Current Fellows

Julius A. Edson

Julius A. Edson

Degrees:

  • Chemical Engineering & Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, PhD, 2017 expected
  • Chemical Engineering & Biochemical Engineering, UC Irvine, MS, 2014
  • Chemical Engineering, City College of New York, BSe, 2012

Research

Engineering new material based antimicrobial to treat drug resistant infections

Biography

Julius Edson received his B.S.E in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Nanotechnology and Bioengineering from the City College of New York. He is currently a NSF GRFP fellow pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in the lab of Dr. Young Jik Kwon. His research focuses on the development of nanoantibiotics capable of reversing drug resistance in bacteria, such as drug resistant M. tuberculosis. He has founded Responsive Polymers Therapeutics, Inc. in order to turn his research into a viable pharmaceutical product.

Jason Gowans

Jason Gowans

Degrees:

  • Visual Arts, UC Irvine, MFA, 2017 expected
  • Photography, UC Irvine, BFA, 2010

Research

The Photographic Image and Technology

Biography

Jason Gowans (Born Kelowna Canada, 1981.) is currently a MFA candidate at The University of California Irvine. and completed a BFA in photography at Concordia University in Montreal Canada, (2010). He has had a devoted art practice and has exhibited work throughout The United States, Canada, and Europe. Gowans artwork and research focuses on how the photographic image has evolved through technology and how images influence our lives politically and subconsciously. Gowans specifically focuses on the camera apparatus, social media, and surveillance to investigate these issues.  

In addition to his own practice Jason Gowans has been dedicated to education and community outreach. He founded Gallery 295 in Vancouver, Canada. Gallery 295 was a non-profit art gallery devoted to exhibiting emerging photo based artists and providing them with access to facilities to produce their work. Gallery 295 regularly worked with Artists for Kids to provide arts education and opportunities for children throughout the Vancouver area. Currently, throughout the summer sessions Gowans works with The Oxbow School, a non-profit devoted to providing arts education to youth aged 14-18.

Mallory Hinks

Mallory Hinks

Degrees:

  • Chemistry, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2017 expected
  • Chemistry, San Diego State University, M.S., 2011
  • Chemistry, San Diego State University, B.S., 2008

Research

Atmospheric Aerosols

Biography

Mallory Hinks earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from San Diego State University in California in 2008 and 2011, respectively. She will complete her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2017 under Professor Sergey Nizkorodov. Her doctoral research here at UCI has focused on atmospheric aerosols, which, as a whole, contribute one of the greatest uncertainties in our understanding of climate change. She specifically studies how environmental conditions can change the chemical composition, viscosity, and concentration of these aerosols in the atmosphere. Her work will help us better understand how aerosols can affect both climate change and air quality.

Faezeh Tork Ladani

Faezeh Tork Ladani

Degrees:

  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2017 expected
  • Fields and Waves, Communication, Electrical Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, M.S., 2010
  • Communication, Electrical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, B.S., 2007

Research

Nanophotonics, Nano-Electromagnetics

Biography

Faezeh Tork Ladani completed her undergraduate work at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, in 2007 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering- Communication.  She received her M.S. in the same field from Shiraz University of Technology, Iran, in 2010.  Faezeh will complete her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2017.  Her research at UCI started on electrodynamic analyses of plasmonic nano-antennas, the breakthrough technology for providing optical detection sensitivities and miniaturization of nano-photonic devices in developing compact portable sensors that can detect chemicals in either the atmosphere or solutions.

Since 2014, she joined the Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL) at UCI to expand her multidisciplinary research in direct and extensive collaboration with the scientists at the CaSTL Center. Besides her research on plasmonic nano-antennas, Faezeh also develops a new theoretical framework for describing the physics underlying Photo-induced Force Microscopy (PiFM) and its effectiveness. PiFM is an emerging technique for imaging nanostructures and molecules.

