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Chemistry is newest addition to ARCS fellowship program

By Cheryl Reed

The chemistry department recently joined 11 other Washington State University units that are participants in the Ph.D. fellowship program of ARCS Foundation Seattle. Achievement Rewards for College Scientists helps give WSU a competitive edge in recruiting top graduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.  Read More

Scholarships, Fellowships, Awards


Fund Your Graduate Education

Awards, Grants, Assistantships

Each year the Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association recognize graduate students of outstanding achievement with numerous awards, including:

Scholarships

The Graduate School provides a number of donor-funded scholarships within specific disciplines that require nomination from your department. To learn about these scholarships and request nomination from your department, visit the scholarships website.

Graduate School Scholarships include:

Visit WSU’s general scholarship page.

Visit the Open Education Database for more scholarship opportunities.

Fellowships

Fellowships are available from a number of outside agencies, including private foundations, nonprofits, and state and federal sources. A variety of support is offered, from one-time awards to multi-year support for living expenses, educational fees, conference travel and/or research for beginning to advanced graduate student and postdoctoral levels. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, receipt of external funding exemplifies excellence in research, writing and scholarship.

Applying for external fellowships and grants is an excellent professional development experience for many students who will be seeking academic career placement where grant funding is a necessity. The Graduate School offers training every spring to help students apply for a number of prestigious fellowships. Find out more about how to apply for these prestigious fellowships HERE:

For information about our prestigious fellowships workshop, visit the Graduate School’s Fellowships Opportunities website.

The Office of Research also provides funding opportunities for graduate students. Check HERE for more grants and fellowships.

 

 

Looking for a JOB or other funding opportunity?

The Graduate School website lists some current job openings and other funding opportunities, including assistantships.

Internships

Students should work with their faculty advisor to identify potential internship opportunities that fit within their program of study. Students who wish to participate in a fall or spring internship are required to meet the University’s continuous enrollment policy by either enrolling in a minimum of two graduate credits, be in continuous doctoral status, or be approved for official internship leave. Please see the complete Internship leave policy.

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

The WRGP allows master’s graduate certificate, and Ph.D. students who are residents of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) states to enroll in any participating programs within the participating institutions and pay resident tuition. The average savings is about $14,900 per student. MORE INFO

Washington State University approved WRGP programs include:

• Archaeology (Dept. of Anthropology)
• English Rhetoric & Composition Studies (Dept. of English)
• Neuroscience (College of Veterinary Medicine)
• Public History (Dept. of History)
• Speech-Language Pathology (new for 2017 in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine!)

How to apply

Apply for admission and identify yourself as a WICHE WRGP applicant to be considered for the discounted tuition rate. Programs give a limited number of reduced tuition seats each year, so apply early.

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS)


Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS)

In 1999, Washington State University Graduate School was designated as an ARCS recipient school. The first ARCS Fellowships were awarded to the College of Veterinary Medicine through the Seattle Chapter of ARCS. The Seattle Chapter is one of twelve chapters of the ARCS Foundation which has supported graduate education in the natural sciences, medicine and engineering.

By offering financial incentives to graduate students, the ARCS program further encourages the study of science, medicine, and engineering at the most prestigious universities in the United States. Since 1958, the ARCS Foundation has awarded over $66 million to support research in the fields of science and technology. Nationally, 14 ARCS chapters support graduate fellowships at 43 universities. ARCS Foundation Fellows possess outstanding scholastic records and proven abilities, and receive multiple offers to study at other top national universities.

For more information about ARCS, please visit, the Seattle Chapter (ARCS).

2016-17 ARCS Scholars

 

ARCS Scholar Lori BedientLori Bedient is a 1st year veterinary medical resident in the combined anatomic pathology/Ph.D. program at Washington State University. She received her B.S. in agriculture and D.V.M. at Kansas State University. While a veterinary student, Dr. Bedient had the opportunity to attend Aquamed, an intensive aquatic pathobiology program at Louisiana State University. Here she found a deep passion for both cultured and wild aquatic health issues. After graduation, she practiced small animal medicine for three years before returning to academia. She is most interested in opportunities in aquatic pathology and toxicological research and hopes to teach pathology after finishing her residency. She is a U.S. Army veteran, serving as a nurse in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and numerous stateside and overseas assignments. She and her husband have two little girls that keep her busy in her spare time.


ARCS Scholar Jacob Bray headshotJacob Bray is a 1st year Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student at Washington State University under the guidance of Dr. Jean-Sabin McEwen. In this program, he will be focusing on catalysis research. In 2013, Jake graduated from Michigan Technological University (MTU) with a degree in chemical engineering. During his time at Michigan Tech he spent 15 months in Kentucky as a process engineering co-op for Domtar Paper Company. Jake is also the co-founder of a start-up alternative agriculture company, Northern Aquaponics LLC, which won the best technology award of $10,000 at Central Michigan University’s New Venture Competition in 2013. Following graduation, Jake began his career as a chemical engineer for the mid-western utility company, We Energies, working as the subject matter expert for all of the We Energies power generation assets in areas such as air quality control, waste water treatment, and various process and project operations. Jake married Maria, his fiancée of six years, this past September in their hometown of Marquette, Michigan. They enjoy spending time with their two dogs, Maple and Lentil, adventuring outdoors, and have a passion for coffee and coffee roasting, good breweries, spicy foods, and long road trips.


ARCS Scholar Jonathan Eagle posing with two crabs in his handJonathan Eagle is a 1st year Ph.D. student in plant pathology, interested in researching disease resistance and integrated disease management using cultural, chemical, biological, and biotechnological approaches. Jonathan earned his B.S. in biology at Henderson State University, where he was a member of the Honors College, a student leader, and an office assistant for the College. He served as president of the Biology Club, was president of the Henderson Honors College Heart and Key Service Organization, and was an active member of the Student Government Association. He is also a member of Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honors Society as well as Gamma Beta Phi International Society. In 2014, Jonathan worked in in the laboratory of Dr. Javier Brumos at North Carolina State University as part of an NSF funded REU program, where he studied the regulation of auxin biosynthesis, examining specifically the effects of either activating or repressing selected transcription factor on the activity of the master auxin biosynthetic gene TAA1. Following his research, Jonathan presented at the Summer Undergraduate Symposium at NCSU. The summer of 2015, Jonathan traveled to Belize to conduct fieldwork on marine conservation and ecology as a member of the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program at Henderson.


ARCS Scholar Rachel Gewiss playing the violin outsideRachel L. Gewiss is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University, with plans to study reproductive biology. Rachel earned her bachelor’s of science in genetics, cell biology, and development from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. A large part of her education there was doing research in Dr. David Zarkower’s laboratory for three years. Her senior thesis encapsulated her work on the potential role of Sox9 in sexual transdifferentiation of the mouse ovary. Rachel also spent a summer working at the Jackson Laboratory through their Summer Student Program in 2015, where she looked at the molecular role of RNA-modifying enzymes in the testis under the guidance of Dr. Robert Braun. After completion of her Ph.D., Rachel plans to continue research in academia in the reproductive biology field. Outside of the laboratory, Rachel is an avid curler, and was part of the 2013 University of Minnesota team that won the College Curling Nationals. She was also the Journal Club facilitator for the Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development Club. Rachel loves spending time in nature, playing the viola, and going to petting zoos.


