2017 Recipients: Top Scholarships and Fellowships

2017 DAAD RISE Scholarships

  • Alex Turner

    Alex Turner is a third-year student studying neuroscience. Turner researched mitotic processes and spindle association in the Deluca lab. He applied for the DAAD RISE program because he wanted to complete an internship abroad and abroad and improve his German language skills.

    During the summer of 2017, Alex will work in the DKFZ in Heidelberg Germany conducting research on the S/MAR vector and transfecting stem cells as well as transfecting fibroblast to induce pluripotency. While Alex isn't certain about his career plans, he sees this experience as an opportunity to gain practical lab experience and (hopefully) help him decide on a career path.

  • Cassidy Hagan

    Cassidy is a Microbiology student whose passion for scientific research led her to become involved in numerous research opportunities throughout her college career. Cassidy has worked with the Izzo laboratory since 2015 investigating the immune response to vaccination against tuberculosis.

    Currently, she is working on her Honors Thesis with the Izzo laboratory entitled "The Role of Natural Killer Cells in Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Induced Immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis". She also spent a summer at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus as a Cancer Research Summer Fellow with the Lenz laboratory in 2016.

    Her interest in the DAAD Rise program came from her goal to experience scientific research in a foreign country. She has always loved the culture of Germany and is very excited to have the opportunity to build international connections in the scientific community. She will be working at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Center) in Heidelberg, Germany.

    Cassidy hopes to pursue a PhD in biomedical research after graduating from CSU in December, 2017.

  • Colette Worcester

    Colette Worcester graduated from Colorado State University in 2016 with a major in Biomedical Sciences and an interdisciplinary minor in Food Science/Safety.

    She currently serves as an AmeriCorps member in Larimer County with CSU Extension and 4-H. As her service, she teaches elementary after-school programs in science, technology, engineering, and math. She enjoys being involved with the community and watching the kids develop a fascination with science.

    During her undergraduate career, she worked in the research labs of Dr. Elizabeth Ryan and Dr. Santiago Di Pietro, studying microbiology and cell biology. Colette is excited to continue her studies and research as a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholar in Germany for a Master's program, where she will gain a deeper understanding of immunology from a molecular perspective.

    She is especially interested in the intersection of the immune system and the digestive tract. After she completes her time in Germany, Colette plans on pursuing medical school with the hopes of studying gastroenterology and immunology

2017 Fulbright Fellowships

  • Rebecca Hermann

    As an Environmental Health and Spanish double major, Rebecca has had the opportunity to go abroad two times during her career at CSU. Her first time out of the country was spent studying abroad for a semester in Valparaíso, Chile, where she got to put her Spanish skills into practice and learn how to adjust to life in a new culture.

    She spent the following semester in La Esperanza, Honduras as a part of the CSU Honduras Cookstove Project research team, where she helped gather data on indoor air pollution and cardiovascular health outcomes from cookstove use. Her diverse experiences abroad helped shape her passion for living and working in Latin America.

    She is very excited to have received a Fulbright Fellowship to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Villavicencio, Colombia, beginning in July 2017. She hopes to have the chance to volunteer with a public health agency while she is there. Upon her return, she eventually aspires to attend graduate school for her Master of Public Health degree.

    Rebeccae wants to work for the CDC tackling public health issues that arise from climate change and would love to end up working in Latin America. In her free time, she likes to spend family time outdoors in her hometown of Nederland, Colorado. She also loves to draw, read, and pet as many dogs as possible.

  • Bill Roberts

    Bill Roberts is pursuing his Ph.D. in Occupation and Rehabilitation Science in the Department of Occupational Therapy at CSU. He has over 15 years of experience as an occupational therapist working with children with special needs. In 2011, Bill moved to Sri Lanka to implement a community-based rehabilitation program with Voluntary Service Overseas and Child Vision Sri Lanka. Through collaboration with local occupational therapists, Bill learned that his lack of knowledge of the local culture and context limited his ability to provide appropriate therapeutic services. Bill was again reminded of the power of integrating professional skills with knowledge of the local context when he taught pediatric occupational therapy at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

    In his current work, Bill strives to support occupational therapy education programs that produce local therapists that can address the unique needs of their communities. Bill's research explores the integration of local context into the curricula of international occupational therapy education programs. He has recently initiated research examining the influence of foreign instructors on teaching and learning in a South Asian occupational therapy education program.

    Through the Fulbright Fellowship, Bill is excited to work with the Occupational Therapy Master's program in Trinidad and Tobago where he will study the challenges and strategies to creating an education program that integrates the local culture and context while needing to use resources from other countries due to a lack of resources.

    After completing his Ph.D., Bill plans to seek a faculty position in an occupational therapy program that will enable him to continue research and service that supports the creation of contextually relevant occupational therapy programs.