Janice Phung

Janice Phung

Degrees:

  • Psychology & Social Behavior, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2017 expected
  • Social Ecology, UC Irvine, M.A., 2013
  • Psychology, UCLA, B.A., 2009

Research

Autism spectrum disorder in a family context

Biography

Janice Phung completed her undergraduate work at UCLA in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. She will complete her Ph.D. in Psychology & Social Behavior at UCI in 2017. Janice’s dissertation study examines the theoretical and practical implications of a community-based martial arts intervention on cognitive and social functioning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She also conducts research with the UCI Center for Autism Research and Translation, examining the relations between sleep, and individual and family well-being. Janice is passionate about her research objectives, which are twofold: 1) To improve our understanding of child development in the family context for both neurotypical children and those affected by ASD, and 2) To provide research-based approaches to help children and their families lead healthier and happier lives. In addition to her scholarly activities, Janice is committed to her role as a Leadership Coach in DECADE Plus, where she serves as a mentor for Chancellor’s Excellence Scholars. As a proud first-generation college student herself, Janice firmly believes that the unique talents of diverse individuals are what higher education needs to continue to advance science and the arts. Janice is the recipient of the Paul and Frances Dickman Graduate Student Research Award (2016, School of Social Ecology), Pedagogical Fellowship (2015-2016, Center for Engaged Instruction), and Faculty Mentor Program Fellowship (2014-2015, Graduate Division).

Zachariah Reagh

Zachariah Reagh

Degrees:

  • Neurobiology and Behavior, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2017 expected
  • Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.S., 2012
  • Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.A., 2012

Research

Research: Memory and neurocognitive aging.

Biography

Zach is a Ph.D. candidate in Neurobiology and Behavior in the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences. He holds a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he studied the ways we perceive, represent, and remember information in the world, particularly emotional information. As a doctoral student, Zach studies memory and how it is supported by distinct networks of specialized regions in the human brain. His dissertation research focuses on episodic memory – recall of people or objects embedded in their spatial or temporal context – and how certain components of episodic memory break down more drastically than others as the brain ages. Through this work, he hopes to shed light on how relatively healthy aging alters basic memory processes in the brain, and inform future investigations of how this differs from pathological aging (such as Alzheimer’s disease). Zach’s ultimate goal is to establish himself as an independent memory researcher and to continue contributing to our understanding of memory and brain aging as a professor of neuroscience.


Past Fellows

Sandra L. Blair

Sandra L. Blair

Degrees:

  • Chemistry, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2016 expected
  • Chemistry, UC Irvine, M.S., 2014
  • Chemistry, CSU Chico, B.S., 2010

Research

Photochemistry of Atmospheric Aerosols

Biography

Sandra Blair is a doctoral candidate in the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. She holds an M.S. degree in Chemistry (2014) from the University of California, Irvine and a B.S. degree in Chemistry (2010) from the California State University, Chico. Her Ph.D. thesis work focuses on the chemical composition, chemical evolution, and light-absorption properties of anthropogenic and biogenic organic aerosols studied using various state-of-the-art techniques. The main emphasis of this research is the effect of solar radiation on the aerosol chemical and physical properties. While gas-phase photochemistry is well understood, condensed-phase reactions in aerosols are poorly known. The experiments conducted by Sandra Blair will contribute to reducing the uncertainty in the role of aerosols in the Earth’s climate and understanding of the detrimental health effects of particulate matter pollutants. As a first generation student, Sandra’s experiences strongly motivate her to pursue a career in academia. Sandra’s long-term goal is to establish a research group in atmospheric chemistry to contribute to the scientific understanding of atmospheric aerosols and other air pollutants.   

Adam Ghazi-Tehrani

Adam Ghazi-Tehrani

Degrees:

  • Criminology, Law & Society, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2016 expected
  • Criminology, Law & Society, UC Irvine, M.A., 2012
  • Criminal Justice, CSU Long Beach, M.S., 2010
  • Political Science, UC Davis, B.A., 2007

Research

Cyber warfare

Biography

Adam Ghazi-Tehrani completed his undergraduate work at the University of California, Davis in California in 2007 with a B.A. in Political Science and minor in Philosophy. He will complete his Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society in 2016. His research at UCI has focused on white-collar crime issues in China and cyber crime issues in the U.S., China, and Thailand. Adam argues that current cyber criminological research tends to be too narrowly focused on things such as attack vectors, while ignoring larger issues such as inadequate legislation, minimal IT staffing and a lack of "defensive" funding.  He has recently returned from Asia, where he conducted a number of interviews with cyber security researchers, journalists, and government officials.

