Marketing
- Julie Kasper, Educational Leadership
- Victoria Luizzi, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Joshua Mack, Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Lauren Meeks, Nutritional Sciences
- Tristan Phillips, Mathematics
- John Powell, Linguistics
- Joe Schlosser, Chemical Engineering
- Carmella Scorcia Pacheco, Spanish
- Victoria Sisk, Sociology
- A. Grace Steig, Anthropology
- Yuhui Tang, Planetary Sciences
- Rebecca Thompson, Applied Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Amanda Wilson, Environmental Health Sciences
- Jessica Zanetell, Applied Mathematics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
2017-2018 University Fellows
- Annie Beguhl, History
- Victoria Bland, Nutritional Sciences
- Matiss Castorena Salaks, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Matthew Crosby, Musical Arts - Conducting
- Harman Dhatt, Pharmaceutical Sciences - Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy & Outcomes
- Thomas Benjamin Fuhr, Transcultural German Studies
- Jessica Gjerde, Higher Education
- Gitanjali Gnanadesikan, Anthropology
- Michael Grace, Optical Sciences
- Sara Hu, Entomology and Insect Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Sue Youn Kim, Marketing
- Li-Chuan Ku, Psychology
- Jingyi Li, East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies
- Siennah Miller, Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (Pharmacology and Toxicology focus)
- Dylan Moriarty, Statistics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Maria del Mar Navarro, Applied Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- James Romine, Epidemiology
- Travis Sawyer, Optical Sciences
- Andrew Sevrinsky, Astronomy
- David Welsh, Plant Sciences
- Julia Yang, Geography
2016-2017 University Fellows
- Junmo Ahn, Mining and Geological Engineering
- Dylan Barton, School Psychology
- Katie Chenard, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Kayla Chronister, English Literature
- Kevin Doubleday, Biostatistics
- Ryan Endsley, Astronomy
- Caroline Geisler (Foy), Animal Sciences
- Kristy Gilman, Nutritional Sciences
- Khaled Jarrar, Art
- Tanya Jeffries, Computer Science
- Juli Kim, Spanish - Hispanic Linguistics
- Matthew Klass, Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Juan Mejia, Musical Arts - Performance (Cello)
- Rachel Murray, Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Edna Osuna, Finance
- Patrick Ploschnitzki, Transcultural German Studies
- Sarah Price, Psychology
- José Luis Ruiz Duarte, Systems and Industrial Engineering
- Paula Ugalde, Anthropology
- Joshua Uhlorn, Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (Physiological Sciences focus)
- Ernest Vallorz III, Pharmaceutical Sciences - Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics
- Karolina Wisniewska, Philosophy
- Christina Wyles, Nursing
- Pam Yabeny, American Indian Studies Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
2015-2016 University Fellows
- Misha Burstein, Art and Visual Culture Education
- Joseph Dupris, Anthropology and Linguistics
- Gregg Erickson, Management Information Systems
- Mel Ferrara, Gender & Women's Studies
- Brooke Finley, Nursing
- Ana Florea, Epidemiology
- Brittany Uhlorn (Forte), Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program and Cancer Biology Graduate Intersdisciplinary Program
- Nathania García, Language, Reading & Culture
- Jeffrey Gillan, Natural Resource Studies
- Joshua Gosney, Chemical Engineering
- William Gurley, Plant Sciences
- Byron Hempel, Environmental Engineering
- Stephanie Hoeckley, Musical Arts - Performance (Flute)
- Adolfo Béjar Lara, Spanish
- Megan McKendry, Sociology
- Jeffrey Melzer, Optical Sciences
- Mohammad Abdolhosseini Moghaddam, Hydrology and Water Resources
- Rhoda Muse, Statistics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Kevin Scott, Drug Discovery and Development
- Amanda Snell, Second Language Acquisition & Teaching Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Sarah Sutton, Planetary Sciences
- Kirsten Verster, Entomology and Insect Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
- Lu Zhang, East Asian Studies - Chinese Religion and Thought
2014-2015 University Fellows
- Kyle Curham, Psychology
- Kelly Dew-Budd, Plant Sciences
- Shyla Dogan, Educational Leadership
- Matthew Godfrey, Marketing
- Michael Kerins, Pharmacology and Toxicology
- Andrew Kunihiro, Nutritional Sciences
- Elliott Kwan, Optical Sciences
- Stephanie Lashway, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Tomas Martinez, Management and Organizations
- Paul Neff, Material Science and Engineering
- Christine O'Donnell, Astronomy
- Saffo Papantonopoulou, Anthropology and Middle Eastern and North African Studies
- Terrence Pitt-Brooke, Musical Arts - Conducting
- Susan Renz, Nursing
- Danielle Sheather, Dance
- Christopher Shepard, Soil, Water, and Environmental Science
- Brigette Walters, Spanish and Portuguese
- Melodie Yen, Linguistics
University Fellows Cohort 2021-2022
Ayrton Pablo Almada Jimenez
PhD Student, Applied Mathematics
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Ayrton is a graduate student in the Applied Mathematics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. He is from Mexico City and earned a M.A. in Applied Mathematics from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His research focus is the spectral analysis of switching diffusion processes, deep learning and stochastic differential equations and the phenomena that can be modeled by them. He plans to increase his Machine Learning expertise as much as possible in order to be at the forefront of emerging Machine Learning trends. Ayrton is also an avid runner, likes football, Japanese animation, and History trivia.