ARCS Scholar Noe Gomez holding a lamb on a farmNoe Gomez is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the Department of Animal Sciences at WSU. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Noe went on to earn a B.S. in animal science with a minor in biology from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo in 2014. He then relocated to the University of California, Davis, were he conducted research in the area of ruminant physiology and completed an M.S. in animal biology in 2016. At WSU, Noe will be working in the laboratory of Dr. Min Du conducting research in the area of nutrient metabolism. After his Ph.D., Noe hopes to get some experience as a livestock nutritionist before returning to teach and conduct research at the university level. His primary objective is to contribute to the field of science, which seeks to improve the efficiency of food production along with teaching the next generation of agricultural scientists. When not in the lab or covered in cow manure, Noe enjoys competitive volleyball games, long runs across the Palouse, and guitar jam sessions with his musically talented friends.


ARCS James Hepler kneeling down next to a plantJames R. Hepler is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Beers. His research focuses on integrated pest management for the brown marmorated stinkbug, an invasive insect pest of deciduous tree fruits. James graduated from the University of California, Riverside, where he earned his bachelor’s of science in entomology and plant biology. As part of his University Honors thesis he conducted two years of research into the reproductive behaviors of the carob moth, a pest of dates, under the direction of Dr. Thomas M. Perring. After earning his Ph.D, James intends to become a professor of entomology to combine his enthusiasm for agricultural pest research with his desire to teach others. James is active in his church’s college ministry and served as the president of The Well Christian Club at UC Riverside during his senior year. He is an avid long-distance runner, and enjoys traditional archery, hiking, and caring for his backyard citrus and pomegranate trees in Riverside, California.


ARCS Scholar Benjamin Lee posing with a book open in the libraryBenjamin W. Lee is a 1st year Ph.D. student working under Dr. David Crowder in the Department of Entomology. He investigates how patterns of landscape and climate can affect the distribution and spread of insect pests and plant pathogens in agricultural fields. Ben earned a bachelor’s of science in entomology at Cornell University in the spring of 2016. While at Cornell, he conducted research on the physiology and ecology of the native and invasive lady beetles of New York State, resulting in the publication of his senior thesis. After graduate school, Ben would like to use his knowledge of agricultural and landscape ecology to improve subsistence farming in developing countries. He is a strong proponent of supporting local foods and farmers, and is a wine enthusiast who hopes to someday receive a master sommelier certification.


ARCS Scholar Becky Lee posing in Nurse scrubs holding a puppyBecky H. Lee is a 1st year Anatomic Pathology Residency/PhD student in the Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology at Washington State University. Becky recently graduated from a 4-year veterinary medicine program and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis. Using the summer during her vigorous veterinary school training, Becky completed research projects involving sequencing genomes and identifying genetic markers as therapeutic targets. Her most recent work with the T35 NIH Program at Stanford University is currently in the process of being published, and exemplifies comparative medicine in applying human medical therapies to animal disease. Upon starting at WSU, Becky hopes to find a research environment that can further expand her interests in comparative medicine and pathology. As extracurricular at UC Davis, Becky continued to develop her passion for shelter animals, and was an avid participant of fostering neonatal kittens and a Chihuahua rescue program. She enjoys outdoor adventures such as hiking, and is a novice photographer with her husband and animal family. She also enjoys at-home activities such as cooking and fiber art.


ARCS Scholar Jenna Murray posing with goat on green grassJenna Murray is a 1st year Ph.D. student in immunology and infectious diseases. She holds a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of Nevada Reno and a B.A. in religious studies from the University of South Carolina. Jenna has a strong understanding of current medical microbiology and laboratory methods as well as the fundamentals of microbial genomics. With this knowledge, she will be able to address current research studies on molecular mechanisms underlying microbial growth, genetics, genomics, and pathogenesis. Her extra-curricular activities as an undergraduate student include working in a neuroscience laboratory to study the consumption of ethanol in mice and working as a certified pharmacy technician.


ARCS Scholar Alexander Olson holding an baby CrocodileAlexander H. Olson is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and a part of the National Institute of Health Biotechnology Training program. He will be working with Dr. Helmut Kirchoff and Dr. Mark Lange to study photosynthetic membranes and terpenoids, respectively. Alexander graduated with his bachelor’s of science in Environmental Science at the University of Wisconsin – Stout. While he was there he worked with Dr. Vande Linde on developing new methods for preventing the uptake of the heavy metal cadmium in crops. After obtaining his Ph.D., Alexander plans on pursuing research in plant molecular structure. While working on his bachelor’s, Alexander worked as a chemistry tutor, naturalist educator, and teaching assistant. He has a deep passion for teaching others about what he’s learned and helping them find success in their own lives. He also enjoys spending time outdoors, playing board games, and traveling.


ARCS Scholar Nikayla Strauss selfie in a cavernMikayla M. Strauss is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Kim Campbell and Dr. Arron Carter. She will be working with high throughput phenotyping in winter wheat. Nikayla received her bachelor’s degree in Soil and Crop Sciences with a concentration in plant genetics, breeding, and biotechnology from Colorado State University. During her time at CSU, she worked for the winter wheat breeding program under Dr. Scott Haley and was awarded the Triticeae Coordinated Agriculture Project grant for undergraduate research. With this grant, she developed a KASP marker assay for a novel trait in winter wheat, and also presented this research in the undergraduate research competition at the SASES national meetings. Also while at CSU, Nikayla was president of the Agronomy Club for two years. After completing her Ph.D., Nikayla hopes to become a cereal grain breeder. In her free time Nikayla enjoys hiking, backpacking, shooting, fishing, snowshoeing, and dancing.


ARCS Scholar Kaitlin WitherellKaitlin Witherell is a 1st year Ph.D student in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease. She will be doing rotations in three laboratories for the first year and then select from one of those to begin her research project. She has a bachelor of science degree in Microbiology from the University of California Davis. While there, she worked at the University of California Davis Comparative Pathology Laboratory identifying microbes, particularly pathogenic microbes in a variety of submitted research animals including: fish, mice, rats, rabbits, and many others. For one summer she was a student lab assistant in a neurobiology laboratory. She also conducted research for two summers as an intern at Biolog Inc. After completing her Ph.D., Kaitlin would like to eventually run a microbiology laboratory in industry studying infectious disease. Outside of school, Kaitlin enjoys hiking, kayaking, jogging, baking, and spending time with friends and family.


