Two graduate students awarded honorific fellowships

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019
by Scott Lyon

The Graduate School has awarded honorific fellowships to two students of chemical and biological engineering for the 2019-20 academic year. Four such honorific fellowships were awarded across the University.

The annual fellowships fund recipients for one year of graduate work and do not stipulate project outcomes, providing fellows the rare opportunity to pursue research with no external mandates.

The Harold W. Dodds Fellowship went to Sarah Hammer, who will enter her fifth year. Hammer's research focuses on engineering yeast for the production of renewable liquid fuels. Her thesis is advised by José Avalos, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

The Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Fellowship went to Akanksha Thawani, who will enter her sixth year. Thawani's research looks at how cells organize from proteins into larger structures, with a particular focus on the dynamic structures known as microtubules. Her thesis is co-advised by Howard Stone, the Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Sabine Petry, assistant professor of molecular biology.

Honorific fellowships recognize the performance and professional promise of graduate students in their later years of a Ph.D. program, according to documents sent out by the graduate school. Fellows refrain from teaching during their award period in order to focus solely on their dissertation research.