PhD Student, Gender & Women's Studies
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Maura is a doctoral student in the Gender and Women’s Studies program. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English Literature, they worked as a Veterinary Technician with a special interest in canine dentistry. Their research interests are at the intersection of critical animal theory and gender studies, primarily investigating how understanding our relationships with animal others can be a means of articulating and empowering queer identities and culture. Outside of their studies, Maura enjoys dog training and sports, especially schutzhund and agility work.
Maria Fátima Corona del Toro
DMA Student, Musical Arts - Conducting
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María Fátima Corona del Toro is a doctoral student in orchestral conducting at the Fred Fox School of Music. Originally from Nayarit, Mexico, Fátima holds a B.A. in violin performance from the Autonomous University of Baja California. She is committed to communicating the power and benefits that music has on the formation of a healthier society both culturally and spiritually. The changes she observed and nurtured as artistic and musical director of the Esperanza Azteca Nayarit program and as a professor at the Autonomous University of Nayarit for seven years inspired her to study orchestral conducting, first at the Catholic University of America (Artist Diploma) and then at Michigan State University as a Teaching Assistant (M.A.). The cultural diversity and inclusion, the excellent music program, the opportunity to engage with the Hispanic community were her primary motivations for choosing graduate studies at The University of Arizona. In addition to music, Fátima enjoys exploring new places, spending time with her family, reading, watching documentaries, cooking, hiking, and biking.
PhD Student, Physiological Sciences
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Catherine Ellis is a doctoral student in the Physiological Sciences GIDP. She was born in Costa Rica, where she earned undergraduate degrees in Human Nutrition and Fine Arts with emphasis in Graphic Design. Passionate about understanding and teaching how the human body works, she worked as an instructor at the University of Costa Rica for several years. Her research interests include food sensitivities, their relationship with digestive/absorptive function, stress, and immune function, and why some digestive symptoms are more prevalent in women. In her free time, she enjoys playing musical instruments, swimming, cooking, and spending time outdoors with her children.
PhD Student, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
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Gözde is originally from Izmir, Turkey, and has recently completed her MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Alabama. She holds a dual degree in English literature and translation and interpreting. She has taught in a variety of contexts including first-year writing programs, EFL in Turkey and ESL in America, K-12 schools; the recipient of a Fullbright Award, she has also taught Turkish at Syracuse University. Gözde’s primary research interests are in second/foreign language acquisition and teaching. Her past work has focused on L2 writing, corpus linguistics, material design, and curriculum development. Other general areas of interest include human language technology and the intersection of linguistics and computation.
PhD Student, Art History & Education- Art and Visual Culture Education
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Jenna identifies as a white, non-disabled, cis-woman from the ancestral land of the Akimel O’Odham, Hohokam, and O’Odham Jewed, colonized today as Phoenix, Arizona. An artist, museum professional, and yoga guide, she earned her M.A. in Museology from the University of Washington, where she studied museum education and evaluation; her B.A. in Anthropology from Arizona State University focused on social/cultural factors that influence health and well-being. In 2021, Jenna earned both a 200-hour and 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate. Her yoga classes interweave movement, mindfulness, and creativity; they often involve coloring, drawing, collage, and block out poetry. Jenna’s passion is exploring the intersections of art, well-being, and education in individual and community-based programs. Her goal is to integrate art, meditation, and movement into museum programs and other community art spaces. Besides these interests, Jenna enjoys traveling, making art, finding coffee shops, and going to museums.
PhD Student, Higher Education
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Hilary is a doctoral student in the Higher Education program. She earned a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Denver and a Master of Education in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. Following graduate school, Hilary worked at Huron Consulting Group, focusing on research administration and institutional compliance. Blending her academic and professional interests, Hilary’s research explores the ways in which federal and institutional policies governing research either promote or limit global engagement and international collaboration. She is also interested in assessing the broader impact that research policies have on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. In Hilary’s spare time, she enjoys swimming, baking bread, hiking, and playing the recorder.
PhD Student, Philosophy
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Ella is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy. She grew up in the Atlanta suburbs and graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a B.A. in Philosophy. She also attended Colorado State University, where she received her M.A. in Philosophy, after which she served as a college tutor and barista. Her research interests are in metaphysics and aesthetics, especially where the two topics intersect. Her current focus is on establishing metaphysical relationships between aspects of aesthetic experience and the experience itself. Ella enjoys knitting, tabletop games, and spending time with her cat, Karen.