2015-16 ARCS Scholars

Tara Burke LewisTara Burke Lewis is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Crop Science, co-advised under the supervision of Dr. Arron Carter and Dr. Ian Burke. She is investigating herbicide resistance in wheat. She has enjoyed developing a cross-disciplinary skillset in the life sciences, initiated by a biotechnology vocational degree from the Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Maryland, which resulted in an internship at the FDA-CFSAN in 2003. She received her bachelor's degree in agricultural biotechnology and master's degree in plant and soil science from the University of Kentucky. Tara held lab technician positions in plant protein science and tobacco/tall fescue analytical chemistry laboratories at the University of Kentucky, and wrote a graduate thesis, “Selection and Basis for 2-4D Tolerance in Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).”
Christal ClementsChristal R. Clements is currently a first-year Clinical Microbiology resident/PhD student in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology. She has interests in infectious and zoonotic diseases and immunology. Christal obtained her DVM from Tuskegee University, and once she has completed her residency, would like to work to understand the biological mechanisms of poorly understood infectious organisms with efforts to create effective vaccines or treatments. Once she has completed her PhD, she would like to continue performing research and eventually enter academia
Rachel DeTarRachael DeTar is a first-year PhD student in the Molecular Plant Science Program at Washington State University. In addition to the ARCS fellowship, she received a National Institute of Health Biotechnology Training Fellowship. She intends on rotating in several laboratories before choosing an advisor. Her research interests include photosynthesis, nutrient assimilation and metabolism in plants. Her goal during her time at WSU is to develop a better understanding of the biochemistry of plants and use these discoveries to improve agriculture and food security. In the future, Rachael envisions working in industry and using her knowledge of plant biology to develop crops that are higher yielding and resistant to climate stress. Rachael earned her B.S. in Biology summa cum laude from Colorado State University in the College of Natural Sciences. She also won a prestigious American Society of Plant Biologists Summer Undergraduate Research fellowship. Rachael is an author on two research papers, and is first name author on one paper.
Matt MarcecMatt Marcec is a first-year PhD student at Washington State University with the Molecular Plant Sciences program. Matt has earned an M.S. in biology from Northern Illinois University where he studied proteins of unknown function using the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. . Matt also taught two lab courses at NIU, the fundamentals of cell biology and the biology of land plants. Matt enjoys teaching and loves to study plants and plans to work in academia or industry hopefully studying how plants respond to their environment and how they can continue to feed and aid humanity. Matt also has a technical certificate in emergency medicine received from Florida College of Jacksonville where he volunteered as an EMT for three years.
Ryan OliveiraRyan Oliveira is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology. Ryan earned both his BS and DVM from Tufts University, where he researched lead toxicity in New England’s bald eagles and co-authored a federal publication. He coordinated his veterinary school’s tutoring programs the year after its founding and aspires to continue teaching in his career. After he completes his PhD, he wants to stay involved in wildlife disease and work in academia. His specific career interests include epidemiology, ecotoxicology, and zoological pathology.
Nick PokorynskiNicholas (Nick) D. Pokorzynski is a first-year PhD student in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2013 with his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology/Biotechnology. At Michigan State, he investigated the genetic basis of algal lipid biosynthesis in Dr. Christoph Benning’s laboratory. He currently has several research interests, and hopes to narrow them down during his first-year laboratory rotations. His first rotation will be in Dr. Susan Wang’s laboratory studying the “radical SAM” superfamily of enzymes to better understand the unique and difficult methyl-transfer chemistry performed by a subfamily of this enzyme and how it may relate to antibiotic synthesis.
Joseph TaylorJoseph M. Taylor is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Entomology under the supervision of Dr. William Snyder. He investigates the role of natural arthropod predators in controlling insect agricultural pests. Joseph earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Russian language and culture from Washington and Lee University. While there he conducted three years of research into the feeding and hunting habits of generalist arthropod predators under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Hurd, which resulted in a publication and three additional articles well underway. After completing his PhD, Joseph hopes to work for the USDA on pest management before returning to academia and continuing to broaden his knowledge about the complex interactions between insect predators and their prey.
Jenny VossJenny M. Voss is a first-year PhD student at the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering of Washington State University. She is interested in working in the fields of catalysis and nanotechnology in hopes of finding solutions to current energy, environmental and medical challenges. Jenny earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Washington State University with honors while participating in multiple intramural sports teams, engineering clubs and two years on the women’s club soccer team. She spent two summers interning with BP Alaska and P66 Ferndale Refinery as a safety and operational risk engineer and as a process engineering intern respectively. After completing her PhD, she wants to work in a national lab with university connections as an academic professor focusing on both experimental and theoretical catalysis. She also strives to develop methods to produce economical catalysts to synthesize alternative fuels to supplement diminishing fossil fuel supplies.
Naomi WallaceNaomi K. Wallace is beginning her PhD in Neuroscience. She earned her BS in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Denver. Naomi completed an undergraduate senior thesis on the relationships among socioeconomic status, sleep problems and mental health in 8- to 10-year-old children. She spent a semester abroad in Maastricht, The Netherlands, where she was able to learn more about positive psychology and the philosophy of science.
Chemical Engineering student Breanna Wong working in the lab for a Annual Giving letter
Chemical Engineering student Breanna Wong working in the lab for a Annual Giving letter
Breanna Wong is a first-year PhD student at Washington State University’s Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. She earned her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Idaho in 2015. During her time as an undergraduate, she represented the University of Idaho two years in a row in an international design contest hosted by New Mexico State University called Waste-Management Education Research Consortium (WERC). ). Breanna and her team won first place both years for their design of a floating solar cell system on a mine tailings pond and a radiative cooling system utilizing the night’s sky. During the summers, Breanna interned with Hewlett-Packard, first as a product steward and then as a metal deposition intern. The latter helped her realize her desire to seek out a PhD and to do research in thin films.
Jessica WongJessica K. Wong is a first-year anatomic pathology resident and PhD student in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology. Jessica earned her undergraduate degrees in Biology and International Comparative Studies from Duke University and her DVM from the University of Georgia. Jessica plans to use her pathology residency and PhD training to add to her diagnostic tools for investigating infectious disease and population health at the human-wildlife-livestock interfaces. Her dream job is to work in academia as a veterinary pathologist with both teaching and diagnostic duties.

