Presidential Graduate Fellowships Announced
University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken is pleased to announce the eight winners of the Presidential Graduate Fellowships for 2005-2006. This year’s recipients are engaged in dynamic and diverse research projects—four at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, two at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and two at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

"The work that these students are undertaking represents some of the most promising research being done by graduate students at the university,” Milliken said. “We are very pleased to be able to support their efforts and recognize their achievement.”

The fellows at UNL will each receive an annual stipend of $16,500, and those at UNMC will receive $21,000. At UNO, PhD candidates receive $15,000 and MA candidates receive $12,000. Funding for the fellowships is provided through the University of Nebraska Foundation.

This year’s Presidential Graduate Fellows are:

Hadara Bar-Nadav, a PhD candidate in English at UNL. Under the mentorship of Presidential Professor Ted Kooser, Ms. Bar-Nadav is writing her dissertation on the relationship between twentieth-century literature and visual art. She is investigating the aesthetic dialogue between artists and poets during the 1940s and 50s, in particular those who produced work in response to the Nazi ideal of purity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from William Paterson University, and a Master of Arts degree in English from Montclair State University.

Christopher W. Larimer, a PhD student in political science at UNL. Mr. Larimer’s research focuses on American government and political behavior. His interests are in the areas of behavioral economics and political psychology, particularly in the application of experimental research as it relates to political behavior and state politics, focusing on the relationship between institutional structures and policy outcomes. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Northern Iowa, and a Master of Arts degree in political science from UNL.

Risto Moisio, a PhD candidate in marketing in the College of Business Administration at UNL. Mr. Moisio’s primary research interest is consumer culture theory. His dissertation will focus on the newly pervasive phenomenon of consumer projects—such as house restoration and building and other Do It Yourself projects. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Satakunta Polytechnic in Finland, and a Master of Science from the University of Southern Denmark.

Paige W. Toller, a PhD student in communication studies at UNL. Ms. Toller’s research looks at how people put their lives back together following trauma and loss. Specifically, she is curious about how bereaved parents construct a sense of normalcy and recovery following the death of a child. Ms. Toller received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in human communication from Abilene Christian University.

Abdelkader E. Ashour, a PhD candidate in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Mr. Ashour’s research focuses on developing novel immunotherapeutics against primary and metastatic breast cancer, as well as pancreatic cancer. He received his Bachelor of Science degree at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

Jill Pecha, a MD/PhD student studying pathology and microbiology at UNMC. Ms. Pecha is conducting research on mice that has implications for the development of a valuable new diagnostic and therapeutic target for breast cancer treatment. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from UNL.

Anne Herman, a PhD candidate in industrial/organizational psychology at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Ms. Herman received her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from UNL, and her Master of Arts degree in psychology from UNO. In addition to her current work on a creativity meta-analysis project and survey design research, her dissertation will focus on motivational, personality, and feedback influences on creative problem solving.

Taylor Quedensley, an MA student in biology at UNO. Mr. Quedensley’s thesis research is titled: “A Taxonomic Survey of the Asteraceae on Volcan Zunil, Guatemala.” He received his Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture, with minors in entomology and biology, from UNL.

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