Day: June 26, 2023

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2023 Recipient – Roya Bagheri

Growing up as a teenager, I always wanted to become a person who could help people around the world. I got the opportunity to start my academic life in health research, which brought me closer to what I have always wanted. As a mechanical engineer with a background in biomedical engineering and biomaterials, helping people and sharing the multidimensional point of view of these fields would be a fantastic opportunity to develop solutions for health-related problems worldwide.

I started my PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the Spring of 2020 at Michigan Technological University. Being part of the MTU family has been an exceptional experience for me. I am very fortunate to work in Dr. Abadi’s lab, who has guided me through research and several aspects of life. My research includes four different projects related to cardiovascular diseases and disorders (i.e., those related to the heart and blood vessels). Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Nanomaterials, with their unique morphologies and properties, have great potential for advancing cardiovascular engineering to treat diseases and disorders. My research is in three main categories, ranging from tissue engineering to robotics and medical devices.

Despite being far from my hometown, I feel at home in Michigan Tech. I have had several opportunities to participate in different organizations and competitions. This incredible journey will always hold a special place in my heart. I am so glad that I am close to my dream of obtaining a PhD and being able to help people around the world on a small scale in health.

I am grateful to the Graduate School for awarding me this doctoral finishing fellowship; this fellowship means a lot to me and motivates me to work harder to finish my PhD journey! I am thankful to the people who have supported me on my journey.

Distinguished Dissertation Award – Summer 2023 – Marina Choy

I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Toulouse Jean Jaures, in France, before joining the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture doctoral program at Michigan Tech in 2017. During the last stages of my dissertation in Fall 2022, I began working as a full-time faculty member and Writing Center manager at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology near Albuquerque, NM. I am now in the midst of moving to Baltimore, MD to start a new position at Johns Hopkins University in Fall 2023.

My dissertation, “Articulating Nationalism through the “Problem of Immigration:” the Case of Foreign Unaccompanied Minors in France” examines how far-right nationalist logics and discourses permeate and articulate the system of protection of foreign unaccompanied minors in France, in the recent context of the so-called European “migrant crisis.” In-depth interviews with child welfare social workers revealed that the very structure and design of the system of protection of foreign minors, articulated through cultural and political perspectives hostile to (im)migration, compromises the protection and chances of integration of this group from the get-go. This case study illustrates national institutional responses to contemporary migration events, and explores the articulation of the question of immigration as a driving force of contemporary nationalism.

I am deeply grateful for my dissertation advisor, Dr. Patricia Sotirin, who has mentored and supported me through my PhD journey and beyond. I would also like to thank my co-advisor Dr. Jennifer Slack, whose feedback was always immensely helpful and critical to my progress, and Dr. Andy Fiss, for his endorsement and support with several professional projects. Thank you all for your support and for endorsing this nomination.

The King-Chávez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program – Summer 2023 – J.D. Brandewie

I never imagined myself reaching this point. Having given up on college in 2011, I found myself working my way through different management positions across retail. Eternal grateful for the opportunity these jobs had presented for me, they had allowed me to survive well enough. By 2016, I had found the lack of empathy, and cerebral engagement to be a bit too much. In what may have been an impulsive decision, I quit my job and returned to college. I knew I wanted to explore more of what the world had to offer, and to see how I might be able to give back.

I entered a community college and was able to secure my associate degrees by 2017. This enabled me to transfer to the University of Louisville (UofL) and begin pursuing my bachelor’s. I wasn’t certain what direction to go; and initially was determined to go for an engineering degree of some sort. In my first semester at UofL, I took a physics course with a wonderful professor; Dr. David Brown. The manner in which he approached teaching instantly drew my attention. This was what I thought education should have been my first go around. I then decided to major in Physics. That following summer, I was given my first opportunity to be a Teacher’s Assistant; And I was hooked.

I then spent the remainder of my time as an undergraduate being a Teacher’s Assistant of some form. Whether it was instructing a lab or being a resource within the classroom, I found it to be one of the most fulfilling experiences. It was through this process I learned that to teach at the collegiate I would have to go to Graduate school; This had terrified me. I had always struggled with formalized education, and certainly did not believe myself capable of the highest levels of it. I was fortunate though to have mentors to guide me. If it were not for these amazing educators, I would not be here now.

In the spirit of what they taught me, I now continue my education further. Having been accepted into Michigan Tech has been one of the proudest moments in my life. Only to be surpassed by the honor and privilege I feel to have been accepted as a KCP Fellow. With this support, I will be able to accomplish something I only had ever dreamt of as a child. In return, it is only right to give that experience back. As I complete my PhD, I hope to help cultivate a diverse culture at MTU, using my unique experiences to build our community. Afterwards, I hope to become a faculty member and work towards a more comprehensive foundational curriculum; Integrating computation, physics, and mathematics together. In my late career, I’d hope to take an administrative position to further build a more representative student body of the diversity we have in the world.

Sponsored by the King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship from the State of Michigan