PhD Student, Optical Sciences
Eden McEwen is a doctoral student in Optical Sciences where she researches astronomical instrumentation for ground-based telescopes. She earned her BAs in computer science and physics at the University of California Berkeley, focusing on adaptive optics applications in astronomy. In her PhD program, she will develop instruments to image extrasolar planets for the current 10 meter class ground-based telescopes, and she will plan for next generation 30 meter class telescopes. Eden enjoys enjoys community STEM outreach, linoleum block printing, and photography – from portraits to astronomical images.
PhD Student, Arid Lands Resource Sciences
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Joona is a doctoral student in the Arid Lands Resource Science program. Born in Finland, Joona earned a B.A. in social sciences from the University of Helsinki and an M.A. in management from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business. After working several years in Sahel and East Africa managing and monitoring food security and agricultural projects, he witnessed how land-degradation was fueling conflict, forced displacement and food insecurity in the area; as a result, he co-founded a climate tech start-up which helps organizations address societal challenges through the restoration of ecosystems. Joona’s research will focus on climate finance and governance of communal rangelands in Sudan, Kenya, and South Africa. He is passionate about ecological economics, and he is looking to develop his transdisciplinary research skills to solve interconnected development and environmental challenges. Joona is a great karaoke singer and spends his free time mainly outdoors.
DMA Student, Musical Arts - Performance
Mary is a horn player and a doctoral student in the Fred Fox School of Music. She graduated with her B.A. in music performance from Oklahoma State University and her M.A. in performance from Illinois State University. Mary’s research interests are in accessible music education and diversity in classical music. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, archery, and her cats.
Biological/Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Program
Crystal Morales was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and is a proud first-generation student in the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Science program. She recently completed a B.A. and M.A. in biomedical science and biology, respectively, at Northern Arizona University. Crystal was awarded the NIH-funded RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) fellowship at NAU. She is also a founding member and former secretary for a chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. Her research interests include addressing cancer disparities and studying chemotherapeutics agents and potential cancer treatments. She hopes her work can benefit patients struggling with cancer and minimize the burden of cancer in marginalized communities. Crystal likes to be outdoors, get crafty, and train her puppy to do new tricks.
PhD Student, Geography
Enrique Alan Olivares-Pelayo is a doctoral student in the School of Geography, Development and Environment. Having earned a B.A. in English and creative writing after transferring from Pima Community College, as well as a M.A. in English from the University of Arizona, Enrique researches the production, maintenance, and daily experience of carceral landscapes in the US. Relying on primary, (auto)ethnographic methods and data, Enrique’s research is informed by lived experience of incarceration inside Arizona’s harsh prison system. He aspires to serve as a mentor and ally for people who are involved in the system and who seek their rightful place within the academy. Enrique is a proud Tucsonan and first-generation American of Mexican descent. He can be found at the park every morning walking his pug, Fígaro.
University Fellows Cohort Member, 2022-2023
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Richard is a doctoral student in the Microbiology Program at the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. He earned his B.A. in microbiology at the University of Arizona and has worked as a research technician in Dr. Sadhana Ravishankar’s food safety lab since graduation. He is also the chair of the Youth Professional Development Subcommittee of the Food Safety Consortium and a member of the UA Food Science Club. His research focuses on the transfer of foodborne pathogens from soil onto melon rinds and the use of non-traditional sources of water treated with ozone in agriculture. Richard hopes that his research will create a safer farm to fork journey. He enjoys playing video games, listening to podcasts, and cooking.
PhD Student, Aerospace Engineering
Addison is a doctoral student in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona with honors in Aerospace Engineering. Her research takes an experimental approach to understanding complex flow phenomena in hypersonics. In addition to generating new knowledge, Addison hopes that her research will expand the hypersonics community. In her free time, she likes yoga, cooking, walking her dog, and trying new coffee shops.
PhD Student, Anthropology
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Jamie Schafroth is a doctoral student in the School of Anthropology where she studies gendered violence, substance use, and the medical and legal institutions that attempt to address them. She is interested in using applied and critical frameworks to understand how violence and its infusion into gender, sexuality, class, and race shape the everyday lives of intentionally marginalized populations and medical politics. In 2017, she graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience. She then completed a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the NIH. In 2022, she earned a Master of Science in Medical Anthropology at Boston University, where she studied the experiences of receiving and providing care for sexual and intimate partner violence. Believing that we are all more than our professions, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, exercising, and eating dessert.
MFA Student, Art
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Claire Taylor is pursuing an M.F.A. in the School of Art. She was born in Davis, California, and grew up in Utah. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Humanities and a B.F.A. from the University of Utah. Her artwork reflects her psychological attachment to and experiences with the landscapes and wildlife she visits during her walks, runs and bike rides. Her process of art-making is an existential exploration; she incorporates visual reflections of her thought process into her imagery, and she invites the viewer to see themselves as participants in ecosystem. Claire has held artist residencies at the Natural History Museum of Utah (2020) and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (2018-19). She has also worked with underserved populations in teaching-artist residencies that focus on ecology and art. Her art has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including a solo exhibition at the Utah State Capitol, titled Snail Snake City (2022).
