2013 Graduate Achievement Awards


Rachel Chandley, a doctoral student in Psychology, received her first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for her publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. She was the first author of four on their manuscript titled, “Anxiety Sensitivity, Coping Motives, Emotion Dysregulation, and Alcohol-Related Outcomes in College Women: A Moderated-Mediation Model.” The study involved 223 female undergraduate students at Miami University who completed surveys about alcohol consumption, alcohol related problems, anxiety sensitivity, coping drinking motives and emotion dysregulation. The study examined the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and alcohol-related outcomes through coping drinking motives in college women. From the research conducted by Chandley, anxiety sensitivity was indirectly related to both alcohol-related problems and alcohol use through coping motives. The indirect effect of anxiety sensitive on alcohol-related problems was qualified by the level of emotion dysregulation. The more that women reported emotional dysregulation, the stronger the relationship between coping drinking motives and alcohol-related problems. Her research further supports the importance of emotion dysregulation in explaining alcohol-related problems with college women. Along with being first author in the manuscript, Chandley was also actively involved with choosing the research questions, picking measures, running participants and conducting statistical analyses.


Aminata Coulibaly, a doctoral student in cellular, molecular and structural biology, received her first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for her peer-reviewed article published in Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. Her article is titled, “Transection of Preganglionic Axons Leads to CNS Neuronal Plasticity Followed by Survival and Target Reinnervation.” Coulibaly researched the response of adult neurons in the spinal cord following an injury. The injured neurons undergo a series of morphological and biochemical changes (referred to as ‘plasticity’) and then survive the injury and begin to reinnervate, which is the restoration of the nerve supply. Coulibaly’s results revealed that the neuronal plasticity in the spinal cord occurred during the first week following the injury, but the target reinnervation took place very slowly. It was not complete even after 4 months following the injury. These findings are significant because they provide important information about recovery time following an injury. She was able to conclude that peripheral injury results in brief changes in the central nervous system, but that these changes are not detrimental to the neurons, and instead promote survival. Coulibaly explained that this information can be used to devise better therapies and to optimize recovery after a neuronal injury. She will use her findings to examine these neuroprotective mechanisms in more depth and hopes to understand the specific mechanisms involved in their survival. These findings will help improve the understanding of neuronal survival and the events that lead to neurodegeneration.


Maria Clara F. Do Amaral, a doctoral student in zoology, won her first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for two publications. The first is titled, “Hibernation physiology, freezing adaptation, and extreme freeze tolerance in a northern population of wood frog” and was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology in September, 2013. Her second publication is titled, “Enzymatic regulation of glycogenolysis in a subarctic population of the wood frog: implications for extreme freeze tolerance” and is currently in process to be published in PLoS ONE.


Nathaniel Foley, a masters art student, won his second and third Graduate Achievement Award in the spring and fall of 2013. His spring award was for his two pieces of art presented at the 46th Greater Hamilton Art Exhibition (GHAE) titled SU-47 and F-105 Thunderchief. His fall award was for his two pieces of art presented at the HWD: Regional Juried Sculpture Competition at the Rosewood Gallery in Kettering, Ohio. His two sculptures were called F-105 Thunderchief and Hawker Hurricane, which won second place.


Peter Guiden, a masters student in Botany, won his first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for his publication in Ecological Restoration, which is a publication of the Society for Ecological Restoration, a leading international organization dedicated to bridging the gap between research and implementation in this field. His article was titled, “Dispersal of Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) Seeds by White-tailed Deer” and was published in December, 2013.


Sangheon Han, a masters student in chemical engineering, won his first Graduate Achievement Award in fall of 2013 for his presentation at the 2013 Biomedical Engineering Society which took place at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA. His presentation was titled, “Alkylation of Keratin for a Tunable Biomaterial Platform in Bone Regeneration.”


John Hankiewicz, a Masters student in creative arts, received his first Graduate Achievement Award in fall of 2013 for his multi-color lithograph that was accepted in the 2012 Pacific States Biennial National Print Exhibition from December 2012- April 2013. The PSBN 2012 Print Exhibition is a juried show that features artists in the US. Hankiewicz’s lithograph is titled No Argument. “To have been included in the 2012 PSBN Print Exhibition meant that my work would be shown with top printmakers from across the country,” Hankiewicz explained. “According to the exhibition catalog, 600 entries were submitted to the juror, and 45 prints were chosen for inclusion.” Lithography is a complex printmaking process involving drawing on a limestone surface and fixing a chemical stencil that yields a printable image. Each color of a multi-color lithograph must be drawn and processed separately on separate stones, and the colors must be registered so that they fall in the right place in the image. Hankiewicz explained he faced the typical challenge of making a compelling piece of art to create this lithograph. He explained his art typically involves objects placed in an everyday setting but in a way that the viewer’s perception of “everyday” is cast in a strange new light. In No Argument, the doorstops and chair and sidewalk seem to exist in world of ghostlike forms.