2014-15 ARCS Scholars

Liam Eugene Broughton-Neiswanger
Liam is combining the Ph.D. and anatomic pathology residency program in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at Washington State University. His research interests are in zoonotic and infectious diseases. He received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in veterinary virology studying a sheep virus related to HIV. During his master’s work, Liam realized that he wanted to pursue education in veterinary medicine to combine that knowledge with his research background, and in 2014 he received his D.V.M. from Washington State University. After Liam completes his Ph.D., he would like to obtain a research position at a university to help train the next generation of veterinarians.
Bushana N. Piryanka
"Pri" is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at Washington State University. She will be focusing on circadian rhythms and sleep in her dissertation project. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2012 in Information Systems and Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland. There, she participated in the CWIT (Center for Women and Information Technology) and the Honors College. After graduating, she worked at Northrop Grumman Corporation on the HITECH project, which implements mandatory Electronic Health Record systems in Medicare- and Medicaid-funded medical practices. She has since gone on to participate in a one-year ORISE Fellowship with the Food and Drug Administration, where she is working with validating the nematode C. elegans as a neurotoxicological model. Her work involves developing novel toxicity assays that will help support the “3 Rs” of toxicology research: reduce, refine, and replace tests using animals.
Gregory B. Collinge
Gregory is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Voiland School of Chemical and Bioengineering at Washington State University. He works under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Jean-Sabin McEwen to model catalyzed reaction phenomena using quantum mechanical and density functional theory calculations. He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington State University. Upon completion of his Ph.D., he wants to enter academia as a professor and continue his research, broadening the scope to include the creation of new theories of chemical and transport phenomena. Gregory likes to learn as much as possible about math and science in his spare time, often spending hours experimenting with advanced math for nothing but the pleasure of doing so.
Seanna L. Hewitt
Seanna is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Molecular Plant Sciences program at Washington State University. She will be doing rotations this year and hopes to settle in a lab in which the research is directed towards crop improvement and sustainable agriculture. Seanna earned a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Hispanic Studies at Pacific Lutheran University. In addition to her undergraduate coursework, she participated in several years of chloroplast genomics research and interned abroad at a nature institute in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she studied social perceptions of the Oaxacan water crisis. After she completes her Ph.D., she wants to work in academia for a while before eventually pursuing a career in industry.
Jeffrey M. Hoyt
Jeffrey recently completed his undergraduate education at Drake University with a B.S. in neuroscience and a B.A. in philosophy and writing. He investigated the expression of immediate early genes as indicators of neural activity in fruit flies, and used these findings to study the effects of deficient environments on sensory system function. Jeff is eager to begin as a Ph.D. student in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at Washington State University. He plans to study developmental neurobiology and the neural basis of audition and communication. After Jeff completes his Ph.D., he aspires to remain in academia as a research scientist and professor, where he may continue to investigate the formation, structure, and function of cells and circuitry involved in the sensation of complex auditory stimuli, as well as the effects of genetics, the environment, and the interactions between them on neural development and plasticity.
Nicholas R. Jaegers
Nick is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He is a first-year student at Washington State University pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. His passion for renewable bioenergy sources has prompted him to pursue a graduate degree to enhance his research opportunities in the field. Nick has completed three different internship opportunities, two in the field of energy. Upon graduation, Nick intends to continue this research in academia, government, or industry.
Kruse, EricaErica Kruse
Erica is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Molecular Plant Sciences program at Washington State University, where she will be investigating pathogen resistance in wheat. Erica earned her bachelor’s degree in genetics at Rutgers University, where she also completed a minor in plant sciences. Inserting her love of genetics into agriculture fulfills her wish to combine lab and field work and provides her a route upon which to experience industry, which she plans to do after achieving her Ph.D.
Alisha T. Massa
Alisha is a first-year combined resident and Ph.D. student in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at Washington State University, working toward her eligibility for board certification in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Her research will be in immunology and infectious disease with a desire to study viruses or antimicrobial resistance. Alisha earned her D.V.M. and bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Michigan State University. During her clinical studies, she visited several schools for anatomic pathology externships including Washington State University, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, and Texas A&M. After completion of her combined program she hopes to work in academia due to her love of teaching, or in the pharmaceutical industry as a pathologist.
Jessica McCrea
Jessica is in a combined veterinary microbiology residency/Ph.D. program at Washington State University. She is interested in pursuing research focused on infectious and zoonotic disease at the human/livestock/wildlife interface. She earned her D.V.M. from Colorado State University in 2010. After that, she completed a one-year small animal rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado in Loveland, CO. She then worked for three years as an associate veterinarian in small animal general practice in Colorado and Washington before deciding to pursue a career change towards infectious disease research. After completing her residency/Ph.D., Jessica hopes to continue in academia or gain a position in a non‐governmental organization.
Brigid Meints
Brigid is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences under the direction of Dr. Stephen Jones at the Mount Vernon Northwestern Research and Extension Center of Washington State University. Her research focuses on breeding and testing small grains and dry beans for Northwestern Washington. Brigid earned her M.S. from Oregon State University in Crop Science with a focus in Plant Breeding and Genetics, where she worked in breeding new food barley varieties and characterizing them for quality traits. After she completes her Ph.D., Brigid wants to stay in academia, either as a research/faculty member or in extension, focusing on breeding food crops for regional needs.
Robert Orpet
Robert is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology at Washington State University. He received a B.S. in entomology from the University of Illinois and a M.S. from the University of Arizona. His interest lies primarily in applied entomology because he finds insects endlessly entertaining in their diverse ecology, behavior, and morphology. Robert would like to use what he learns about them to conduct scientific-based pest management that prevents environmental damage and other societal costs associated with conventional insecticide sprays. While studying under Drs. Dave Crowder and Vince Jones at Washington State University, Robert plans to investigate how woolly apple aphid pest density is affected by factors such as soil quality, nitrogen levels, insecticides, and natural enemies (beneficial insects that eat aphids) in organic and non-organic orchards.
Annie Pollard
Annie is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Washington State University, studying soil microbe and metal interactions with Dr. Tarah Sullivan. During pursuit of her M.S. in soil science at the University of Idaho, she investigated biological control of pathogenic nematodes using soil fungi. She finished her M.S. with a review article on the fate of chemicals of emerging concern in dairy manure-amended soils. During her doctoral studies with Dr. Sullivan, she will be exploring the interaction between soil microbes and metals and their impacts on sustainable agriculture. Currently, she is conducting research for a pilot study on the role of soil microorganisms in iron chlorosis of vineyards.
Brittney Wager
Brittney is a first-year Ph.D. student in the interdisciplinary department of Molecular Plant Sciences at Washington State University. She joined Dr. Michael Knoblauch’s lab where she has the opportunity to research either the phytoremediation of radioactive strontium present in contaminated soil, or the biosynthesis, structural identification and modification of forisome proteins. Both of these projects are in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and involve the use of a dynamic transmission electron microscope. Brittney earned a B.S. in Biology from Salem State University in Massachusetts, where she was involved in ecological research on the effects of climate change on the leaf lifespan of evergreen trees and biochemical research on the action of adducin in the nuclei of Hela cells. After finishing her Ph.D., she would like to begin a career in research where she can continue her work with microscopy and molecular plant science.
Laura Beth Artz Williams
Laura is a first-year Ph.D. student and anatomic pathology resident in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Donald Knowles at Washington State University. She is investigating novel vaccine development strategies, focusing on Theileria parva, a devastating disease affecting cattle in Sub-Saharan Africa. Laura earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in cellular and molecular biology, and continued on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University. After completing her Ph.D., Laura would like to continue her career in academia focusing on infectious disease research, diagnostic pathology, and teaching future generations of veterinarians.

 

ARCS Scholars Archives

A Word From the Dean


ARCS: Recruiting the Brightest Scholars

 

Since 2000, the WSU Graduate School has been a strategic partner with the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation Seattle Chapter, which provides financial awards to outstanding Ph.D. students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Each year the best and brightest scholars are selected to become ARCS Fellows from the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences, the College of Architecture and Engineering, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. These highly capable individuals, with three years of financial support from the ARCS Foundation, become the next generation of scientific leaders and innovators.

The ARCS fellowships enhance WSU’s ability to recruit the best students while also providing students the opportunity to grow in confidence and leadership skills. ARCS Foundation Seattle Chapter members include a long list of philanthropists whose generous donations have enabled 1,115 fellows from WSU and the University of Washington with awards totaling more than $15.4 million since it was founded in 1978. There are currently 38 ARCS Fellows studying at WSU.

Second-year Ph.D. student Drew Neyens, a 2013-2016 ARCS Fellow and neuroscientist, is looking at how the brain works in relation to eating and appetite control. He says that the hormone leptin increases the brain’s sensitivity to signals that tell us to stop eating.

“A person with higher levels of circulating leptin will feel full sooner,” he says. “People who are insensitive to leptin may not know when they’re full. If we can gain a better understanding of this process, we may be able to combat obesity.”

In addition to the mentorship of the ARCS Foundation members, the advantages of being an ARCS Fellow are broad. “Being an ARCS Fellow holds me to a higher standard of research,” says Drew. “It creates peace of mind and provides amazing connections in the scientific community.”

But being an ARCS Fellow doesn’t just influence life as a student. ARCS Fellows have graduated into the world to accomplish some pretty amazing things. Caroline Herndon, an ARCS Fellow from 2006 to 2009, is now a postdoc at Harvard Medical School studying the process that prompts the body’s natural immune system. Like Drew, Caroline describes her ARCS Fellowship as rewarding, especially getting to know the ARCS members.

“I always came away feeling inspired, and I’m not sure anyone knew how much it meant to me,” she says.

The ARCS Fellowship is just one way the Graduate School is attracting high-caliber graduate students to WSU. We understand that research at a Tier-1 research institution like Washington State University hinges upon graduate students working side-by-side with faculty. By recruiting bright scholars who help strengthen research, advance knowledge, and participate in the world of discovery, the Graduate School is fulfilling its mission of service to society.

The ARCS Fellowship is just one of the many scholarships that the Graduate School facilitates. To find out more, visit https://gradschool.wsu.edu/achievement-rewards-for-college-scientists-arcs/

Bill Andrefsky, Dean
Bill Andrefsky, Dean


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Faculty opportunities for graduate student funding


Student Funding Opportunities

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ABD Waivers

Prestigious Fellowship workshops/proposals

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Proposal Leveraging

 

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ARCS nominations

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Scholarships


Finding Funding

Awards, Grants, Assistantships

Each year the Graduate School recognizes graduate students of outstanding achievement with numerous awards, including:


Scholarships

the Graduate School offers a number of donor-funded scholarships within specific disciplines that require nomination from your department. To learn about these scholarships so that you can request nomination from your department, visit the scholarships website. Also be sure to visit WSU’s general scholarship page. Graduate School Scholarships include:


Fellowships

Fellowships are available from a number of outside agencies, including private foundations, nonprofits, and state and federal sources. A variety of support is offered, from one-time awards to multi-year support for living expenses, educational fees, conference travel and/or research for beginning to advanced graduate student and postdoctoral levels. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, receipt of external funding exemplifies excellence in research, writing and scholarship.

Applying for external fellowships and grants is an excellent professional development experience for many students who will be seeking academic career placement where grant funding is a necessity. The Graduate School offers training to help students apply for a number of prestigious fellowships, including:

For information about our prestigious fellowships workshop, visit the Graduate School’s Fellowships Opportunities website.


Internships

Students should work with their faculty advisor to identify potential internship opportunities that fit within their program of study. Students who wish to participate in a fall or spring internship are required to meet the University’s continuous enrollment policy by either enrolling in a minimum of two graduate credits, be in continuous doctoral status, or be approved for official internship leave. Please see the complete Internship leave policy.

Jobs

Find assistantships, internships, and other JOBS on campus.

RADS Cohort

Two RADS students posing for the camera

Fall 2012 Cohort

christian Christian Aguilar
Major:
Ph.D. in Plant Pathology 
Department: 
Plant Pathology
Research Interests: Postharvest pathology, tree fruit pathology, pathology of fruits and vegetables, sustainable agriculture 
More About Christian:  Christian was born and raised in southern California. She received a BS in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from California State University, Fresno after which she moved to Pullman, WA to earn a MS degree in Plant Pathology at Washington State University. Christian is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program with the Department of Plant Pathology at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, WA. Over the course of her graduate career, Christian has received a fellowship from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) organization, a fellowship from the Mike and Kathy Hambelton scholarship program, and two grants from the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission. On her spare time, Christian enjoys playing volleyball, taking her son to the park, and enjoying the beautiful sights that Washington has to offer. 
Shao Yeh Lu Shao Yeh Lu

Major: Ph.D. Candidate Immunology and Infectious Diseases (ID)
Department: Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
Research Interests: Antimicrobial peptides, bacteriocin, colicin, microcin, antimicrobial resistance
More About Shao: Born in Taiwan and a first generation American/Washingtonian, Shao-Yeh obtained his Bachelor of Science in chemistry with specialization in biochemistry from Central Washington University. At WSU, his research focuses on understanding the regulation, inhibition, and self-immunity of microcin (MccPDI), an antimicrobial peptide, that is known to inhibit foodborne pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7. In addition, he is also interested in mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance associated with the use of antibiotics. He is an NIH Protein Biotechnology Training Program trainee and also an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) fellow. In his spare time, he likes to explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a camera. Prior to becoming a scientist, he worked in banking with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Washington.

Fall 2013 Cohort

Zachary Cartwright Zachary Cartwright

Major: Ph.D. Candidate Food Science
Department: School of Food Science
Research Interests: Wine Microbiology and Processing
More About Zachery: He was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM.  After receiving his BS in Biochemistry with top honors from New Mexico State University, he traveled to Pullman, WA to study viticulture, enology, and food science.  When he is not in the laboratory researching wine microorganisms, you can find him DJing at Stubblefields under the name DJ Grape Vinyl.  

 

 

 Paulina Abustan Paulina Abustan

Major: Ph.D. Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education
Department: Teaching and Learning
Research Interests: Critical Race, Gender Sexuality, and Disability Studies in Education 
More About Paulina: Paulina Abustan is a Queer Pinay scholar-activist and a Doctoral Student of Washington State University’s Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education Program. She studies the dynamics and intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and disability in education and society. Her goal is to teach future teachers the importance of supporting students of diverse identities; especially Queer and Transgender Youth of Color.  
 

   
   
   

Fall 2014 Cohort

Ruby Kim Ruby Kim

Major: American Studies Program
Department: Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies (CCGRS)
Research Interests: Postcolonial feminist theory, queer theory, specifically interested in sexual violence against Korean comfort woman and camptown women, and U.S. – South Korea relations

More About Ruby: Ruby received her B.A. in English with high distinction from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She achieved two minors in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies, thus spurring her interest in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.  During her first year, she presented at four national conferences. This past fall, she presented on a trans panel at the 2015 National Women’s Studies Association in Milwaukee, WI. Her master’s thesis addresses the tensions between the U.S.-ROK alliance, and the commodification of Korean culture, particularly sex workers and LGBT Koreans, as one of the culminating effects of American imperialism and occupation in South Korea.

A self-proclaimed nerd of television shows with smart writing and an obsessed Parks and Recreation fan, Korean cinema, all-things-that-are musicals, and of course, any fictional novel with a ferociously feminist protagonist. In Spring 2016, Ruby will receive her master’s degree in American Studies from Washington State University.

 Priyanka Bushana Priyanka Bushana
Major: Neuroscience
Department: Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience (Veterinary Medicine)
Research Interests: Sleep, Metabolism.
More About Pri: “Pri” earned her bachelor’s degree in 2012 in Information Systems and Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she participated in the CWIT (Center for Women and Information Technology) and the Honors College. After graduating, she worked at Northrop Grumman, then participated in an ORISE Fellowship with the Food and Drug Administration, where she worked to validate the nematode C. elegans  as a neurotoxicological model. In her free time, she has become involved in volunteering at the Mobius Science Center and Children’s Museum in Spokane. She also has played rugby for the past 7 years, and has continued to play with the Spokane Women’s Rugby Club.
 brianne-posey_greendot Brianne Posey
Major: Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology 
Department: Criminal Justice and Criminology
Research Interests: Violence in society; juvenile justice, issues in medico-legal science and corrections
More About Brianne:  
I was originally born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Although I am a Colorado native, I have never been skiing or snowboarding. I am a huge comic, star wars, and horror movie nerd. I love the beach but I am terrified of open water. I love food and am somewhat of a food snob, but my cooking skills are mediocre. In my spare time  I volunteer with the Office of Violence Prevention on campus as a peer educator, Green Dot student facilitator, and office maintenance support. I’m a vegetarian (since January 2016). I love classical music, plays, going to the ballet, roller-coasters, and working hard to prevent violence on WSU’s campus, as well as in society. I aspire to be a professor and researcher/ academic. 

Fall 2015 Cohort

Marisa Cervantes
Major:
Ph.D. in Sociology 
Department:
 Sociology
Research Interests: Family, Gender, Intimate partner and domestic violence, and race/class/gender inequalities 
More About Marisa:  I am a first-generation college graduate from the San Francisco Bay Area, California. I earned a B.A in Sociology and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 2014. As an undergraduate, I did research on first-generation college students and co-created a program called First to Go, which provided resources and mentoring to help first year students navigate their way through college. Through my involvement with First to Go, I co-facilitated a course and discovered my passion for teaching. It was that experience that inspired me to pursue a Ph.D. so that I would be able to teach at the university level. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be at WSU and work towards doing what I love!
naomi-wallace Naomi Wallace

Major: Ph.D. in Neuroscience
Department: Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
Research Interests: Circadian Rhythms, Development
More About Naomi: Naomi graduated with a BS in Psychology and a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2015 from the University of Denver. During her undergraduate studies, she worked in the Family and Child Neuroscience Lab studying sleep and its relationship to the socioeconomic mental health gradient in 8-10-year-old children. In her free time, Naomi enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing the saxophone.

Ashley Faytol Ashley Faytol
Major: Ph.D. Counseling Psychology
Department: Counseling Psychology
Research Interests: Chicana spirituality & healing
More About Ashley: As the youngest of five and a first generation college student, I did not believe that graduate school was an option for me until I became involved with the McNair Scholars program through California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where I completed a dual major bachelor’s degree in psychology and gender, ethnic, & multicultural studies. Afterward, I immediately went on to receive my master’s degree in counseling through California State University, Fullerton. However, after completing a thesis focusing on male victims of intimate partner violence, I decided to take time away from school. During that time, I worked for a child protection agency and provided individual and group counseling for victims of intimate partner violence and their families. Although I was inspired on a daily basis by my clients, I felt that something was missing from my life and decided to apply for doctoral programs, not fully believing that I would successfully gain admission. Fast forward to today and I just finished the first year of my counseling psychology doctoral program! I guess anything really can happen!
 J_Ortiz-2015  Jessica Ortiz

Major: Ph.D. Molecular Plant Science (MPS)
Department: Crops and Soil Sciences (CSS)
Research Interests: Studying biochemical pathways in order to develop genetically improved crops. To develop improved plant varieties using genetic engineering, which involves manipulating the plant’s genes through techniques of modern molecular biology. 
More About Jessica: I earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside in 2011. My undergraduate research involved the development of a morphological and molecular key for the classification of several species of Orasema (Hymenoptera: Eucharitidae) so they can be more accurately identified for potential use in biological control efforts against fire ants. I earned a M.S. in Biochemistry from the California State University, Los Angeles in 2015. I worked on identifying T-DNA insertion sites in A. thaliana transgenic lines via TAIL-PCR and performed targeted mutagenesis in A. thaliana and O. sativa using CRISPR-Cas system.

 Katherine Hirchak  Katherine Hirchak

Major: Ph.D. Prevention Science
Department: Human Development
Research Interests: The prevention and treatment of substance use disorders among American Indian/Alaska Native peoples. 
More About Katherine: I am a federally recognized direct descendant of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe located on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. My passion is in promoting the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples mainly through effective health policy and translational research. I am obsessed with cats, love nature walks, and am not embarrassed to admit that I am a “heavy” podcast user. Proud to belong to the Yellow Bangs Clan,  everyday I  work to carry on the dreams of my ancestors in support of current and future generations. Who-wee-hoo.

Fall 2016 Cohort

 

Jackelyn Hidalgo Jackelyn Hidalgo

Major: Ph.D. Prevention Science
Department: Human Development
Research Interests: Childhood Obesity Prevention
More About Jackelyn: Although born and raised, I decided to remain in Washington and attend Washington State University in 2012. As an undergraduate student, I was fortunate to be selected by faculty nomination for the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, a program designed to prepare students for graduate research. I graduated in spring of 2016 with my degree in Kinesiology. My kinesiology background offers a holistic approach to physical activity in relation to the individual. An interesting fact about me is that I am very fascinated by the body building community and keep up with a few competitors. Upon completing the prevention science program, I intend to be globally active and continue conducting research for the prevention of obesity.

Nadia Panossian

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Research Interests: Renewable Energy, Electrical Grid Balancing
More About Nadia: Nadia is from Silver Spring, Maryland and got her BS in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. As an undergrad, she was a member of the Mighty Sound of Maryland (the University’s marching band) and started a wind power team for the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Collegiate Wind Competition. She interned with UMD’s Simulation-Based System Design Lab, the Army Research Lab, and Baltimore Gas and Electric.  After graduating, she worked for Siemens Energy in Orlando.  In her free time, Nadia enjoys hiking and playing the piano.

 Ryan Booth Ryan Booth

Major: U.S. History
Department: History
Research Interests: American West, Native American History
More About Ryan: Ryan Booth originally hails from the Skagit Valley of Washington, but most recently resided in Wenatchee.  With deep Northwest roots, Ryan claims both Upper Skagit Tribal membership and Oregon Trail pioneer ancestry.  Having earned a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Loyola University Chicago in 2001, Booth pursued a career in the National Park Service.  Prior to the NPS, he was a Jesuit scholastic in the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.  After spending five years in federal service, Booth taught at Heritage University while earning his masters in history at Central Washington University.  Having found the career of a lifetime in teaching, Ryan plans to obtain his doctorate so he can spend the rest of his life teaching others about history at a small liberal arts college.  When not studying, he enjoys reading, watching artsy films and hiking the hills.

 Emily Lafrance Emily Lafrance

Major: Psychology
Department: Experimental Psychology
Research Interests: Health & Cognitive Psychology, including exercise, substance use, mindfulness & cognition 
More About Emily: I graduated from Pullman high school in 2012 after moving to the Palouse from the California Bay Area. I completed my bachelor’s in Psychology at WSU and loved it so much I decided to stay for my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology. My research focuses on the effects of exercise and substance use on various aspects of cognitive ability. Outside of school, my favorite pastimes include hiking and backpacking with my two-year-old Australian Shepherd, fly fishing and rafting! 

Jesus Caro Jesus Caro

Major: Physics
Department: Physics
Research Interests: Compact binaries, LMXB. Cosmology, Computational Physics.
More About Jesus: I’m from Texas, I received my B.S. at The University of Texas at El Paso. I love to play Euro tabletop games, am a novice RPGer and tend to obsess over anything that presents a cognitive challenge. My favorite captain is Picard, favorite cheese is Feta, favorite game is Power Grid, and my favorite molecule is C60. I look forward to spending the next several years in Washington!

Richard Owens Richard Owens (King Rich)

Major: Jazz Studies
 Instrumentation: Trombone
Department: Kimbrough School of Music
Research Interests: Ethnomusicology (West African and American Jazz Infused)
More About Richard: Born October 16th, 1983. He hails from Chicago, IL where jazz music surfaces the streets. Rich’s first music class was from his grandfather George D. Johnson, a jazz pianist. Young Richard joined the District 152 band program in the fourth grade were his interest were drums but the directors demanded him to play trombone. He attended Thornton Township High School and discovered jazz trombonist J.J. Johnson, whom gave him the vision to become a jazz musician. King Rich’s trombone style is influenced by many jazz musicians with whom he shared the stage with Jazz legends such as Frank Foster, Frank West, Barrie Lee Hall Jr., Joe Sample, Orbit Davis, Von Freeman, Kurt Elling, Buddy Guy, Femi Kuti, Sean Jones and Jon Faddis Bill Watrous. After completing his Bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University in 2015 He was accepted into the Washington State University Kimbrough School Music to study his master’s in Jazz Studies. Richard really enjoys performing on Trombone with many different bands and genres.

Johannetsy Avillan Johannetsy Avillan

Major: Ph.D. Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Department: Veterinary Medicine
Research Interests: Antimicrobial Resistance
More About Johannetsy: I did my BS in microbiology in Puerto Rico, then moved to Florida where I did my medical technology program while working for the VA hospital. I moved to Atlanta, GA where I worked for 4 years for CDC in their antimicrobial resistance and characterization laboratory. I also was a CDC Spanish spokesperson. I have a 5 years old boy who is very active and lovely. I enjoy cooking and baking, love seafood but don’t like vegetables so now that I’m getting old I’m working on trying to incorporate them into my diet (at least trying). I like traveling to different places and at least I normally go to Puerto Rico and Florida once a year. Also, depending on how my day goes, I can start speaking to you in English but can switch back and forward to Spanish, if so, eventually I will realize it and re-explain myself.