Anna Kryczka

Anna Kryczka

Degrees:

  • Visual Studies, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2016 expected
  • Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago M.A., 2009
  • Art History and Anthropology, Knox College, 2007

Research

Mid-twentieth century American art, design, media and material culture, and architecture with an emphasis on issues of taste, technology, display, labor, and domesticity.

Biography

Anna Kryczka completed her undergraduate work at Knox College in Illinois in 2007 and received a Master’s in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009.  She will complete her Ph.D. in Visual Studies in 2016. Her research focuses on American art, architecture, design, and media of the Cold War era. Kryczka's work has appeared in the Journal of Visual Culture and History and Technology. Her book, Learning by Doing at the Farm: Craft, Science, and Counterculture in Modern California, co-written with Robert J. Kett was published in 2014.

Joyce Lin

Joyce Lin

Degrees:

  • Education, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2016 expected
  • Education, UC Irvine, M.A., 2014
  • Sociology, UCLA, B.A., 2011

Research

Culture & Parenting

Biography

Joyce Lin is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education and is specializing in Learning, Cognition, and Development. She received her M.A. in Education from the University of California, Irvine and her B.A. in Sociology and minor in Education Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on environmental and contextual influences, such as culture and poverty, on parenting and what implications these have for child development. Joyce strives to identify various factors that serve as risk or protective factors for child development, in hopes of designing prevention and interventions programs that promote healthy child development. Her dissertation project is a cross-cultural, mixed-method study exploring how cultural values and beliefs serve as risk or protective factors for parental physical aggression (e.g., corporal punishment and physical abuse). She will look at these relationships across different cultural groups and is interested in exploring the role that generation status and acculturation play. Joyce has presented her research at regional and national conferences and is a recipient of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Student and Early Career Committee (SECC) Dissertation Funding Research Award. She has also been a Teaching Associate since January 2014 and has engaged in extensive service in the School of Education as well as with community partners.

Suman Kumar Mitra

Suman Kumar Mitra

Degrees:

  • Transportation Science, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2016 expected
  • Urban and Regional Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, M.U.R.P, 2008
  • Urban and Regional Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, B.U.R.P, 2005

Research

Travel Behavior Analysis on Social Justice Issues in Urban Transportation Planning.

Biography

Suman Kumar Mitra is a PhD candidate in Transportation Science at the University of California, Irvine. He earned his Bachelor and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation research under the guidance of Professor Jean-Daniel Saphores.  His dissertation research has three parts: Part 1 explores how transportation facilities influence property value in developing countries with an application to Rajshahi, Bangladesh; Part 2 analyzes the travel behavior of voluntary and involuntary carless households in California, both for social justice and environmental reasons; and Part 3 it explores characteristics of long distance travel in California. His research interests are unified by a desire to find viable ways to reduce our dependence on automobile travel.  He is the recipient of a 2015-2016 Public Impact Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine and of a 2014 Phi Beta Kappa International Scholarship also from the University of California, Irvine.

Mohammad Rafi

Mohammad Rafi

Degrees:

  • European Languages and Studies (German), UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2016
  • German Literature& Philosophy, UC Los Angeles, M.A., 2008
  • Political Science (International Relations), UC Los Angeles, B.A., 2005

Research

German Ideological Influence on the Development of Iranian Nationalism

Biography

Mohammad Rafi received a B.A in Political Science in 2005 and a Master’s Degree in German Philosophy in 2008 both at the University of California, Los Angeles. He will complete his Ph.D. in the European Languages and Studies department in 2016. His research at UC Irvine focuses on Germany’s ideological influence on the development of Iranian nationalism throughout the twentieth century. He looks at what role Germany played since the First World War in shaping Iranian national ideology. Ideological currents such as the myth of a shared common Aryan identity influenced Iranian national self-understanding. Other anti-Modern currents, originating in Germany, were adapted by central Iranian intellectuals and made in accordance with Political Islam, playing a central role in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The evolution of Iranian nationalism is connected to its sovereignty and of interest to the International Community due to a recent nuclear agreement. Mohammad has previously been awarded the Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies Pre-Dissertation Fellowship from the University of California, San Diego and the Zarrinkelk Fellowship from the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies at UC Irvine. Additionally, his work on Iran and Germany has been published with TELOS and also translated into German, Norwegian and Persian.