2016-2017 University Fellows
Mining and Geological Engineering, PhD Student
Junmo Ahn is a South Korean doctoral student in the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Konkuk University and a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Seoul National University. He is interested in improving the environmental sustainability of mining waste materials reclamation through the use of biotechnology, and improving the environmental sustainability of the mining industry through regional organizations.
School Psychology, PhD Student
Dylan Barton earned an Honors BS in Psychology and a Criminology Certificate from the University of Utah. Born and raised in Utah, he spent much of his young adulthood supporting LGBTQ rights and visibility - particularly for LGBTQ youth and people of color - in a state where they are routinely under-served. He worked for the Utah Pride Center's Advocacy and Education department and supported Utah's Gay-Straight Alliance network. His interest in serving vulnerable youth populations eventually led him to work for Utah's Juvenile Justice System. There he learned that early detection and intervention in our school systems can prevent a myriad of negative outcomes for youth, prevent delinquency, and promote the resilience our students need in order to thrive. Dylan will earn his PhD in School Psychology. Outside Academe, he enjoys the gym, journaling, visual arts, and attending rock and mineral fairs.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, PhD Student
Katie Chenard is a doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She earned her BS in Wildlife Ecology from University of Maine, where she wrote an honors thesis on nesting captive Zebra finches; the project included extensive research in New Zealand. Since graduating, Katie has worked with field research teams in a variety of locations. She has also conducted independent research on the feeding and boldness behavior of guppy populations in the rainforests of northern Trinidad. Her doctoral work in Dr. Duckworth’s lab will focus on animal behavior, integrating aspects of endocrinology and genetics in order to improve our understanding of how persistent individual behaviors are created and disrupted.
English Literature, PhD Student
Kayla Chronister is a doctoral student in English Literature. She is originally from Seattle and holds a BA in Literature from Seattle Pacific University. Her research interests include Gothic literature, interactions between folklore and written literature, and the politics of genre. Prior to starting her graduate studies, she spent a year teaching and mentoring sixteen children at a group home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In her spare time, she writes horror and fantasy short fiction. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and Shimmer.
Biostatics, PhD Student
Kevin Doubleday is a Biostatistics doctoral student in the College of Public Health. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Mary Washington in 2009, then taught high school math for 4 years before attending the University of Arizona to earn an MS in Biostatistics. His current research interests include developing individualized rules for treating chronic diseases, focusing on value based recursive partitioning methods. His objective is to provide optimal treatment for patients as indicated by their baseline characteristics.
Astronomy, PhD Student
Ryan Endsley graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in physics and mathematics. He then spent a year working at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics near Munich, Germany. Now a PhD student in the Department of Astronomy, Ryan researches properties of stars and gas in galaxies when the universe was only 5-10% of its current age. By using various UA directed telescopes and resources, Ryan seeks to gain a deeper insight into how galaxies formed and evolved in the early universe and how they built the universe we live in today.
Caroline Geisler (Foy)
Animal Sciences, PhD Student
Caroline Geisler is a doctoral student in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. She grew up outside Dayton and attended Miami University in Oxford, OH, where she earned a B.S. in zoology. She then attended the University of Arizona for her Master’s Degree in Animal Sciences. Her primary research interest is how metabolism and endocrinology impact systemic health and liver physiology. Caroline's master's thesis investigated how signaling by ketone bodies affects the hepatic adaptation to fasting. Her PhD project focuses on how lipid accumulation in the liver drives pathophysiologies common to obesity and diabetes, such as insulin resistance and hypertension.
Nutritional Sciences, PhD Student
Kristy Gilman graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Nutrition and Health Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Now a doctoral student in the UA Nutritional Sciences Program, she is interested in bioactive compounds and nutrients and their impact on cancer development. She enjoys jogging, hiking, and watching The Big Bang Theory in her free time.
Art, MFA Student
Khaled Jarrar is a Palestinian student in the School of Art's MFA program. He is an internationally known artist with a strong professional portfolio that spans more than ten years. His art often focuses on the sociocultural impact of modern-day power struggles on ordinary citizens. In addition to expanding his artistic experience in the US, he is interested in teaching and in making community connections throughout Tucson.
Computer Science, PhD Student
Tanya Jeffries, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, researches high performance computing data visualization with her advisor, Dr. Kate Isaacs. She is particularly interested in graph drawing. Prior to coming to the UA, she studied at the University of New Mexico, where she earned both her B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Computer Science. Her Master's thesis explored problems related to crossing minimization in bipartite graphs.
