Monday, May 2, 2022

Undergraduates and alumni

Nyah Davis of Des Moines, IA will graduate from the University of Iowa this May with a degree in Mathematics. A 2021 Goldwater Scholar and 2022 Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellowship awardee, Nyah has conducted research in the Department of Mathematics with Drs. Colleen Mitchell and Ryan Kinser.  Her honors thesis on General Representations of Finite-Dimensional Algebras was supported by a Research Training Group (RTG) Undergraduate Fellowship. In the fall, Nyah will begin her doctoral studies in Theoretical Mathematics at Rice University as their first Raymond Johnson Graduate Fellow.

Lily Jones of Ankeny, IA graduated from Iowa in December 2021 with Honors in Chemistry. During undergrad, she conducted research with Dr. Elizabeth Stone on atmospheric chemistry with a focus on the characterization of bioaerosols. By studying how pollen ruptures under extreme weather conditions, Lily helped to develop methods for the spatial analysis of aeroallergens. This fall, Lily will continue her training at Colorado State University where she will investigate biosphere-atmosphere interactions and their implications for climate processes.

Riley Lewers of Iowa City, IA, earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics and Mathematics from the UI in 2020. Since graduating, Riley has worked with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She will begin doctoral work in Applied Economics at the University of California, San Diego in fall 2022 where she will focus her studies on environmental economics.  As an undergraduate, Riley began exploring research through early collaborations with David Frisvold in the Department of Economics and Rene Rocha in the Department of Political Science

Anvay Pradhan of West Des Moines, IA will graduate from the UI this May with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. His research experiences have ranged from tribology to space physics instrumentation to industrial robotics. In addition to research and teaching collaborations with Dr. Phil Deierling in the COE’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, he spent the last two summers working with researchers at Caltech to develop an origami-inspired metamaterial with tunable permeability. This fall, Anvay is headed to the University of Michigan where he will focus his research on the modeling, simulation, and design of compliant, biomimetic robots. 

Emily Silich of Epworth, IA graduated with degrees in Astronomy and Physics in spring 2021. A 2020 Goldwater Scholar, Emily worked on the HaloSat, an astrophysics mission in collaboration with NASA that searches the Milky Way’s galactic halo for missing matter as a member of Dr. Phil Kaaret’s research team in the Department of Astronomy and Physics.  Emily is currently in her first year of graduate study in Astrophysics at Caltech.

Victoria Cassady of West Des Moines, IA graduated from the UI with a BA in Biochemistry and a BS in Microbiology in spring 2020. As an undergraduate, Tori conducted research on the use of RNA sequencing to predict cancer outcomes with Dr. Ronald Weigel in the Department of Surgery in the Carver College of Medicine.  She is now a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Earth Sciences at UCLA where she is studying how microbial structures are preserved in the rock record and what microbial processes impact stromatolite textures. 

Graduate Recipients

Samantha Kruse of Waterloo, IL graduated from Webster University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.  She is currently a PhD candidate in the UI Department of Chemistry where she is working with Tori Z. Forbes and Len R. MacGillivray to develop a fundamental understanding of the structure and function of the relationship of organic materials with exposure to different forms of radiation (i.e., gamma, beta, and alpha).

Kendall Riley of Loogootee, Indiana graduated from Indiana University in 2020 with bachelor’s degrees in human biology and psychology. She is currently a second year PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Iowa.  With the support of her mentor, Dr. Mark Berg, Kendall is studying how trauma and adversity get “under the skin” and shape health. More specifically, her research seeks to understand incarceration as a social determinant of health and its role in perpetuating health disparities for Black people living in the U.S. who are hyper-exposed to the criminal legal system.

Hannah Zadeh of Ankeny, IA graduated from the UI in 2021 with honors in sociology and is currently in her first year of doctoral training in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. She is studying the sociology of organizations, politics, and science with a focus on how data and social categories like race and gender/sex are understood and used in the healthcare system under the supervision of Dr. Louise Seamster in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, African American Studies and Dr. Martha Carvour in the Department of Internal Medicine at UIHC. 

The following UI students and alumni were recognized with Honorable Mentions in the 2022 NSF GRFP competition:

Rose Gogal of Biomedical Engineering, COE, University of Iowa

Andrej Corkovic of Rock Island, IL, Department of Chemistry, CLAS, University of Iowa

Carly Donahue of Bettendorf, IA, Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities