Graduate Spotlight: 2012 Graduate Student Excellence in Research Awards
Swati Agrawal, Cellular Biology
Dr. Swati Agrawal graduated in May 2012 with a Ph.D. in Cellular Biology. Her doctoral research studied Toxoplasma Gondii, a parasite in the same family of organisms that include the causative agents of malaria and severe infections in people with suppressed immune systems, such as AIDS patients, pregnant women and infants. Dr. Agrawal authored four papers on her research during her graduate career at The University of Georgia and has two additional papers detailing her research in preparation. Dr. Agrawal is currently working as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
Austin Lacy, Higher Education
Dr. Austin Lacy graduated in May 2011 with a Ph.D. in Higher Education. His doctoral research analyzed state-level higher education governance systems in an effort to deepen our understanding of governance arrangements by providing a measure that more closely represents the description of state governance structures. Dr. Lacy is currently working as a research associate at Research for Action in Philadelphia, where he will continue to conduct original research and will worked to support the uptake of education research projects to inform public policy decisions.
Franklin E. Leach, Chemistry
Dr. Franklin E. Leach graduated in May 2011 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry. During his time at The University of Georgia, Dr. Leach was the author or coauthor of 33 presentations and 18 papers and book chapters on such topics as glycosaminoglycan analysis, electron-aided methods of ion activation, applications of chemometric analysis to carbohydrate mass spectrometry, and multiple simulations of ion motion. Most notable amongst his research, Nature Chemical Biology published Dr. Leach’s paper, “The Proteoglycan Bikunin has a Defined Sequence,” which details the first ever complete sequencing of intact glycosaminoglycan chains from a proteoglycan, and also the finding of a well-defined pattern of sulfation within the glycan chains. Dr. Leach is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington where he is participating in the design and construction of a 21 Tesla Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometer (FTMS), which will be the world’s highest field FTMS instrument once completed.
Najuana Lee, Art
Dr. Najuana Lee Graduated in May 2011 with a Ph.D. in Art. Her dissertation, “Engaging the Pink Elephant in the Room: Investigating Race and Racism through Art Education,” focused on art education pedagogy as a means of addressing implicit and explicit racism. Dr. Lee has presented her research in a variety of professional venues including the annual meetings of the American Education Research Association (AERA) and the National Art Education Association (NAEA). She was selected to represent UGA at the NAEA Graduate Research Seminar in Art Education in 2010, a conference session which annually showcases outstanding doctoral research throughout the country. Dr. Lee’s research embodies a constructivist pedagogy and involves the use of expressive artmaking and dialogue, rather than a traditional lecture format. Dr. Lee is currently working as a Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Georgia.
Qing Liu, Psychology
Dr. Qing Liu graduated in August 2011 with a Ph.D. in Psychology. Her research examines the skilled use by wild capuchin monkeys of stone tools to crack though palm nuts. Her research is relevant to how primates explore affordances of objects in problem-solving situations using their limbs and hands- particularly in tool-using situations where indirect relations must be noticed and managed. Dr. Liu is currently working as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.