2017 Goldwater Honorable Mentions

  • Kate Bates

    Kate Bates is a junior studying zoology. She conducts research in Dr. Carol Seger's Cognitive Neuroscience lab, Dr. Kim Hoke's Evolutionary Biology lab, is a TA for Animal Anatomy at CSU, and is lead tutor for chemistry at The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT).

    She also fixes behavioral problems in un-adoptable dogs at Larimer Humane Society so they can find their forever homes, in addition to training volunteers on how to modify behaviors in dogs and cats.

    While still in high school she conducted research in a behavioral neuroscience lab at University of Alaska, Fairbanks under Dr. Abel Bult-Ito. This research was presented and won first place in the Alaska State High School Science Symposium, and was the Alaska delegate to the national competition. This was how she realized she wanted to research neuroscience.

    Kate plans to apply to a neuroscience PhD program after she graduates. She wants to conduct research on the underlying mechanisms of learning, especially operant conditioning, across many taxa. She hopes to go into academia to fulfill her passion for teaching as well. She hopes to inspire her fiance's younger sisters and her own sister to attend college and consider science as a career.

  • Ethan Coldren

    The summer after high school, Ethan attended the CoCoA 15 combinatorics conference, which sparked an even greater interest in combinatorics. Fascinated, he enrolled in MATH 502, graduate level Combinatorics II, and then MATH 501, Combinatorics I.

    To further his knowledge, Ethan sought an independent study with my MATH 501 professor. This past summer, he conducted research at the University of Michigan in information theory, generalizing the Blahut-Arimoto algorithm for computing rate-distortion and channel capacity. This summer, he will be doing research under Dr. Florian Frick at Cornell University studying the intersection of topology and combinatorics.

    Ethan has also been working with Dr. Kate Ross and Dr. Marty Gelfand in the physics department, writing a Python program to compute the ground state spin configuration of a magnetically frustrated crystal. He is enjoying the opportunity to learn more about numerical analysis and to conduct research combining this area of math with my knowledge of physics and computer science.

    Additionally, he is helping the Society of Physics Students club to construct a spark chamber; he has computed how many cosmic rays they will observe for various dimensions, to determine what size of spark chamber they'll want to build. Ethan is also involved with the design of the high-voltage circuit and purchasing of components for it.

    Early in his freshman year, Ethan began an independent study with Dr. Ross McConnell, an algorithmic graph theorist, and that spring he took his CS 520, Analysis of Algorithms graduate class.

    Since that time, Ethan has worked as a teacher's aide for his CS 320 class, Algorithms-Theory and Practice and participated in several of Dr. McConnell's research groups, studying various subclasses of perfect graphs and some certifying algorithms to recognize them, in addition to solving some normally NP-complete problems, like coloring, independent set, and maximum clique in polynomial time.

    This semester, he is completing another independent study with Dr. McConnell to cover circular arc graphs, and a paper that was recently posted on the ArXiV detailing a O(n4) certifying algorithm for recognizing circular arc graphs. Although a linear time certifying algorithm for the "yes" case has been published, the best for the "no" case is O(n4), and Dr.McConnell, one of his Ph.D. candidates, and Ethan is working to find a faster algorithm.

  • Ben Fixman

    Ben is currently a Sophomore Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience student at Colorado State University. During his undergraduate studies, he has conducted research on Alzheimer's disease in the lab of Professor Emeritus, Dr. James Bamburg. His two-year tenure in the laboratory has resulted in the novel development of a hippocampal slice culture and imaging method.

    He plans to continue his neuroscience research throughout his undergraduate career and eventually complete an MD/PhD program. After receiving his degrees, he plans to work as a physician researcher, treating brain cancer patients and working in the lab to better understand the behavior of brain tumors.

    Ben's motivation to work with brain cancer patients grew after he was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in the fall of 2016. Since tumor removal, Ben has been enjoying a healthy life.

    He loves to run, ski, play guitar, and spend time with family and friends. His favorite meal is strawberry banana pancakes, he is excited to catch up on sleep, and if you asked his roommates to describe him they would grumble about how he forgets to turn off the lights.

  • Olivia Luyties

    Olivia is a junior majoring in biochemistry. For the past three years, she has been pursued her passion for biochemistry as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Santangelo's lab in the biochemistry department. There, she uses biochemical and genetic techniques to elucidate the role of novel proteins in the archaeal organism Thermococcus kodakarensis.

    In addition to her research, she enjoys my role as an Honors Peer Mentor to freshmen in the Honors Program, helping them navigate their first semester in college. Outside of class, she spends her time birdwatching, watercolor painting, and volunteering at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue.

    After her undergraduate education, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry. She aspires to conduct research using biochemistry and genetics to develop clean biofuels, among other biological products, to help solve current environmental crises.