Francisco “Paco” Gonzalez-Tapia

Major: Ph.D. Horticulture (Potato Agronomy Focus)
Department: Horticulture
Research Interests: Alternative agricultural input efficacy. Irrigation efficiency
More About Paco: Francisco “paco” Gonzalez-Tapia is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Horticulture and will be focusing in potato agronomy. Francisco is interested in researching the efficacy of alternative agricultural inputs and ways to improve current center pivot irrigation in potatoes. Francisco is also interested in the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems to diagnose deficiencies, stress, and diseases in potatoes.

Francisco graduated from Washington State University in 2016 with a Bachelor in Agricultural Food Systems, major in Agricultural Technology & Management and minor in Horticulture.

After Francisco graduates with his Ph.D., he plans to move back to his hometown of Othello, where his parents dwell and will pursue a career as a potato research agronomist. Francisco hopes to be able to purchase land and build a house out of town with his wife, where they are able to raise animals and grow crops.

 

Tabitha Espina Velasco picture (1) Tabitha Espina Velasco

Major: Ph.D. in English
Department: English
Research Interests: Cultural Rhetoric, Postcolonial Identity, Filipino-American Studies
More About Tabitha: Tabitha Espina Velasco is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Washington State University. She is a government of Guam Merit Scholar, earning both her B.A. in Education as the Fall 2011 valedictorian and M.A. in English at the University of Guam (UOG). She has taught English courses and Women and Gender Studies courses as a full-time instructor at UOG and has taught Adult Education English courses as an adjunct instructor at Guam Community College. She has been included in regional and international publications and conferences in Guam, Saipan, Philippines, Hawaii, Fiji, and Greece. A proud island girl, she was Guam’s youngest recording artist, releasing her Island Girl album at age 5. She finds fulfillment in worshipping God, spending time with family, reading, writing, exploring the ocean, and enjoying concerts and musical theater. Her love for travel has led her to 25 countries with her husband.

RADS_BioPic_Zoie Zoie Lopez

Major: Ph.D. in Plant Biology
Department: Biology
Research Interests: Cooperation between plants and beneficial soil microbes; how soil constitution (biotic and abiotic) influences plant trait expression and plant community dynamics; and how genetic differences within a species confer susceptibility or resistance to stressors amongst plant ecotypes, especially considering plant-microbe mutualisms.
More About Zoie:  I am a first year Plant Biology Ph.D. student studying the evolutionary and ecological shifts in the legume-rhizobium symbiosis during biological invasions. I received my undergraduate degree in Biology from UC Davis. Over the course of my studies I have worked on determining plant genetic variation through greenhouse common garden experiments, I investigated the genetic basis of stress tolerance in Arabidopsis, and I completed a summer REU project at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory looking at evolutionary responses to climate change in high elevation plants. After graduating, I became involved in the legume-rhizobium study system as Dr. Stephanie Porter’s research technician, and I am excited to continue working in her lab as a graduate student. When I am not studying I enjoy hiking, playing my viola, and slack lining. I also have a BA in English from the University of California, Davis.

 Noe Gomez Noe Gomez

Major: Ph.D. in Animal Science
Department: Animal Science
Research Interests: Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition as seen in Livestock Production
More About Noe:  First off, no, I don’t own a pet cow (only Fall 2016 RADS will understand this). However, that doesn’t mean that I refrain from bovine-inclusive activities! Although I was raised a beach-bum on the scenic coastlines of the State of California, the majority of the past couple years in college have been spent debating whether it will be a “boot or sandal” day.

At WSU, my research will focus on nutrigenomics – the study of how a diet can influence gene expression. In particular, I will study how different diets affect livestock growth and their eventual incorporation into the food market. With the world’s population growing at an increasing rate, I hope to contribute to this field of agriculture by one day joining faculty ranks at a university where I can continue researching and teaching in the field of animal sciences. Go Cougs!

lamonica-harrison Lamonica Harrison

Major: Ph.D. in Criminal Justice & Criminology 
Department: Criminal Justice & Criminology
Research Interests: The effects of adverse childhood experiences and its correlation with different types of heinous crimes. The effects of social media on law enforcement and social separation. 
More About Lamonica:  Lamonica Harrison is originally from Hampton, Virginia, but recently moved to Washington State from Prince Georges County, Maryland. Inspired by her desire for change and new experiences, she decided to take the leap to the west coast to get started on her new journey and dream to earn her doctoral degree. Lamonica has a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology and a Master’s in Forensic Psychology. Her passion for both fields lead her to many questions about the justice system and thought processes as a society. She is a curious person which works well with her ability to adjust to changing circumstances and new environments. Lamonica loves the outdoors and embarking on new ventures as she brings warm welcomes from the east coast.

Gina Castillo
Major:
Ph.D. in Sociology 
Department:
 
Sociology
Research Interests: 
Crime, Deviance, Social Control and Social Justice, Social Inequalities and how these themes intersect with Education, Work, Organizations, and Labor markets during Life Course
More About Gina:  
Gina Castillo graduated with a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Computer Science from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. As a Ford Family Foundation Scholar, she began Kernel of Hope, a program that educates on both the dangers and safety found in technology for survivors of abuse/stalking, and that offers classes with a non-basic skills approach to confidence training. As a senior, she completed an independent evaluation research project of a peer-run mentorship program for women exiting prison. During her undergraduate tenure, Gina balanced raising twin boys (now 9 years old) with working as a research assistant in the Linfield Center for the Northwest (LCN), and as a mentor to women exiting prison. During her time at the LCN, Gina worked collaboratively with the Director on projects such as: Oral Histories, designing a Sustainability Survey, and several projects surrounding Latino Farmers and their participation in a CSA. Her most recent project was in her role as the administrator of iFOCUS–a pre-orientation Science program at Linfield College, and as a crisis line worker at HOAP in Salem Oregon. Gina is passionate about undergraduate success! Gina enjoys spending time with her family, camping and  the outdoors

A Passion for Predators: From T-Rex to Insects

By Cheryl Reed

Doctoral student Joseph Taylor lights up when he talks about bugs.

From his undergraduate work at Washington and Lee University in Virginia to his graduate work here at Washington State University, his research on insect predators has already resulted in some substantial success, including the recent award of a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Although he is passionate about insects now, Joseph’s journey initially started with excitement over a much larger predator.

“When I was a kid I loved dinosaurs, especially the T-Rex,” he said. “I wanted to become a paleontologist until I disappointingly found out that dinosaurs were extinct. I wanted a career that involved live animals, not dead ones.”

Joseph carried his interest in animals to Washington and Lee University—but he quickly became frustrated that most of the introductory-level biology courses were pre-med focused. It wasn’t until he took a course from his advisor, Dr. Lawrence Hurd, that he gained a fascination with insects. He realized that insects are diverse and numerous and their systems operate similar to most other animals.

“I had no idea how much I would love insects,” said Joseph. “I was completely converted.”

Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in Russian language and culture from Washington and Lee. While there he conducted three years of research, which resulted in two publications with a third well underway. His research was on the praying mantis, a feisty little predator with a triangular head that pivots like a cat. The upright position and folding forearms of the insect led to its nickname, which is a bit of a misnomer for a creature known to practice cannibalism and prey on animals larger than itself.

“I saw a video once of a praying mantis attacking a snake,” says Joseph. “During my research, I had to raise scores of them, and they’re actually kind of like tiny kittens when they’re young.  They groom themselves like a cat, and can see you from about 20 feet away. But as adults they’re more like a T-Rex. Honestly, if I shrunk down to the size of an adult praying mantis, it would happily eat me.”