Hispanic Linguistics, PhD Student
Juli Kim is a doctoral student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, specializing in Hispanic Linguistics. She is from South Korea, where she earned a Master of Hispanic language from Seoul National University and was awarded the prestigious Brain Korea 21 Program Fellowship in Academic Research. Her doctoral work will include address form, politeness, pragmatics, null subject, and object in Spanish and Portuguese.
Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP), PhD Student
Matthew Klass is a doctoral student in Physiological Sciences. A veteran of the UA, he earned his bachelor’s degrees in Physiological Sciences, French, and Italian in May 2016. His research focuses on the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. Outside of the lab and classroom, Matthew is committed to volunteering; he has served in the Dominican Republic with the International Student Volunteers Project and in Tucson with the SBATA Youth Mentorship Program, supporting Nepali-Bhutanese youth refugees.
Musical Arts – Cello Performance, DMA Student
Juan Mejia is a doctoral student who wants to create meaningful impact through music education. A cellist, he has studied at the renowned San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is known for his superb musicality as well as his community outreach. As in Brazil's El Sistema program, Juan is committed to addressing poverty through music education.
Arid Lands Resource Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP), PhD Student
Rachel Murray is a doctoral student in the Arid Lands Resource Sciences Program. She investigates current stressors on the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty between Pakistan and India. As a Borlaug Global Food Security Fellow at the University of Wisconsin's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Rachel received her MS for research on the resiliencies and vulnerabilities of small Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems in Nepal; her was on women farmers. Rachel also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a BS in Wildlife Ecology and Botany from UW-Madison. Her research interests include interstate water conflict, climate change adaptation in agro-ecosystems, women and irrigation, and the global water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus. Rachel has worked as a Tribal Attorney, Director at a domestic violence council, ornithologist, water regulations specialist, and of course, cheesemonger.
Finance, PhD Student
Edna Osuna is a doctoral student in the Department of Finance at the Eller College of Management. She received an Associated Degree in Business Administration at Pima Community College and both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Finance at the UA. Edna’s research interest is in financial markets, especially the role and development of venture capital markets in Mexico. Combining her financial research and education with community engagement in the Tucson area, she has volunteered with Fundación de México and served as an intern for the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Edna has also provided loan analysis and small business education services for Chicanos Por La Causa.
Transcultural German Studies, PhD Student
Patrick Ploschnitzki grew up in Germany and served his Zivildienst at a hostel on Norderney, followed by a job at the front desk there. Fascinated by languages and the USA, he completed the programs of "Linguistics and Phonetics" and "English Studies" at the University of Cologne in 2013. As an undergraduate, he interned for the University of Rhode Island's German Section and served as an assistant and phonetics teacher at Middlebury College’s German School. Patrick recently earned his Master's degree in German Studies (Translation Emphasis) at the University of Arizona. He will continue his studies as a PhD student with a minor in Translation Studies in the Department's "Transcultural German Studies" program. He is passionate about travel and language, music, movies, and literature. Patrick plans to become a professional literary translator.
Psychology (Clinical Psychology Focus), PhD Student
Sarah Price is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. A longtime resident of Philadelphia, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in the Biological Basis of Behavior. While contributing to various clinical trials at the Perelman School of Medicine, Sarah became interested in developing interventions to help individuals cope with serious medical diagnoses and to facilitate health behavior change in clinical populations. Her research focuses on improving quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. In her free time, Sarah enjoys rock climbing, yoga, hiking, and cycling.
José Luis Ruiz Duarte
Systems and Industrial Engineering, PhD Student
José Luis Ruiz Duarte is a doctoral student in the Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering. He attended the Universidad de Sonora in Hermosillo where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering, and served as an assistant professor instructing courses in the areas of systems engineering, data analytics, simulation, and operations research. He is interested in solar energy research and its application for sustainable development through the use of systems and industrial engineering approaches. Outside of the lab and classroom, José Luis is an avid musician.
Anthropology, PhD Student
Paula Ugalde is a doctoral student in the Anthropology program. She earned her BA in Archaeology from the Universidad de Chile. Her research focuses on the early peopling of the Atacama Desert. Broadly, Paula is interested in the history of humans settling harsh and unknown territories. She wants to develop a geoarchaeology research approach line to site formation processes in the Atacama. Throughout her career, she has been devoted to outreach activities. Her more recent work includes a story for children based on the Inca civilization. Aside from archaeology, she enjoys singing, writing, and swimming.
Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program
Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, PhD Student
Josh Uhlorn is an Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program alumnus and is pursuing his doctorate in the Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. Although originally born in Idaho, Josh has lived in Chandler, Arizona, for most of his life, and he received his bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Arizona in May of 2016. During his graduate career, Josh plans to focus on how the human body functions, with a particular interest in both cardiovascular and immune systems. He hopes to use this knowledge to develop biomedical devices that better mimic natural mechanisms and elicit less of an immune response when implanted.
