2014 - 2015 Graduate Fellows

Barfield, Sarah

Sarah Barfield

Coral Ecological Genomics
Previous degree from Clemson University
UT Austin: Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Sarah Barfield is interested in understanding how reef-building corals adapt to ecologically variable environments and in using this knowledge to promote effective methods for coral reef conservation and restoration. She wants to investigate the origin of genetic diversity in long-lived corals and variation in the synchrony of reproduction in broadcast-spawning corals.

Blanco, Cynthia

Cynthia Blanco

Linguistics and Bilingualism
Previous Degree from University of North Carolina at Greensboro
UT Austin: Department of Linguistics

Cynthia Blanco investigates how listeners from different linguistic backgrounds process accented speech. Her work compares monolingual and bilingual children and adults and how these listeners develop sensitivities to specific acoustic properties of speech. She is also interested in how listeners use these cues to evaluate speakers' language proficiency.

Bondy, Brian

Brian Bondy

Neuroscience
Previous degree from Georgia State University
UT Austin: Department of Neuroscience

Brian is interested in studying the brain at the cellular/circuit level. He would like to use electrophysiology techniques, such as patch clamp recordings, to learn how different currents and neuromodulators affect information processing and plasticity in neurons.

Bragg, Emily

Emily Bragg

Mobile Computer Architecture
Previous degree from Georgia Institute of Technology
UT Austin: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Emily Bragg is interested in computer architecture, particularly the challenges presented by mobile devices that still require high performance on a limited power budget. She wants to investigate the potential of heterogeneous architectures to enable more computationally intensive applications without sacrificing battery life.

Briley, Daniel

Daniel Briley

Individual Differences Psychology
Previous degree from Pepperdine University
UT Austin: Department of Psychology

Daniel Briley studies the development of individual differences in personality and cognitive ability from a behavioral genetic perspective. He is particularly interested in exploring how the unique characteristics of children influence how they interact with their environment, which in turn guides development.

DiBiasie, Jaqueline

Jacqueline DiBiasie

Roman Archaeology
Previous degree from Washington and Lee University
UT Austin: Department of Classics

Jacqueline DiBiasie's research focuses on the spatial context of ancient Roman graffiti in Pompeii, Italy. She uses spatial configuration theories and an analysis of the content of the graffiti to understand and differentiate the use of space within domestic and commercial buildings.

Heffron, Laurie

Laurie Cook Heffron

Violence Against Women and Migration
Previous degrees from Georgetown University, The University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin: School of Social Work

Laurie Cook Heffron focuses on refugee and immigrant communities and their experiences with domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Her dissertation research uses constructivist grounded theory methods to explore the experiences of, and relationships between, violence against women and migration, with particular attention to the migration of Central American women to the United States.

Henninger, Natalie

Natalie Henninger

Social Behaviors of Organizations
Previous degree from Vanderbilt University
UT Austin: Department of Management

Natalie Henninger is interested in studying the social behaviors and cognitive processes of individuals in groups and organizations. In many ways, these interests are informed by her previous work on outcomes for adults with high functioning autism. One current project examines the role of beliefs about gendered abilities in outcomes for women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Martinez, Raquel

Raquel Martinez

Astronomy
Previous degrees from California Institute of Technology, Wesleyan University
UT Austin: Department of Astronomy

Raquel Martinez is an observational astronomer with research interests in the stages and processes of star and planet formation. She studies this through the identification and statistical analysis of astronomical objects in various phases of evolution, ranging from young stars and circumstellar disks, to more developed planetary systems.

Moon, Joshua

Joshua Moon

Polymer Membranes
Previous degree from University of Alabama
UT Austin: Department of Chemical Engineering

Joshua Moon is interested in the design and characterization of polymer membranes for environmental and energy applications. In particular, he studies the structure-property relationships of novel materials as well as the fundamentals of polymer transport that could have applications in improving the effectiveness of gas separation membranes currently used in the industry.

Poulos, Natalie

Natalie Poulos

Health Education
Previous degree from The University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin: Department of Kinesiology and Health Education

Natalie Poulos’ research focuses on understanding and exploring the food environment. Specifically, she is interested in how food availability and access is associated with the dietary patterns and outcomes of youth, as well as how food-based organizations can serve and improve access to fresh foods within communities. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to provide a rich and detailed context for understanding how our current food environment may impact the health of our society.

Ramani, Nandini

Nandini Ramani

Marketing Strategy
Previous degrees from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Indian Institute of Management
UT Austin: Department of Marketing

Nandini Ramani studies marketing strategy by the use of empirical analysis and econometric modeling. Her areas of interest include the impact of marketing on firm performance, innovation, and social media marketing.

Richards, Lisa

Lisa Richards

Optical Imaging Methods
Previous degree from Duke University
UT Austin: Department of Biomedical Engineering

Lisa Richards studies novel optical imaging methods to enable quantitative in vivo monitoring of blood flow changes during surgery. Her research focuses on laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI), which is a noninvasive, real-time optical imaging technique for visualizing flow. Her objectives include adapting LSCI instrumentation for intraoperative use, assessing LSCI clinically during neurosurgery, and determining the required instrumentation parameters for optimal performance in a clinical setting.

Shlachter, Ethan

Zack Shlachter

Modern South Asian History
Previous degree from SOAS, University of London
UT Austin: Department of History

Zack Shlachter studies Indian internationalism in the late-colonial era. In particular, he looks at social and political thought in the period, Indian movements for eugenics and birth control, and histories of consumption/consumerism—seemingly disparate topics that, in fact, overlap significantly, all part of a vibrant circulation of ideas across disciplinary and geographic borders.

Stitt, Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Stitt

Race and Education
Previous degree from Carleton College
UT Austin: Department of Sociology

Mary Ellen Stitt's research focuses on the New Orleans public schools in the context of their privatization, increasing reliance on alternative teacher certification programs, and changing discipline practices. She is particularly interested in the making and remaking of race in these new school environments as experienced by students and their families, communities, and teachers.