The Reilly Center is pleased to announce its second cohort in the NSF-funded Social Responsibilities for Researchers (SRR) program.  We are fortunate to once again welcome an exceptionally strong and truly diverse set of STEM PhD students. 

All branches of STEM (natural sciences, social sciences and engineering) are well represented, with the cohort being comprised of five biologists, one chemist, two anthropologists, two sociologists, one psychologist, one political scientist, and three computer science engineers.  

For 2016, the SRR cohort is:

Paige Ambord, a first-year Sociology student conducting research on the framing of social movement campaigns in electoral politics as well as in cultural spaces. Paige would like to find ways to make social movement research and resources accessible to young activists and political participants.

Mette Evelyn Bjerre, a second-year Sociology student conducting research on race and ethnicity, multiracial identity, and educational inequality. Eve wants to become a socially conscientious researcher and learn how to make her findings more accessible to a non-academic audience.

Mauna Dasari, a first year biology student conducting research on the role of the gut microbiome in evolutionary fitness and behavior, specifically in yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus). She is interested in conservation outreach and policy and potentially developing a wildlife conservation education workshop.

Heather “Raven” Forrest Fruscalzo, a first year PhD student in the Biology Department working to develop mosquito traps by exploiting their plant feeding behavior.  She plans to provide information about how invasive plant species can impact mosquito populations, and thus disease transmission dynamics to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Kristina Hook, a first-year Anthropology and Peace Studies student and Kellogg Institute Fellow, conducts research on varying types of large-scale, civilian-directed violence including genocide and mass atrocities.  Prior to her time at Notre Dame, Kristina was a U.S. Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of State.  She is currently a Fellow with the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  She has published and presented her research in numerous national and international journals and conferences.  Kristina aims to make her research more accessible to policymakers at the national and multilateral levels and is exploring ways to share her findings more broadly with impacted communities.

Stephen Hutt, a first year Computer Science student conducting research in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and the applications of such methods in Education. He is interested in exploring the social and educational effects of new learning technologies and online learning environments.

Kristina Krasich, a second-year Psychology student conducting research on deficits in cognitive control during learning in high school and college students. The vision for her research is to improve the quality of the educational system by guiding educational policy and advising parents, teachers, and principals on how to develop the next generation of professionals and scientists.  

Nate Kremer-Herman, a first-year Computer Science student conducting research in distributed computing at the Cooperative Computing Lab. Nate is interested in applying his prior studies in sociology and philosophy into his current research interests, focusing on community outreach and education.

Emily Maiden, a second-year Political Science and Peace Studies student conducting research on vulnerability and adaptability to global climate pressures. She is examining the sociocultural factors that impact the adaptive capacity of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Emily plans to engage with the St. Joseph County Health Department on a collaborative project to promote environmental health literacy, particularly in terms of water health and safety.

Chelsea McCallister, a second year student in the Integrated Biomedical Science Program conducting research on the effect of fatty acid oxidation on the ability of breast cancer cells to survive during extracellular matrix detachment.  She is interested in working with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science to bridge the gap between scientists and the general public.  

Maryam Rokhideh, a first-year Anthropology and Peace Studies student conducting research on the experience and impact of violence.  She is interested in working on a participatory action research project with the South Bend community on violence prevention and stress management.

Niraja Suresh, a second year Biology student working on the mechanisms behind artemisinin drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malarial infections. She plans to work on developing programs aimed at women interested in STEM fields.

Christian Talavera, a second-year Chemistry and Biochemistry student conducting research on the photophysical properties of metal clusters for energy conversion processes. He aims to develop the necessary skills to engage the broader community and make them self-aware of how their everyday choices has a direct impact on the environment.

Matt Trentman, a first-year Biology student conducting research on the impacts of agricultural conservation practices on stream water quality, focusing on the dynamics of phosphorus retention and export. He is interested in exposing the effectiveness of these practices to producers, while better understanding their inherent perspective of conservation and sustainability.

Sudip Vhaduri, a second year Ph.D. student doing research in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in the Mobile Computing Lab of the Computer Science department.  He is analyzing a 2-year large-scale NetHealth dataset from 400 freshmen in University of Notre Dame.  He is trying to get a better understanding of the ways these individuals may be impacted by this research as well as to find ways to deliver the research findings to a wider, nonacademic audience.