Michelle Allen-Sharpley

Michelle Allen-Sharpley

Degrees:

  • Medicine, UCI, M.D., 2015 expected
  • Neurobiology and Behavior, UCI, Ph.D., 2013 expected
  • Systems Physiology, SJSU, B.S., 2006

Research

Neural development

Biography

Michelle is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior.  She worked in Patient Services (1995-2000) and Human Resources (2000-2006) until completing her B.S. degree at San Jose State University.  In her graduate research of neural development, she investigates axon guidance cues in auditory circuit formation, reflecting her interest in human developmental, neurological and inner ear disorders.  As a current student of the Medical Scientist Training Program, Michelle's long-term goal is to perform translational research that helps advance medical care for patients.  Also a mother of three, she regularly volunteers for K-12 events and community public health outreach.

Shea Garrison-Kimmel

Shea Garrison-Kimmel

Degrees:

  • Physics & Astronomy, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Physics & Astronomy, UC Irvine, M.S., 2010
  • Astronomy and Physics, Haverford College, B.S., 2009

Research

Galaxy formation

Biography

Shea Garrison-Kimmel completed his undergraduate work at Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 2009 with a B.S. in Astronomy and Physics.  He will complete his Ph.D. in Physics & Astronomy in 2015.  His research at UCI has focused on using large numerical simulations to help understand how galaxies form and evolve, with a particular focus on the small “dwarf” galaxies near the Milky Way.  These dwarf galaxies are among the least luminous in the Universe, and consequently place stringent constraints on the standard model of galaxy formation.  Shea was recently awarded the Price Prize from Ohio State University for outstanding graduate student work in the field of astronomy.

Jin Kyoung Hwang

Jin Kyoung Hwang

Degrees:

  • Education, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Education, Harvard University, Ed.M., 2009
  • English Language and Literature, Sookmyung Women’s University, B.A., 2007

Research

Second language acquisition

Biography

Jin Kyoung is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education studying how adolescent students from non-English speaking families learn academic language in school. As an English as a second language student, her interests in supporting students from non-dominant language households was sparked when earning her master’s in Education at Harvard University. Since coming to UC Irvine, she has published four journal articles and given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. She was recently awarded a doctoral dissertation grant from the International Research Foundation for English Language Education and was a finalist for the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.

Nick Petersen

Nick Petersen

Degrees:

  • Criminology, Law & Society, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Social Ecology, UC Irvine, M.A., 2012
  • Psychology, UC Santa Cruz, B.A., 2008

Research

Racial and geographic disparities within criminal justice institutions

Biography

Nick Petersen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Criminology, Law & Society. His current research interests include homicide, capital punishment, racial disparities within the criminal justice system, and media representations of race and crime. Nick’s research examines racial biases within criminal justice institutions as a means for advancing understandings of racial inequality and the structural processes that underpin it, as well as contemporary challenges to achieving fairness and justice. In this vein, his dissertation explores issues of racial and geographic disparities within southern California’s criminal justice system. Nick’s work has been presented at various conferences as well as published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Homicide Studies, Race and Justice, and Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books. These research projects have been funded by various private and public agencies, including the Proteus Foundation, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Newkirk Center for Science and Society, School of Social Ecology, and Department of Criminology, Law and Society.

Sierra Powell

Sierra Powell

Degrees:

  • Political Science, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Political Science, UC Irvine, M.A., 2011
  • Government and Philosophy, University of Redlands, B.A., 2009

Research

American Politics (Political Behavior)

Biography

Sierra Powell is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. She also holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine and a B.A. in Government and Philosophy from the University of Redlands. Her dissertation research examines the mechanisms behind the low voter turnout of Americans with disabilities. Other research she has carried out assesses policy voting, campaign effects, and ex-felon disenfranchisement. Sierra has presented her research at regional, national, and international conferences and is a recipient of the Harry Eckstein Scholar Award from UC Irvine’s Political Science Department. She was a 2012-2013 Pedagogical Fellow with UC Irvine’s Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center and received UC Irvine’s School of Social Sciences Order of Merit Award for Outstanding Service in 2012. She is currently an Associate Dean’s Fellow in UC Irvine’s School of Social Sciences and is expected to complete her Ph.D. in 2015.

Eugene Smelyansky

Eugene Smelyansky

Degrees:

  • History, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • History, San Francisco State University, M.A., 2009
  • History, San Francisco State University, B.A., 2007

Research

Religious persecution in medieval Europe

Biography

Eugene Smelyansky received a B.A. and a M.A. in History from San Francisco State University (2007, 2009), before entering the doctoral program in History at the University of California, Irvine in 2009. His dissertation looks at the constellation of factors—social, political, cultural, and religious—involved in the persecution of heretics (religious communities at odds with the Catholic Church) in later medieval Central and Eastern Europe. He is a recipient of the Thyssen Pre-Dissertation Fellowship from the Institute of International, Comparative, and Area Studies at the University of California, San Diego (2012), and Charles & Ann Quilter Graduate Student Award in History from the University of California, Irvine (2014).

Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Degrees:

  • Visual Studies, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Visual Studies, UC Irvine, M.A., 2010
  • East Asian Studies, Ursinus College, B.A., 2007

Research

Japanese modern art and visual culture

Biography

Christina M. Spiker is a doctoral candidate in the Visual Studies Ph.D. Program in the School of Humanities. She received a B.A. in East Asian Studies with a minor in Japanese from Ursinus College in 2007. Her dissertation research brings together approaches from art history and visual anthropology to discuss nineteenth and twentieth-century visual representations of the Ainu, a northern indigenous people of Hokkaido, Japan. Her research in Japan and the United States has been funded by an Advanced Graduate Research Fellowship from the University of California Pacific Rim Research Program and a research residency from the Spencer Baird Resident Scholar Program at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. She is also the recipient of the 8th Annual Chino Kaori Memorial Essay Prize from the Japan Art History Forum. Her long-term goals include continuing her career in academia, and promoting interdisciplinary research and teaching.

Sophia Lin – Honorary Awardee

Sophia Lin – Honorary Awardee

Degrees:

  • Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2015 expected
  • Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, UC Irvine, M.S., 2011
  • Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, UCLA, B.S., 2010

Research

Silica Structures for Enhanced Fluorescence Detection with Applications in Point-of-Care Diagnostics

Biography

Sophia Lin is a Ph.D. student obtaining her degree in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Her research is in the biomedical engineering field and is focused on engineering technologies for improved disease detection capabilities.  She is a NSF-funded Biophotonics, Energy, Space, and Time (BEST) trainee. Sophia is highly involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) outreach, leading hands-on student workshops and co-founding A Hundred Tiny Hands, which develops educational STEM toys based off technology developed in the laboratory. She also leads the ChEMS GSA student group at UCI. She holds an M.S. from UC Irvine and a B.S. from UCLA.

Cristina Bejarano

Cristina Bejarano

Degrees:

  • Anthropology, UCI, Ph.D., 2014 expected
  • Anthropology, UCI, M.A., 2009
  • Applied Anthropology, CSULB, M.A., 2007
  • Anthropology, CSULB, B.A., 2000

Research

Science and technology studies

Biography

Cristina T. Bejarano is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences. Her dissertation examines the ways in which the multiple temporalities and spatialities of science affect scientific knowledge production and practices. She argues that the manifold experiences and constructions of time and space among scientists affect such things as the way science is envisioned, the kinds of research questions that are posed at particular moments, and how research trends eventually take shape. Her dissertation research project was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Her long-term goals include continuing her research in Science and Technology Studies and pursuing a career in academia.