Ernest Vallorz III
Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics, PhD Student
Ernest Vallorz is a doctoral student in the Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics Program. While earning his BS in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he held multiple research positions. For the past three years, he has been a project lead at Cirrus Pharmaceuticals in RTP, developing novel pMDI and DPI formulations for industry clients. Ernest's research interests are in parenteral, aerosol and topical drug delivery, specifically understanding and modeling pharmaceutical aerosol delivery to the lungs. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, is an avid reader, and looks forward to exploring many of the hiking trails Arizona has to offer.
Philosophy, PhD Student
Karolina Wisniewska is a doctoral student in the Philosophy Department. She holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Art History from York University, a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School, and an MA in Philosophy from York University. After completing her law degree, Karolina clerked at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. She has been called to the Ontario Bar and is a licensee of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Her research focuses on transnational institutional structure and function in the context of the philosophical debate on global justice, and the implications of these normative questions for substantive issues of international law. Her broader research interests include political, moral and legal philosophy. Karolina enjoys travelling and has studied in England and Italy.
Nursing, PhD Student
Christina Wyles is a doctoral student in the College of Nursing. She has served as a nurse for over a decade and has focused on related healthcare research and outreach. Christina earned a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Arts in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Arizona. Her combined interests in nursing and information science have led to her focus on health informatics and its role in improving access to health care. To this end, she works with Dr. Sheila Gephart on the nationally-funded NEC-Zero intervention project, helping to prevent and improve early recognition of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants.
American Indian Studies Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP), PhD Student
Pam Yabeny is a doctoral student in the American Indian Studies program. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Counseling degree and a Master of Science degree from Arizona State University. A member of the Navajo Nation, she has worked with American Indian students for nearly ten years in the Maricopa Community College District. Pam is interested in researching the differences among American Indian student experiences in tribal colleges and community colleges. She enjoys travelling to exciting destinations with her husband.
2015-2016 University Fellows
Art and Visual Culture Education, PhD Student
Misha Burstein is a PhD student in Art and Visual Culture Education. He holds a BA in Film and Video Production from Montana State University and an MA in Intermedia Art and Video Performance from University of Iowa. He recently earned a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education from Western Washington University while teaching art history, film production, and art education courses at the Art Institute of Seattle. Misha is currently on the steering committee for the International Transformative Learning Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University— researching the relationship between transformative learning theory and art and social activism. Additional interests include contemplative pedagogy, critical reflection practice, weather art, and generative systems theory.
Anthropology and Linguistics, PhD Student
Joseph Dupris is a doctoral student in the Anthropology and Linguistics dual degree program. He focuses on language revitalization and documentation, situated within his tribal community’s contemporary systems of knowledge transmission. He earned an MA in Native American Linguistics from the University of Arizona, where he combined community experience and archival research in order to examine the descriptive and theoretical aspects of maqlaqsyals (Klamath-Modoc) grammar in the Klamath Tribes region of the Upper Klamath Basin. Joseph intends to expand upon this research by exploring the sociolinguistic and ideological factors that come to bear on the Upper Klamath Basin, including the influence of political conflict, historical violence, and assimilationist government policies on language shift.
Management Information Systems, PhD Student
Gregg Erickson is a doctoral student in the Management Information Systems program. He earned an MBA and an MS in Industrial and Technical Studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and he earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Washington. Gregg is an established entrepreneur, having co-founded three companies in the automotive industry, online support forums, and pharmokinetics. He also has consulting experience with Siemens Medical Systems and the Audubon Society His research is concerned with the impact of overdependence on assistive technology, with how to design assistive technology that avoids groupthink, and with the use of deception detection to screen patients and deliver higher-quality diagnoses. In his free time, Gregg travels the West, photographing the night sky, and posts his photos at www.DarkSkyWest.com.
Gender & Women’s Studies, PhD Student
Mel Ferrara is a doctoral student in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, having graduated from Muhlenberg College with a BA in Philosophy/Political Thought and in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Their research interests include transgender and intersex studies, medical ethics, and politics of the body. They have worked as an advocate with the Diversity Strategy Planning Committee and the Muhlenberg Trans Advocacy Coalition, which Mel helped co-found. Mel enjoys traveling and has studied in Morocco and the Netherlands.
Epidemiology, PhD Student
Ana Florea is an Epidemiology doctoral student in the College of Public Health. She holds an MPH from Boston University and a BS in Physiological Science from UCLA. Ana has worked at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, on various cardiology clinical trials, where she provided statistical support by creating original statistical coding; by monitoring enrollment, event rates and safety; and by creating monthly deliverables for executive committee meetings. She intends to study pharmaceutical clinical trials and vaccines, with interests in infectious diseases and healthcare in developing countries. Ana’s research interests developed from service abroad opportunities in Romania, where she was born and raised, and in Mexico. She wants to pursue a career with pharmaceutical companies or the Centers for Disease Control, overseeing a variety of epidemiological and clinical trial studies.
