WMU's Graduate College names fellows

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KALAMAZOO—Five Western Michigan University doctoral students recently received a fellowship from the Graduate College for the 2013-14 academic year. In addition, 85 graduate students from across the University were honored in April as recipients of Graduate Research and Creative Scholar and Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards for 2012-13.

Fellowship recipients

  • Clara Adams, a chemistry student of Charlotte, N.C., is the recipient of a Gwen Frostic Doctoral Fellowship. She is writing her dissertation, "Synthesis and Characterization of Nanoscale Materials for Biosensor Development." Her dissertation advisor is Dr. Sherine Obare, associate professor of chemistry. In addition to writing her dissertation, Adams is an author of three published manuscripts and one book chapter. She has also presented eight research papers at regional and national conferences. She is currently developing two innovative methods for detecting microbial pathogens based on new nanostructures.
  • Liyana A Wajira Ariyadasa, a chemistry student of Kalamazoo, is the recipient of a Gwen Frostic Doctoral Fellowship. She is writing her dissertation, "Interactions of Well-defined Metal Nanoparticles with Semiconductors and Molecules for Alternative Energy Applications." Ariyadasa's work is interdisciplinary and covers aspects of environmental chemistry and sustainability. Her research, guided by Dr. Sherine Obare, associate professor of chemistry, has been featured in two book chapters. Most recently, her work was accepted for presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
  • Christine Haskill, an English student of Grand Rapids, Mich., is the recipient of a Gwen Frostic Doctoral Fellowship. She's writing her dissertation "Battling the Separate Spheres: New Women Writers and British Women Writers of World War I." Her dissertation makes a series of critical interventions in the fields of 19th- and 20th-century British literature and culture, feminist criticism and scholarship on World War I literature. A portion of her dissertation was accepted for publication by ELT: English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, a top journal of 19th- and 20th-century British literature, where it will be the opening essay of the January 2014 issue. Her dissertation advisor is Dr. Todd Kuchta, associate professor of English.
  • Racha EI Kadiri, a geosciences student of Tetouan, Morocco, is the recipient of a Dissertation Completion Fellowship for her dissertation "GIS and Remote Sensing Applications for Assessing, Modeling and Mitigating Environmental Hazards in Mountainous Areas: A Case Study from Jazan, Saudi Arabia." Dr. Mohamed Sultan, chair of the Department of Geosciences, is her dissertation advisor. Ahmed utilizes an integrated approach using modeling, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems to address the assessment of the hazards pertaining to landslides in the Red Sea hills in Saudi Arabia, deciphering the factors controlling their distribution, and the mitigation of the different types of landslides.
  • Michael Romano, a political science student of Tempe, Ariz., is the recipient of a Dissertation Completion Fellowship for his dissertation "Mediated Homestyle: Congressional Strategy and Local Press Relations in the 111th House of Representatives." Romano analyzes the way members of Congress use the local media to connect with their constituents in their districts. The questions he addresses are of concern to students of representation generally as well as to those who focus on Congress and the media as institutions in American politics. Dr. John Clark, chair of the Department of Political Science, is his dissertation advisor.