Seema Ehsan

Seema Ehsan

Degrees:

  • Chemical Engineering, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2014
  • Chemical Engineering, UC Irvine, M.S., 2011
  • Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley, B.S., 2008

Research

Tissue engineering

Biography

Seema Ehsan received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2014. Her dissertation research focused on developing tissue-engineered models of the tumor microenvironment for anti-cancer drug development. She is a recipient of the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology Graduate Research Fellowship, UC Irvine’s Public Impact Fellowship, and the NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship. She is currently an Institute for Genomic Biology Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sandra Holden

Sandra Holden

Degrees:

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCI, Ph.D., 2014
  • Biology, Gonzaga University, B.S., 2009

Research

Ecosystem responses to global climate change

Biography

Sandra received a B.S. in biology from Gonzaga University in 2009. She completed her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Irvine in 2014. Her research interests lie broadly in the fields of ecosystem ecology and global change. For Sandra’s dissertation she studied how soil microorganisms respond to climate change in boreal forests of Alaska, and how these responses feedback to alter the amount of carbon stored in boreal forest soils. She received a Department of Energy Graduate Fellowship, Howard Schneiderman Fellowship, and Newkirk Center Fellowship to fund her graduate research. She is currently a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow in the Earth System Science Department at UC Irvine.

Kristin Keating

Kristin Keating

Degrees:

  • Drama, UCI, Ph.D., 2014
  • Theatre History and Criticism, Catholic University, M.A., 2009
  • English Literature, University of Maryland, College Park, B.A. 2005
  • Secondary Education-English, University of Maryland, College Park, B.A. 2005

Research

Anatomy theaters

Biography

Kristin is a doctoral candidate in the Drama Department in the School of the Arts (Spring 2014). Her dissertation focuses on the performances of anatomy theatres from the Early Modern period to the present day. She holds B.A. degrees in English Literature and Secondary Education from the University of Maryland and a M.A. degree in Theatre History and Criticism from Catholic University. Prior to enrolling in the PhD program at UCI, she worked as high school English teacher. In 2012, she was selected as a university-wide Pedagogical Fellow with the responsibility of training and mentoring new graduate student teaching assistants. In addition to her interests in anatomy theatres and new media, she has an interest in Shakespearean studies and has published a book chapter with Drama Professor Bryan Reynolds on this subject. She plans to pursue a faculty career in higher education.

Phu Nguyen

Phu Nguyen

Degrees:

  • Water Resources Management, UCI, Ph.D., 2014 expected
  • Water Resources Management, University of Melbourne, M.Sc., 2008
  • Civil Engineering, Bach Khoa University - Hochiminh City, B.S., 2003

Research

Water resources management

Biography

Phu Nguyen is a Ph.D. candidate in Hydrology and Water Resources working with Distinguished Professor Soroosh Sorooshian at the Center for Hydrometeorology & Remote Sensing (CHRS) at the University of California, Irvine.  He received a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering (2003) from Bach Khoa University – HCMC Vietnam and a Master's degree in Engineering Science (2008) from the University of Melbourne under the Australian Government Scholarship. In 2010, he was among the young scientists receiving a 2-year Vietnamese International Educational Development fellowship to pursue his Ph.D. program at UCI. His research interests include flash flood warnings, satellite precipitation estimation and global crowdsourced precipitation observation. Phu Nguyen is the current Secretary General of the Association of Vietnamese Students and Professionals in the United States.

Teishan Latner

Teishan Latner

Degrees:

  • History, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2013 expected
  • History, Temple University, M.A., 2008
  • Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies, Antioch College, B.A., 2000

Research

Transnational relationship between Cuba and the broad U.S. left, from the sixties era to the end of the Cold War

Biography

Teishan is a doctoral candidate in History in the UCI School of Humanities. He holds an M.A. in History from Temple University, and a B.A. in Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies from Antioch College. His interests lie in the intersections between U.S. foreign relations, social change movements, and racial-ethnic history and theory, with a special emphasis on the influence of Third World social and political movements on their counterparts in the U.S. An affiliate of the UC-Cuba Academic Initiative, Teishan’s dissertation examines the transnational relationship between Cuba and the broad U.S. left, from the sixties era to the end of the Cold War. He is a Teaching Assistant in the Program in African American Studies and Department of History and plans to pursue a faculty career in higher education.