Nursing, PhD Student
Brooke Finley is a doctoral student in Nursing. She earned her BS in Nursing at The University of Arizona in May 2015. In the course of holding four research positions as an undergraduate, Brooke found her scholarly niche in nursing informatics. Her doctoral research will focus on integrating healthcare informatics, biomedical technology, cognitive science, and psychology in order to meet the needs of 21st century healthcare; those needs include reducing compassion fatigue and streamlining care delivery while mutually reducing financial costs and improving patient outcomes. She enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and reading classical literature, philosophy, and contributions from public intellectuals.
Brittany Uhlorn (Forte)
Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program
Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, PhD
Brittany Forte is an Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program alumnus and is a doctoral student in the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. A Pennsylvanian-turned-Texan, Brittany graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2015 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology and with a minor in Mathematics. Her undergraduate thesis, based in pharmacology, focused on the novel use of a peptide, Angiotensin-(1-7), as a therapeutic in cancer-induced bone pain. Brittany plans to join the Cancer Biology program to focus on mechanisms of breast cancer memory, invasion, and metastasis.
Language, Reading & Culture, PhD Student
Nathania Garcia is a doctoral student in the College of Education’s Language, Reading, and Culture program. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Arizona in Mexican American Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Northern Arizona University. Nathania’s research focuses on identity, queer borderlands, feminist pedagogies, and bilingualism, especially as they relate to social justice and the Mexicana/Chicana experience.
Natural Resource Studies, PhD Student
Jeffrey Gillan is a doctoral student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. He earned a BS in Park Management and Conservation from Kansas State University and an MS in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho. In addition to being a scholar, Jeffrey is a USDA Agricultural Research Service employee in New Mexico at the Jornada Experimental Range; there, he has developed expertise with GIS datasets, and he has had extensive experience with using digital tools to communicate both science and policy. His research will focus on improving the use of GIS in land management policy and on communicating science to the public.
Chemical Engineering, PhD Student
Joshua Gosney is a doctoral student in the Chemical Engineering program. He is a member of the Black Feet tribe and is a first generation college student. The recipient of both the McNair and INBRE scholarships, he earned a BS in Chemical Engineering at Montana State University. His research focuses on the environmental and health applications of computational and statistical modeling of fluid dynamics. More specifically, Joshua intends to work on the atmospheric science applications of chemical engineering in order to predict future climate on Earth. He is also interested in biomedical engineering and sustainability initiatives; at Montana State University, he led a project to reduce fume hood energy use, which led to $10,000 in savings per month. Joshua is an avid cyclist and has enjoyed traveling to Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Plant Sciences, PhD Student
William Gurley is a doctoral student in the School of Plant Sciences. He attended Auburn University, where he researched the metabolic adjustment of cotton under high temperatures. He has a wide background in the life sciences, ranging from organic chemistry to genetics and physiology.
Environmental Engineering, PhD Student
Byron Hempel is enrolled in the PhD program in Environmental Engineering. He earned a BS in Chemistry at the University of Kentucky, and he has worked in both the laboratory and the field, including a project in Argentina. Byron’s doctoral work will focus on water remediation and developing advanced water filtration techniques. In addition to his work in environmental engineering, he has experience in traditional chemistry labs and in the medical field. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing on Mt. Lemmon and working out at Rocks and Ropes.
Musical Arts – Performance, DMA Student
Stephanie Hoeckley is earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute Performance. A Florida native, she earned a BA in Music at the University of Central Florida and a Master’s of Music at Arizona State University, where she expanded her performance repertoire and teaching credentials. She has been a finalist in the Florida Flute Association’s College Young Artist Competition and in ASU and UCF’s Concerto Competitions; in addition, she was principal flutist in many of the schools’ ensembles, and she maintains an active private flute studio. Stephanie’s interests include Alexander Technique, acoustics, entrepreneurship, and autism awareness. She aspires to become a “musician with a cause,” one who champions social justice. She hopes to improve the accessibility of classical music and destigmatize the genre as elitist. She is also interested in leveraging her role as a musician to promote feminism and broader equality. Outside the studio, she enjoys everything sci-fi and fantasy-related, and she belongs to the fictional Ravenclaw House.
Adolfo Béjar Lara
Spanish, PhD Student
Adolfo Béjar Lara is a PhD student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, where he will specialize in in Spanish American Cultural Studies and Border Studies. He has BAs in Spanish and Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside and an MA in Spanish from the University of Kansas. Adolfo’s research interests include ways in which food intersects with cultural representations of identity and hybridity; his doctoral work will focus on the dynamics of cultural exchange between border towns in the U.S. southwest and the north of Mexico.
Sociology, PhD Student
Megan McKendry is pursuing a PhD in Sociology. She holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University. She served with AmeriCorps VISTA and spent four years working for a volunteer-run national non-profit organization focused on campus sexual assault policy and student activism. Before beginning her doctoral studies, Megan worked for the UA Campus Health’s Oasis Program as a Violence Prevention Counselor and for the Center for Disease Control in the Harlem Health Promotion Center. Broadly, her research interests include law and policy, sexual and reproductive health, social movements, political participation, and social inequality.
