2009-10 Presidential Graduate Fellows
University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken has announced eight 2009-10 recipients of Presidential Graduate Fellowships. These prestigious fellowships honor NU graduate students – four students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, two at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and two at the University of Nebraska at Omaha – on the basis of high scholastic performance, personal accomplishment and innovative research projects. This year, fellowships are presented in cancer research, discrete mathematics and immigration, psychology, physiology and politics.

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"Presidential Graduate Fellowships recognize and support students who are conducting innovative research and scholarly activity," Milliken said. "We are fortunate to have a level of private support that creates opportunities for students to pursue." Fellows each receive an annual stipend provided through the University of Nebraska Foundation.

This year's Presidential Graduate Fellows are:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Deanna Dreher, Lincoln, a PhD candidate in Mathematics. Dreher’s field of expertise is in coding theory, which deals with the reliable transmission of data across noisy channels and is applied in media found in recorded entertainment devices, like CDs, to wireless communication in space. Dreher was awarded the Outstanding First Year Student award in 2005, and her research has been published in several publications.

Julie Iromuanya, Lincoln, a PhD candidate in Creative Writing and Ethnic Literature. Iromuanya’s dissertation, a novel entitled Innocence Somewhere, attempts to document, imagine, and investigate the experience of African immigrants in the United States, a group whose numbers have increased over 900 percent from 670 in the mid-70’s to 6,818 in 1995. Iromuanya has presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference and the Modern Language Association convention, and her writing has been published in several journals. Iromuanya earned her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Douglas Oxley, Lincoln, a PhD candidate in Political Science. Oxley’s research focuses on the influence of human biology in providing insight to political behaviors and public policy. As a founding member of the UNL Political Physiology laboratory, Oxley has measured participants’ psychophysiological responses to political stimuli. This is the only psychophysiology lab exclusively dedicated to studying political behavior. Oxley’s research was published in the journal Science in 2008. He earned his master’s degree in Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jamie Wilkinson, Lincoln, a PhD candidate in Psychology. Wilkinson is completing her research on effective communication and research informed by multiple disciplines of substance abuse research. By identifying and filling a gap in communications between basic science and clinical applications, her research shows innovative findings may be transferred from bench to bedside quicker. Wilkinson is a research assistant for the Substance Abuse Research Cluster, with over a dozen articles in publication. Wilkinson earned her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Daniel Flaherty, Omaha, a PhD candidate in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Flaherty is completing his research on the role of bis-styrylbenzenes as potential therapeutics in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Flaherty was a student representative for Globalization of Pharmaceutics Education Network. He is a recipient of the Harris Award for Excellence in Alzheimer’s disease/Lewy Body Research, the Nancy and Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s Scholarship Award Winner and the Peter Gwilt Pharmaceutical Sciences Travelship. Flaherty earned his bachelor’s degree at Central College, Pella, Iowa.

Aishwarya Prakash, Omaha, a PhD candidate in Cancer Research. Prakash’s research involves aspects of DNA replication, recombination and repair. She has presented at the Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum and the Keystone Symposium. Prakash served as student senator for the Graduate College at UNMC. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Alicia Bower, Omaha, a master’s degree candidate in Developmental Psychology. Bower’s thesis, What we do when they are good: How parents reward their preschool children’s prosocial behavior, is a study of how parents reinforce pro-social behavior. She is a 2008-09 Hazel Emly Graduate Scholarship recipient. Bower earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of South Dakota.

Erin Gallagher, Omaha, a PhD candidate in Psychology. Gallagher’s dissertation, Episodic Envy, Organizational Justice/Social Comparison, and Interpersonal Deviance in the Workplace, concerns organizational justice. Gallagher has been published in Corrections Today journal and presented at several seminars and conferences. She is a 2007-08 Paul L. Beck Memorial Scholarship recipient. Gallagher earned her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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