Day: June 10, 2020

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient- Elizabeth Barnes

I am compassionate about forest resource conservation, and came to Michigan Tech to pursue a doctoral degree in Forest Science to gain skills in ecological field research, geospatial technologies, and forest management. My studies center on ecological succession in northern forests, and the dual influences of natural disturbance and resource management on shaping the future of maple-dominated hardwoods stands. I specifically carry out research to assess the effect of wind disturbance on canopy openness, understory microclimate, and tree species recruitment and replacement. In addition, I am involved in research to model pathways of forest carbon sequestration, particularly the transfer of carbon from down dead wood to the soil matrix. During my three years at the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, I also attained a two-year professional degree in Forestry, endowing me with the technical skills needed to support a career in forest resource management. 

Words cannot express my gratitude for the opportunity provided to me by the Graduate School to complete my Ph.D. in Summer 2020 with the Finishing Fellowship award. I look forward to graduating and entering the fields of forestry, resource conservation, or ecological restoration in the northern Great Lakes.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient- Pratik Umesh Joshi

I started my journey at Michigan Tech in Fall 2015. My Ph.D. research has focused on understanding the behavior of viruses (coded in nature and not in computers!) and developing methods for vaccine and biotherapeutic manufacturing. Prevention against the spread of viral diseases has been one of humankind’s foremost challenges. The current vaccine manufacturing strategy to separate target viral products from the contaminants necessitates an upgrade to increase production capacity using low-cost methods. My research is geared towards characterizing viruses to generalize a method to purify various viral-based biotherapeutics. In these graduate school years, perceiving the complexity of viral interactions has intrigued me to pursue a research career to keep investigating in-depth the nature of viruses and other biotherapeutic agents. These answers will help in developing better technologies to process such intricate moieties.

I consider myself very fortunate to be mentored by Dr. Caryn Heldt who guided me to develop an advanced, scientific thinking process. I am very thankful to be awarded with the Finishing Fellowship for summer 2020 and for the support to focus on my degree completion.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient- Ali Jalooli


I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Computer Science, studying the optimization of message routing in heterogeneous wireless networks. Over the past years, I have mainly focused on vehicular networks in smart cities. Research in this area is of great importance, as it advances cutting-edge connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. This has far-reaching consequences for many aspects of daily life, given the expanding world of the Internet of Things.  Connected vehicles provide various benefits, spanning from advanced driver assistance, remote diagnostics, and infotainment for consumers to road safety, improving response time for emergency vehicles, and even improving national and international economies by ameliorating traffic congestion. My work at Tech on the underlying networks that drive these technologies enhances the performance and feasibility of robust wireless networks. During my time at Tech, I have also gained teaching experience and increased responsibility in course development and assessment as a teaching assistant and lead instructor.

I am grateful to the graduate school and the graduate dean awards advisory panel for awarding me a Finishing Fellowship. I am also grateful to my advisors, Dr. Kuilin Zhang and Dr. Min Song, for their support and guidance.