Optical Sciences, PhD Student
Jeffrey Melzer is a doctoral student in Optical Sciences. He earned his BA in Materials Science and Engineering from Rutgers University, where he researched optical fibers, with an emphasis on hollow waveguides for infrared applications. His doctoral work will focus on the intersection of telecommunications and electronics, as well as the role of photonics in their enhancement. In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys photography and looks forward to capturing the new landscape around him.
Mohammad Abdolhosseini Moghaddam
Hydrology and Water Resources, PhD Student
Mohammad Moghaddam is earning his PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources. An international student from Iran, he holds an MA in Civil Engineering and Water Resources from the University of California, Irvine, and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tehran Polytechnic. His main interests are in hydrogeology, hydrology, optimization and inverse modeling. Mohammad’s current research uses hydrologic tomography to improve subsurface imaging at basin scales. He plans to investigate system responses of naturally recurrent stimuli (i.e., storms, earthquakes, and river stages) in order to map the subsurface characteristics and improve both water resource management and flood prediction.
Statistics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, PhD Student
Rhoda Muse is a doctoral student in the Statistics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. Originally from Kenya, she earned a BA in Actuarial Science from the University of Nairobi in 2012 and an MA in Statistics from the UA. Rhoda is interested in the intersections of statistics, agriculture, and climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research is on the modeling of food production as the developing world faces climate change. An aspiring farmer, she hopes to improve food production throughout Africa. In her free time, Rhoda enjoys singing, cultural dancing, travelling, and watching movies.
Drug Discovery and Development, PhD Student
Kevin Scott is a first generation college student enrolled in the College of Pharmacy’s Drug Discovery and Development PhD program. Born in Germany, he moved to San Diego as a child. While working on a BS in chemistry at the University of California Irvine (UCI), he interned at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and at an organic synthesis lab at UCI; he also worked at an aerospace startup in Los Angeles. Kevin is interested in applying medicinal chemistry to the discovery and design of new drugs. Among his notable achievements are the development of a method to genetically incorporate a non-canonical fluorescent amino acid into a bacterial cell-wall protein, the development of a therapeutic molecule that circumvents drug-resistance in pathogenic fungi, and the development of a chemical etching process for a key component of NASA/JPL’s InSight Mars Lander, which is due to launch in 2016.
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, PhD Student
Amanda Snell is a doctoral student in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program. She earned undergraduate degrees in Spanish and English from Purdue University and an M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She enjoys volunteering and has developed English and family literacy classes for adult immigrants and refugees in central Indiana, where she grew up. In 2014, she received a Fulbright grant to teach English to German secondary school students and German to adult refugee women. This year, the Graduate Center is helping facilitate her community engagement project at Robison Elementary, a TUSD International Baccalaureate World School, where she leads a weekly girls’ mentoring club and teaches English to parents in the evening. Amanda’s research interests include family literacy, adult immigrants’ access to quality language instruction, discourse about immigration, and the connections between mental health and language acquisition. In her free time, she enjoys running, writing letters, and traveling.
Planetary Sciences, PhD Student
Sarah Sutton is a doctoral student in the Planetary Sciences Program. She is an active member of the HiRISE Team at the UA, which uses advanced imaging and processing techniques to study Mars. She is also associated with NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics cartography panel. Sarah intends to advance the role of innovative imaging techniques and modeling in order to explore more fully not only Mars but other bodies in the solar system.
Entomology & Insect Science Graduate Intersdisciplinary Program, PhD Student
Kirsten Verster is a PhD student in the Entomology and Insect Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. She has a strong interest in evolutionary biology and entomology, having researched the cognition and facial recognition of wasps, phylogenetics, and bat-moth acoustic coevolution. As an undergraduate, she earned degrees in in Biology and Spanish at the University of Florida. This past year, she worked as the curator of flies for the UA. Studying genetics in order to understand behavior and evolutionary processes, she plans to examine the origins of herbivorous behaviors using the Scaptomyza flava model system. Kerstin’s fascination with biology began during her childhood in Florida when she snorkeled with manatees and collected bugs in the Everglades. She is an avid reader, enjoys cooking, and plays the ukulele, guitar, and piano.
East Asian Studies – Chinese Religion and Thought, PhD Student
Lu Zhang is a PhD student in the Department of East Asian Studies, where she is focusing on the relationship between Buddhism and politics in medieval China. An international student from Beijing, she earned her BA and MA from Minzu University. Lu’s research focuses on the ways in which secularization and other cultural factors influenced Buddhism during the Song Dynasty. She is especially interested in the impact of evolving Buddhist beliefs on the literature of the period and on people of different socio-economic backgrounds. Richly interdisciplinary, her work includes Chinese history, philosophy, literature, and religion.