James M. Leonhardt

James M. Leonhardt

Degrees:

  • Marketing, UC Irvine, Ph.D., 2013 expected
  • Philosophy, UC Berkeley, B.A., 2006

Research

Consumer welfare and decision making

Biography

James is a doctoral candidate in Marketing at the Paul Merage School of Business at UCI. His research aim is to enhance consumer welfare by identifying ways to help consumers understand information and make better decisions. Recently, James found that parents are better able to understand the risks associated with child vaccines when side-effect probabilities are presented graphically rather than only numerically. His research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Tobacco Control, Perception and Psychophysics, and Visual Cognition. After graduation, James will pursue a career in academia.

Joanne Randa Nucho

Joanne Randa Nucho

Degrees:

  • Anthropology, UCI PhD, 2013 expected
  • Anthropology, UCI MA 2009
  • Islamic Studies, UCLA MA 2007
  • Film and Television Production, New York University, BFA, 2001

Research

The notion of sectarianism in Lebanon

Biography

Joanne is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences.  Her dissertation is a reexamination of the notion of sectarianism in Lebanon. In it, she looks at the way in which infrastructures, services and municipal planning create a sense of community as well as the conditions of possibility for various forms of conflict along sectarian lines. Her long-term goals include continuing her research in Lebanon and pursuing a career in higher education. Joanne is also a documentary filmmaker, and would like to use film to communicate her work to wider audiences.

Jessica Dawn Pratt

Jessica Dawn Pratt

Degrees:

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCI, Ph.D., 2013 expected
  • Zoology, North Carolina State University, M.S., 2005
  • Biology, Grand Valley State University, B.S., 2003

Research

Plant response to environmental change

Biography

Jessica received a B.S. in Biology from Grand Valley State University in 2003 and a M.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University in 2005 where she studied the conservation value of shaded coffee plantations for resident birds in Puerto Rico. She is currently a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Jessica's interests lie broadly in the fields of habitat conservation and ecological restoration, and she is currently conducting research to assess how plant responses to environmental change scale up to affect animal communities. Jessica is also a founding member of the Orange County Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), and enjoys working through SCB to conduct local education and outreach related to her research.

Adam C. Sheppard

Adam C. Sheppard

Degrees:

  • Education, UCI, Ph.D., 2013 expected
  • Education, UCI, M.A., 2011
  • Kinesiology, CSU Fullerton, M.S., 2008
  • Physiological Science, UCLA, B.S., 2001

Research

The design and implementation of organized youth activities

Biography

Adam is a doctoral candidate with an emphasis in Educational Policy and Social Context in the School of Education. Currently, his work focuses on the design and implementation of organized youth activities. In particular, he is interested in the characteristics of the adult staff organizing these activities and their role in supporting positive experiences for youth. In April of 2012 Adam was awarded an Emerging Scholar Award for Out-of-School Time research from the American Educational Researchers Association.

Robert Aneyci

Robert Aneyci

Degrees:

  • English, UCI, Ph.D., 2012 expected
  • English, UCI, M.A., 2010
  • Philosophy & Literature, Sarah Lawrence College, B.A., 1989

Research

Literary journalism

Biography

Robert is a doctoral candidate in English in the UCI School of Humanities.  He holds an M.A. in English from UCI and a B.A. in Philosophy & Literature from Sarah Lawrence College. His current focus is on 'literary journalism,' which involves immersion-reporting, memoir, the gathering of oral histories, and cultural study to create extended narratives. Robert's dissertation project focuses on the gentrification of the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and explores the history of bohemian communities, the remaking of American cities after WWII, and the effect of new media on social trends. It will be published as: Last Bohemia: Scenes From Life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (FSG) in August.  Robert’s interests focus on marginalized individuals and communities, from ethnic boxers to low-level drug dealers and Peruvian farmers. For his next project, he is conducting research on crime and the black market on the U.S.-Mexico border. He is the author of The Gloves: A Boxing Chronicle (FSG).