2017 NOAA Hollings Scholarships

  • Cat Sunstone

    Cat Sunstone is a native of the West Coast who, after exploring the shores of Maui for two years, followed a love for the mountains to Colorado State University. She is a junior in the natural resources management program with a minor in sociology.

    Cat recently discovered a passion for natural resource policy that has been opening amazing new opportunities for her in coastal and marine management where she will be able to help protect both our natural resources and the communities who depend upon them.

    When Cat isn't studying or daydreaming about the ocean, she can be found volunteering at a local music festival, practicing yoga, or enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather while on an adventure with her pup.

2017 NSF-GRFP Fellowships

  • Brian Woodward

    Brian is a graduate of Sonoma State University and currently an MSc student in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship. In the fall, he will begin his PhD research under Dr. Paul Evangelista (NREL) in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU.

    His studies will focus on understanding biodiversity gradients in and around the Afro-montane forests of Ethiopia's southern highlands. Brian has worked in natural resource management and biological sciences for over a decade, and has been the Center Lead of the NASA DEVELOP Program on campus for the last three years.

  • Casey Lee

    Casey Lee (Graduate Degree Program in Ecology) is interested in the effects of habitat fragmentation, land use, and noise on wildlife behavior. Here at CSU, she works with the Sound and Light Ecology Team and the Angeloni, Wittemyer, and Crooks labs to understand the impacts of noise on black-tailed prairie dogs.

    Ultimately, she'd like to help integrate behavioral and acoustic ecology into the conservation efforts to construct landscape linkages across North America. She's also interested in science education and the perceptions and politics of science.

    Casey's fascination with sound extends beyond research. After graduating from Oberlin College (Majors: Biology, Environmental Studies; Minors: Religion; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies) and returning to Michigan in 2012, she spent five years outside of academia battling her nefarious alter ego, a classically-trained fiddle player who flirts with mandolin, guitar, and old-timey sensibilities.

    During this time, she toured the Midwest playing music in a van called Bernadette and worked between gigs as a cook, audio engineer, stable hand, and tavern wench.

  • Cory Rasor

    Cory Rasor graduated from Colorado State University in 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science in both Physics and Mathematics. During his undergraduate career he worked with Professor Jacob Roberts developing a novel laser frequency stabilization technique as well as simulating electron trajectories for improved ultra-cold plasma trapping.

    Following graduation, Cory was admitted to CSU's physics graduate program where he has been working with Professor Dylan Yost for the past two years. In this time, he has helped develop an ultraviolet laser system (121 nm) at CERN, in Switzerland, for laser cooling anti-hydrogen, the anti-matter equivalent of hydrogen. This project will probe what is currently thought to be a universal symmetry in physics and will ultimately be a stringent test of the Standard Model.

    Cory has also helped develop a different, high power ultraviolet laser (243 nm) to be used for two-photon laser cooling atomic hydrogen, which will be useful for making high precision spectroscopic measurements. This work will help in understanding the so-called "Proton Radius Puzzle" and could help physicists resolve the discrepancies associated with it.

    For his Ph.D. work, Cory is studying weak force interactions in atomic hydrogen and exploring how symmetry is broken by these forces. His proposed experiment has an opportunity to see effects of dark matter particles, and will also be a test of our current understanding of electroweak theory.

  • Dillon Jarrell

    Dillon Jarrell will be graduating from Colorado State University in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering, with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. He will be pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where he will be developing pediatric heart patches using host stem cells.

    During his undergraduate studies, he has conducted research in both academia and industry. In academia, his four-year tenure in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Gentile has helped resolve the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases via the endoplasmic reticulum.

    In the pharmaceutical industry, Dillon has designed experiments, conducted high-throughput drug candidate screens, and given formal presentations recommending specific compounds for clinical trial testing to treat chronic heart disease.

    In the energy sector, Dillon worked to scale up a chemical reactor system designed to produce H2S-scrubbing slurry for use in the natural gas industry. In addition to research and engineering, he stays busy at home with his wife, Emily, and beautiful three-year-old daughter, Olivia.

  • Katy McIntyre

    Katy McIntyre received her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry with minors in Molecular Biology and Business Administration, from Colorado State University.

    During her undergraduate career, she worked in Dr. Cris Argueso's laboratory in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management (BSPM), in the College of Agricultural Sciences, researching Molecular Plant Pathology.

    After graduation she worked as research associate in Dr. Todd Gaines laboratory, also in BSPM, working with herbicide resistance.

    Katy is now a PhD student in the Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) program where she continues to work with Dr. Argueso. For her PhD project, Katy studies the mechanistic role of plant hormones in plant defense against necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogens

    She is also an active member of the CMB Student Association, as well as a member of the Graduate Student Liaison Committee of the BSPM department.

    After receiving her PhD, Katy hopes to have a role in either science education and outreach to the non-science community or have an influential role in science policy pertaining to the importance of agriculture in creating a sustainable future.

