The University of Georgia Graduate School has honored five recipients with the Excellence in Research by Graduate Students Award, which recognizes outstanding research by graduate students. Five awards are given annually, one in each of the following five areas: Fine Arts, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and Professional and Applied Studies. Graduates are nominated by their departments and recipients are selected by a faculty committee.
The 2015 Excellence in Research by Graduate Students Award was given to the following graduates:
- Allison Howard, Ph.D. in Psychology, researched how landscape features influence the movement, use of space, and decision-making processes of wild bearded capuchin monkeys. In the first-of-its-kind study, her multidisciplinary research integrated field observations, field experiments, computational techniques, remote sensing, and GIS (geographic information system). Howard’s research also used geospatial analysis of satellite imagery- data to which she won access through an international geospatial technologies and satellite data competition (ERDAS Imagine DigitalGlobe Geospatial Challenge). Howard is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Maryland’s Department of Biology.
- Yuanyuan Ma, Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology, researched various fortification processes for using antioxidant-rich peanut skins to create more nutritional peanut butters. With almost half of the peanuts grown in the U.S. made into peanut butter, Ma’s research has significant market potential for the peanut industry. Her research has been presented at various national and international meetings as well as to key members of the U.S. peanut industry. Her findings could help companies improve antioxidant and fiber levels in existing peanut butter brands, which would permit an FDA-approved “good source of fiber” nutrient content claim.
- Colette Miller, Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition, examined growing evidence that the obesity epidemic may be contributing to an increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (which includes liver diseases such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and liver cancer). Her discoveries have led to potential new innovative treatments against the development of NASH in postmenopausal women. Miller is a post-doctoral research associate at the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia and is currently transitioning to a post-doctoral fellowship at the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, NC.
- Anriban Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D. in computer science, researched the use of 3D shape analysis, computer vision and machine learning in biomedical image analysis. Mukhopadhyay worked extensively on the analysis of high-resolution multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) and CINE MR images for segmentation, detection and diagnosis of cardiovascular pathologies. His research showed that proper geometric analysis of the left ventricular endocardial surface provides a powerful and non-invasive means of predicting the incidence and severity of coronary artery disease. Mukhopadhyay is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies in Lucca, Italy.
- Pauline Reid, Ph.D. in English, integrated and extended scholarship on early modern vision, book history and early modern rhetoric. Her dissertation argued that cultural crises of perception – the relationships between sight and knowledge – manifest in the visual rhetorical qualities of print. Reid analyzed the visual style of early modern rhetorical manuals, almanacs, print maps, emblem poems, and handbooks to show that these books, far from being merely “ornamental,” provided a “popular pedagogy” that helped readers navigate the opposing demands of the new “plain style” and ornamentation. Reid is currently a Lecturer at the University of Denver’s Writing Program.