Qiuyuan Huang, a doctoral student in Geology, received her second Graduate Achievement Award in fall of 2013 for her publication in FEMS Microbial Ecology for her article titled, “Archaeal and Bacterial Diversity in Acidic to Circumneutral Hot Springs in the Philippines.” Additionally, she was selected to present in the 2013 Geological Society of American’s annual meeting. Huang’s research was on the microbial community in hot springs around the world, including the Tibetan Plateau, Tengchong County in China, and the Philippines. She focused on finding an explanation for the mechanism that controls the microbial community structure in extreme environments and researching how the elemental cyclings (carbon and nitrogen cycling) in hot spring environments affect global warming. Huang focused on six different acidic hot springs for microbial study in the Philippines. She explained it’s a perfect natural area for studying thermoacidophiles that prefer high temperature and low pH environments. The results of this study have greatly improved the understanding of microbial diversity and community composition in acidic to circumneutral hot springs and their relationships with geochemical conditions. Huang received her first Graduate Achievement Award in 2011 with her article titled, “Archaeal and bacterial diversity in hot springs on the Tibetan Plateau, China.” This research was similar to what she conducted in the Philippines, and concerns microbial communities in ten various hot springs in central-eastern Tibet. Her preliminary data was presented at the 2010 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting held in San Francisco, California and at the 2011 International Conference on Geomicrobial Ecotoxicology in Wuhan, China.


Sandra Mardonovich, a masters student in botany, received her first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for her presentation at the Society of Advancement for Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference in San Antonio, TX. Her research explores an area of science concerned with the conservation of biodiversity of tropical plants ROSEMARY OKOLI, ARCHITECTURE Rosemary Okoli, a masters student in architecture, won her second Graduate Achievement Award in the spring of 2013 for her paper titled, “Makoko: A Model for a Culturally Sensitive Urban Renewal in Lagos, Nigeria.” Her paper has been accepted for presentation at 3 external conferences: The Spaces and Flows conference in Detroit, the International Journal of Arts and Sciences Conference in Munich, Germany and it has also been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies. XI PAN, GERONTOLOGY 
 Xi Pan, a doctoral student in gerontology, received her first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for her presentation on diabetes self-management and health-related quality of life. She presented this at the Aging in Asia Interest Group Symposium at the 66th Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of American in New Orleans, LA.


Mariah Ritz won her first Graduate Achievement Award in the spring of 2013 for her article titled, “Behavior management in preschool classrooms: Insights revealed through systematic observation and interview,” in February of 2012. It was selected for publication in an upcoming issue of Psychology in the Schools, a peer-reviewed journal that is devoted to research, opinion, and practice. The journal focuses on issues confronting school psychologists, teachers, counselors, administrators, and other personnel in schools.


Andrew Rosendale, a doctoral student in zoology, received his first Graduate Achievement Award in the fall of 2013 for his publication, entitled, “Hibernation physiology, freezing adaptation and extreme freeze tolerance in a northern population of the wood frog,” in The Journal of Experimental Biology. His research focuses on the difference freeze tolerance between Alaskan and Ohio wood frogs. Rosendale also was one of six winners at the Graduate Research Forum in 2013.


Samantha Rumschlag, a doctoral student in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology, received two Graduate Achievement Awards this year in both the spring and fall of 2013. She won her first award her work entitled “The Effects of Malathion and Timing of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Exposure on Grey Treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis).” This was presented at The Ohio Valley Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2013 Meeting held at Miami University where she received an award for Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation. Her second award was for her oral research presentation titled “How Time of Exposure to the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus affects Cope’s Gray Treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) in the Presence of an Insecticide.” This was also presented at a national conference, the Joint Meeting of Herpetologists and Ichthyologists, which is held at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 


Sarah Saddler, who is in theatre studies with special emphasis in directing, won her first Graduate Achievement Award in the spring of 2013. She won for her theatrical direction of playwright Bill Cain’s 2010 play 9 Circles, which was performed as a part of the Miami University 2013 theatre season. She also presented her analysis on the performativity of two military therapy methods, Virtual Iraq Exposure Therapy and the Theatre of War Project, as a part of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference (ATHE).


Sarah Senff won her first Graduate Achievement Award in the spring of 2013 for her presentation, “Rethink Pink: A Challenge to the Myth of the Cancer Hero through Community-Based Performance” at Mid-America Theatre Conference on March 9, 2013. Additionally, she created a regional tour of Susan Miller’s autobiographical solo performance My Left Breast paired with post-show workshops embedded within the community through connections with local women’s health and breast cancer advocacy organizations.