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Duke Graduate Students Receive Grants to Enhance Their Training beyond Core Disciplines

The following Duke University doctoral students have received Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants (GSTEG) for 2019-2020 from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. Stretching beyond their core disciplinary training, these students will spend up to one semester acquiring skills, knowledge, or experiences that will enhance the approach to their original research.

Jacqueline Allain, Ph.D. in History

  • Faculty mentor: Laurent Dubois
  • Participate in 2019 Caribbean Philosophical Association Summer School, to inform research examining motherhood and reproduction in post-emancipation Martinique

Jonnathan Singh Alvarado, Ph.D. in Neurobiology

  • Faculty mentor: Richard Mooney
  • Attend two-week computational neuroscience methods course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, to learn how to analyze high-dimensional neural and behavioral datasets and relate these empirical observations to fundamental concepts in computational and theoretical neuroscience

Joella Bitter, Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology

  • Faculty mentor: Louise Meintjes
  • Enroll in a 30-hour Digital Audio Certificate program at Harvestworks in New York to hone skills in sound editing, multichannel audio production, and interactive media installations

Jessica Coleman, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

  • Faculty mentor: Rebecca Shelby
  • Attend Global Reproductive and Sexual Health Summer Institute at University of Michigan School of Nursing, for training in studying gender-based violence and conducting women’s health intervention research; receive training from Sharon Dekel at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School on novel methodology and hormonal and neuroimaging measurement in studies of traumatic childbirth, to inform dissertation and future intervention projects

Jacqueline Gerson, Ph.D. in Ecology

  • Faculty mentor: Emily Bernhardt
  • Train at the University of Toronto with leading mercury dendrochronologist Trevor Porter, to learn how to identify and date tree rings and subsequently to analyze them for mercury content

Jonathan Henderson, Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology

  • Faculty mentor: Louise Meintjes
  • Take a course in Mande music at SOAS University of London taught by Lucy Durán, to learn from a foremost scholar and record producer key to the international circulation of Mande music

Brandon Hunter, Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering

  • Faculty mentor: Marc Deshusses
  • Intern with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Justice in Washington, D.C., to better understand the roles that engineers and scientific researchers can play to combat economic, legal, political and social issues around environmental injustice

Koffi Nomedji, Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology

  • Faculty mentor: Charles Piot
  • Experience on-site training in landscape and documentary photography and organize a photography festival in Togo and Ghana, to supplement research and inform policy discourse on the effects of erosion

Amanda Rossillo, Ph.D. in Evolutionary Anthropology

  • Faculty mentor: Steven Churchill
  • Participate in a five-day workshop on introductory geometric morphometric methods offered through Transmitting Science in Barcelona, to learn how to analyze skeletal variation between extinct and modern humans in 3D space

Clay Sanders, Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

  • Faculty mentor: Wilkins Aquino
  • Undertake a two-week research visit with the POEMS (Wave Propagation, Mathematical Analysis, and Simulation) team in the Applied Mathematics Department at the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées in Paris, to analyze a new numerical method for optimizing structural design to control vibration behavior

Jewel Scott, Ph.D. in Nursing

  • Faculty mentor: Leigh Ann Simmons
  • Attend the Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health to learn about molecular genetics methods for biobehavioral research

About Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants (GSTEG)

This internal funding mechanism encourages doctoral and master’s students to step away from their core research and training to acquire skills, knowledge, or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

A January 2019 RFP invited all current Duke graduate students (including master’s, professional, and Ph.D. students) to propose graduate training enhancement activities lasting up to one semester. Proposals were reviewed by an ad hoc committee convened by the Executive Vice Provost and the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Caption for main image: Top row: Jacqueline Allain, Jonnathan Singh Alvarado, Joella Bitter, Jessica Coleman, Jacqueline Gerson, Jonathan Henderson; bottom row: Brandon Hunter, Koffi Nomedji, Amanda Rossillo, Clay Sanders, Jewel Scott