Now a doctoral student in Dr. William Snyder’s lab here at Washington State University, Joseph is studying Carabid beetles, commonly known as ground beetles. A group of formidable and ravenous predators, the ground beetles’ role in agriculture is extremely beneficial, feeding on insects that can potentially destroy crops. However, ground beetles can be very indiscriminate, consuming smaller crop-friendly beetles. Joseph is looking for ways to help these insect predators do their jobs better in order to eventually move away from broad spectrum pesticides. His NSF grant proposal focused on this research.

The Grant Proposal

During his first semester at WSU last fall, Joseph talked with his advisor about writing a proposal for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship—a program that supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing graduate degrees in STEM fields. Joseph received significant guidance from his advisor on writing the proposal, and felt confident of its strength when he mailed it off. In March he was excited when he received notification of the fellowship award.

In addition to the NSF Fellowship, Joseph was also awarded an ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) scholarship. This scholarship, supported by the ARCS Seattle Chapter, supports the best and brightest doctoral students in STEM disciplines at both WSU and the UW. Washington State University has been a member of the ARCS Foundation since 2000 and currently helps fund 36 doctoral students. Students for this scholarship are nominated by their department.

Why WSU?

In 2015, the Graduate School invited Joseph to visit WSU on its Research Assistantship for Diverse Scholars (RADS) program, which is intended to increase graduate student diversity. The RADS awards are funded through a partnership of the Graduate School and the department/program of the prospective student. Hurd, Joseph’s advisor at Washington and Lee, had been Snyder’s undergraduate advisor and was familiar with his research in the Department of Entomology at WSU. He encouraged Joseph to consider a doctoral program here. After Joseph reached out to WSU and expressed an interest, he was invited for a RADS visit based upon his prior academic achievement.

“When I arrived in Pullman for the visit, I instantly liked the campus,” said Joseph. “The people in Dr. Snyder’s laboratory were all really friendly—I was surprised that a university the size of WSU seemed like such a close community. I was also ready to do something different—to get away and trying something new.”

Although born in California, Joseph spent the majority of his life on the east coast. His mother was in the Army, which moved the family fairly regularly. He and his twin brother played football in high school and also for Washington and Lee University, where they both played safety. Because of his athletic background, Joseph enjoys being at a university and a community full of sports fans—but he also enjoys sitting in the stadium seats instead of playing on the field.

“My body is much happier. It’s nice to see someone get tackled on the field and know it won’t be me hurting the next day,” he laughed.

But to assuage his competitive drive and vigor, Joseph has taken up fencing, something he’s always been interested in. “It’s been a lot of fun and helps get rid of that excess energy,” he said.

What started as a passion for dinosaurs has evolved into an exciting career in entomology for Joseph. Ultimately, his fully funded research may help create more efficient and less invasive solutions for farmers resulting in a healthier and more reliable food supply for the world.

Joseph hopes to work for the USDA on pest management after earning his doctoral degree. Eventually, he would like to return to academia and continue to broaden his knowledge about the complex interactions between insect predators and their prey.

Joseph Taylor


Graduate Students in the News

A Passion for Predators: From T-Rex to Insects

By Cheryl Reed

Doctoral student Joseph Taylor lights up when he talks about bugs. From his undergraduate work at Washington and Lee University in Virginia to his graduate work here at Washington State University, his research on insect predators has already resulted in some substantial success, including the recent award of a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Although he is passionate about insects now, Joseph’s journey initially started with excitement over a much larger predator.

“When I was a kid I loved dinosaurs, especially the T-Rex,” he said. “I wanted to become a paleontologist until I disappointingly found out that dinosaurs were extinct. I wanted a career that involved live animals, not dead ones.”

Joseph carried his interest in animals to Washington and Lee University—but he quickly became frustrated that most of the introductory-level biology courses were pre-med focused. It wasn’t until he took a course from his advisor, Dr. Lawrence Hurd, that he gained a fascination with insects. He realized that insects are diverse and numerous and their systems operate similar to most other animals.

“I had no idea how much I would love insects,” said Joseph. “I was completely converted.”

Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in Russian language and culture from Washington and Lee. While there he conducted three years of research, which resulted in two publications with a third well underway. His research was on the praying mantis, a feisty little predator with a triangular head that pivots like a cat. The upright position and folding forearms of the insect led to its nickname, which is a bit of a misnomer for a creature known to practice cannibalism and prey on animals larger than itself.

“I saw a video once of a praying mantis attacking a snake,” says Joseph. “During my research, I had to raise scores of them, and they’re actually kind of like tiny kittens when they’re young.  They groom themselves like a cat, and can see you from about 20 feet away. But as adults they’re more like a T-Rex. Honestly, if I shrunk down to the size of an adult praying mantis, it would happily eat me.”

Now a doctoral student in Dr. William Snyder’s lab here at Washington State University, Joseph is studying Carabid beetles, commonly known as ground beetles. A group of formidable and ravenous predators, the ground beetles’ role in agriculture is extremely beneficial, feeding on insects that can potentially destroy crops. However, ground beetles can be very indiscriminate, consuming smaller crop-friendly beetles. Joseph is looking for ways to help these insect predators do their jobs better in order to eventually move away from broad spectrum pesticides. His NSF grant proposal focused on this research.

The Grant Proposal

During his first semester at WSU last fall, Joseph talked with his advisor about writing a proposal for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship—a program that supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing graduate degrees in STEM fields. Joseph received significant guidance from his advisor on writing the proposal, and felt confident of its strength when he mailed it off. In March he was excited when he received notification of the fellowship award.

In addition to the NSF Fellowship, Joseph was also awarded an ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) scholarship. This scholarship, supported by the ARCS Seattle Chapter, supports the best and brightest doctoral students in STEM disciplines at both WSU and the UW. Washington State University has been a member of the ARCS Foundation since 2000 and currently helps fund 36 doctoral students. Students for this scholarship are nominated by their department.

Why WSU?

In 2015, the Graduate School invited Joseph to visit WSU on its Research Assistantship for Diverse Scholars (RADS) program, which is intended to increase graduate student diversity. The RADS awards are funded through a partnership of the Graduate School and the department/program of the prospective student. Hurd, Joseph’s advisor at Washington and Lee, had been Snyder’s undergraduate advisor and was familiar with his research in the Department of Entomology at WSU. He encouraged Joseph to consider a doctoral program here. After Joseph reached out to WSU and expressed an interest, he was invited for a RADS visit based upon his prior academic achievement.

“When I arrived in Pullman for the visit, I instantly liked the campus,” said Joseph. “The people in Dr. Snyder’s laboratory were all really friendly—I was surprised that a university the size of WSU seemed like such a close community. I was also ready to do something different—to get away and trying something new.”

Although born in California, Joseph spent the majority of his life on the east coast. His mother was in the Army, which moved the family fairly regularly. He and his twin brother played football in high school and also for Washington and Lee University, where they both played safety. Because of his athletic background, Joseph enjoys being at a university and a community full of sports fans—but he also enjoys sitting in the stadium seats instead of playing on the field.

“My body is much happier. It’s nice to see someone get tackled on the field and know it won’t be me hurting the next day,” he laughed.

But to assuage his competitive drive and vigor, Joseph has taken up fencing, something he’s always been interested in. “It’s been a lot of fun and helps get rid of that excess energy,” he said.

What started as a passion for dinosaurs has evolved into an exciting career in entomology for Joseph. Ultimately, his fully funded research may help create more efficient and less invasive solutions for farmers resulting in a healthier and more reliable food supply for the world.

Joseph hopes to work for the USDA on pest management after earning his doctoral degree. Eventually, he would like to return to academia and continue to broaden his knowledge about the complex interactions between insect predators and their prey.