  • Marissa Metz

    Marissa grew up in Sulphur, a small town in Oklahoma where she became interested in studying the brain after dissecting a sheep's brain in a high school biology class. She went on to major in psychology at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and fell in love with research while pursuing an undergraduate thesis in Dr. Lori James's lab.

    Towards the end of her undergraduate degree, she started to become dissatisfied with the lack of biological, mechanistic explanations for the things she was studying, so she decided to try her hand at cellular and molecular research in developmental neurobiology in Dr. Eugenia Killian's lab.

    This experience convinced Marissa that she wanted to become a researcher to study cellular and molecular neurobiology and she decided to pursue a PhD. Now, she is trying to understand why the receptors in our brains that sense painkilling drugs respond differently to drugs depending on where they are in a neuron.

    The goal of her work is to help the field develop treatments to harness the painkilling abilities of these receptors while avoiding negative effects of tolerance and withdrawal.

  • Megan Miller

    Megan Miller completed her BS in Microbiology with minors in Biochemistry, Chemistry and Public Health at New Mexico State University in 2015.

    During this time her passion for mentoring was sparked. She founded a microbiology club at NMSU and was involved in several programs that gave her the honor of mentoring over 300 students.

    Megan then accepted a post-baccalaureate position at the National Institute of Health working a project to characterizing the bat immune response during viral infections.

    In 2016 she started her PhD in the Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology department at CSU, with the goal of continuing to research viral infection.

2017 Truman Scholars

  • Francis Commerçon

    Francis is pursuing a degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology as well as one in Biological Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His life-long passion for birds has led him to co-found CSU Field Ornithologists, an active student organization focused on promoting an appreciation of birding and an understanding of avian ecology and conservation.

    He has volunteered much of his time toward citizen science projects to study and conserve birds and their habitats in Colorado. He has combined his passions for ecology and the Mandarin language to begin a transformative involvement in Yunnan Province, China, where he has completed an SIT Study Abroad independent research project on the potential for ethnic minority farmers' local knowledge to inform an ecological restoration experiment as well as an independent project on the social factors that influence both legal and illegal wildlife exploitation in a case study community.

    He aspires to reduce unsustainable hunting of tropical wildlife through outreach programs targeting social-psychological principles of behavioral change, and he believes that biodiversity conservation must center around a deep understanding of the human communities involved.

  • Kiloaulani Ka'awa Gonzales

    Kilo is a Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology major, whose research interests include invasive species management in wetland and coastal ecosystems. He serves as president of Colorado State's chapter of Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANRRS) Club.

    Growing up on the rural Hawaiian island of Molokai, Kilo's family lives a subsistence lifestyle of fishing, hunting, and farming, where his passion for the environment originates.

    Kilo strives to be a representative for his island community, where very few go on to college. Kilo is also a resident assistant (RA) on his campus and enjoys playing volleyball, fishing, and cooking.

2017 Udall Scholars

  • Kiloaulani Ka'awa Gonzales

    Kilo is a fish, wildlife, and conservation biology major, whose research interests include invasive species management in wetland and coastal ecosystems. He serves as president of Colorado State's chapter of Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANRRS) Club.

    Growing up on the rural Hawaiian island of Molokai, Kilo's family lives a subsistence lifestyle of fishing, hunting, and farming, where his passion for the environment originates.

    Kilo strives to be a representative for his island community, where very few go on to college. Kilo is also a resident assistant (RA) on his campus and enjoys playing volleyball, fishing, and cooking.

  • Katelynne Johnson

    Katelynne Johnson is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna. She is a sophomore pursuing a degree in anthropology at Colorado State University.

    Katelynne has dedicated her time to Chaco Culture National Historic Park, working with the cultural resource management staff in historic preservation. She completed an internship with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in archival work, in collaboration with the University of New Mexico.

    She hopes to assist in consultations between Native communities and the National Park Service, as well as aid in the incorporation of American Indian voices within the historic and present National Park Service narrative.

2017 Udall Honorable Mention

  • Francis Commerçon

    Francis is pursuing a degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology as well as one in Biological Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His life-long passion for birds has led him to co-found CSU Field Ornithologists, an active student organization focused on promoting an appreciation of birding and an understanding of avian ecology and conservation.

    He has volunteered much of his time toward citizen science projects to study and conserve birds and their habitats in Colorado. He has combined his passions for ecology and the Mandarin language to begin a transformative involvement in Yunnan Province, China, where he has completed an SIT Study Abroad independent research project on the potential for ethnic minority farmers' local knowledge to inform an ecological restoration experiment as well as an independent project on the social factors that influence both legal and illegal wildlife exploitation in a case study community.

    He aspires to reduce unsustainable hunting of tropical wildlife through outreach programs targeting social-psychological principles of behavioral change, and he believes that biodiversity conservation must center around a deep understanding of the human communities involved.