Arnaud Martin

Arnaud Martin

Degrees:

  • Evolutionary Genetics, UCI, Ph.D., 2012 expected
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ecole Normale Superieure (France), M.S., 2007
  • Biological Sciences, Ecole Normale Superieure (France), 2005

Research

Evolutionary genetics

Biography

Arnaud is a doctoral candidate in Evolutionary Genetics, in the School of Biological Sciences. He holds an M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Ecole Normale Superieure in France. There, Arnaud developed a deep interest for evolutionary biology, developmental biology and modern genetics in particular. Arnaud currently investigates how changes in genes drive the diversity of shapes and colors that can be observed in butterflies.
Christoph Marx

Christoph Marx

Degrees:

  • Mathematics, UCI, Ph.D., June 2012 expected
  • Physical Chemistry, UCI, M.S., September 2008
  • Theoretical Chemistry, University of Vienna (Austria), Diplom, June 2006

Research

Mathematical physics

Biography

Christoph is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mathematics in the School of Physical Sciences.  He holds a degree in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Vienna and an M.S. in Physical Chemistry from UCI.  Christoph’s interests lie in mathematical physics, which bridges the gap between the phenomenological insights gained in the physical sciences and a mathematically rigorous understanding of nature. To date, much of his work has centered around the study of so-called quasi-periodic Jacobi operators, which mathematically capture the effects induced by magnetic fields on the conductivity properties of crystal layers. Christoph hopes to pursue a career in academia.

Tran B. Nguyen

Tran B. Nguyen

Degrees:

  • Chemistry, University of California Irvine, Ph.D., 2012 expected
  • Chemistry, University of Southern California, B.S., 2007

Research

Chemical transformations of complex organic material in the atmosphere

Biography

Tran is a doctoral candidate in the School of Physical Sciences with a focus chemical transformations of complex organic material in the atmosphere. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Southern California.  Her thesis work describes the effect of sunlight, ammonium sulfate, water vapor, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and hydroxyl radical on the composition of organic compounds found in organic aerosols. Tran’s long-term goal is to establish an academic research group in analytical atmospheric chemistry that combines laboratory research with field investigations. She plans to extensively collaborate with modelers to use the insights provided by laboratory studies to predict the concentrations of gas and condensed-phase compounds in the atmosphere.

Nayssan Safavian

Nayssan Safavian

Degrees:

  • Education, UCI, Ph.D., 2012 expected; Specialization: Learning, Cognition, and Development
  • Education, UCI, M.A., 2010
  • Psychology, UCI, B.A., 2004

Research

Motivation in improving students' proficiency in mathematics

Biography

Nayssan is a doctoral candidate with an emphasis in Learning, Cognition, and Development in the Department of Education at UCI.  She holds an M.A. in Education from UCI and a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA. Currently, she is project manager for the California Motivation Project where she studies the role of motivation in improving students' proficiency in mathematics and the impact of teachers' motivation on student achievement. As a first generation American, her experiences inspire her to study cultural differences in motivation among immigrant minority youth and she looks forward to a research and teaching career dedicated to understanding the impact of achievement motives on student success.

Elizabeth P. Shulman

Elizabeth P. Shulman

Degrees:

  • Psychology and Social Behavior, UCI, Ph.D., 2012 expected
  • Social Ecology, UCI, M.A., 2007
  • Psychology-Sociology, Wesleyan University, B.A., 1999

Research

Understanding why adolescents tend to make rash decisions and under what conditions

Biography

Elizabeth is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior in the School of Social Ecology. She holds a B.A. in Psychology-Sociology from Wesleyan University and an M.A. in Social Ecology from UCI. Understanding why adolescents tend to make rash decisions and under what conditions is the focus of much of her research.  By integrating findings from different areas of developmental and social science, Elizabeth hopes to shed light on the dynamic nature of adolescent risky decision-making.  While pursuing an academic career, Elizabeth envisions that much of her research will affect current approaches to juvenile justice policy and interventions.