Each year, The Graduate School honors graduate students who are making valuable discoveries of direct benefit to North Carolina.This year, 26 students are receiving Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) Impact Awards. These awardees are using state-of-the-art tools and technologies under the mentorship of great faculty and support from the State of North Carolina.
Carolina's graduate students work hard—and they direct their efforts toward a better future for people, communities and industry throughout our state.
Maiko Arashiro, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
"This work could have important policy and regulatory implications, especially since isoprene-derived particulate matter is enhanced when combined with emissions from coal-fired plants and vehicles."
Ashley Chaifetz, Public Policy
"Ashley's research provides insights into food transport, storage and handling practices in the emergency food sector, a completely neglected area of food safety policy."
Melissa Crane, Health Behavior
"From day one, Melissa has been focused on an under-recognized disparity: the underserved population of overweight and obese men."
Bryan Davis, Statistics and Operations Research
"Bryan's research has allowed for a more in-depth understanding of the parole process, and the factors that affect that process, which will have implications for the way such cases are dealt with in the future."
Jin Di, Biomedical Engineering
"Jin has exceptional passion in developing new methods for improving diabetics' quality of life."
Kim Gaetz, Epidemiology
"Her study has really improved our understanding of North Carolina teachers' exposures to moisture in their school buildings."
Christopher Giardina, Biomedical Engineering
"The ENT department at UNC does more implants than any other center in the state so we hope that Chris's contribution to the project will lead to direct benefits for North Carolina patients in the near future."
Sofoklis Goulas, Economics
"At the time the CAP program was initiated, concerns were expressed that low-income households might be unable or unwilling to spend enough on their homes to prevent rapid depreciation. The clear message of this paper is that these concerns are unfounded."
Pooja Jani, Public Health Leadership
"She has a real desire to improve access to eye care through telemedicine and reduce the impact of blinding diseases such as diabetic retinopathy for all North Carolinians."
Jayne Jeffries, Health Behavior
"As part of the Food Explorers research team, she has taken a leadership role in planning and developing an intervention designed to increase access to healthy foods among children in Rockingham County."
Mona Kilany, Health Policy and Management
"Mona's findings underscore the value of medical homes for people with severe mental illness in all geographical areas of the state but they also point to other resources that are needed, especially in rural areas."
Jessica Kinard, Speech and Hearing Sciences
"Interviews with the parents who participated in Jessica's research yielded many attestations to the impact her project had on these families, and expressions of their gratitude for the opportunity to work with a Spanish-speaking researcher."
Maggie Kovach, Geography
"The findings of Maggie's research are being incorporated into a model that predicts the number of emergency room visits on hot days."
Patrick Lang, Cell and Molecular Physiology
"Patrick's efforts to find new ways to treat medulloblastoma may increase patient survival and inform the treatment of other brain tumors."
Kellen Lauer, Marine Sciences
"Kellen's research and interaction with the Town of Wrightsville Beach will have a tangible impact on efforts to increase awareness and improve notification during periods of poor water quality."
Anna McGeehan, Public Administration
"Ms. McGeehan has translated a complex environmental policy question and provided policymakers with a greater understanding of the challenges relating to stormwater management and drinking water."
John Mellnik, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
"John's results are mathematically creative and novel, and their translational impact is potentially quite significant."
Kyle Messier, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
"Kyle's work has a significant impact because it introduces a state-of-the-art mapping method that can be used to map nitrate. Using this method, Kyle was able to find the sources of nitrate in North Carolina—and the extent of pollution."
Megan Meyer, Microbiology and Immunology
"Studies like the ones conducted by Megan are crucial to reduce morbidity, mortality and health-care costs associated with smoking in North Carolina."
Justin Milner, Nutrition
"Justin's work is extremely important in the area of vaccine development and in finding potential therapeutic targets for reducing influenza severity in an increasingly obese population."
Marie Patane Curtis, City and Regional Planning, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
"I am not aware of anyone who has undertaken such a thorough assessment of motor vehicle energy demand and of the supply, demand and deployment issues associated with renewable fuel options for North Carolina."
Greggory Rice, Chemistry
"Gregg has a vision for transferring his basic science work to the deeply practical end of antibiotic discovery."
Andrew Roberts, Pharmaceutical Sciences
"Dr. Roberts offered to take a leadership role on one of the aims of this project, which examined adherence to medications among participants in the program and the effect of this adherence on health outcomes. This work resulted in an important first authored publication and accelerated the completion of the project and success of the grant."
Ethan Theuerkauf, Marine Sciences
"Ethan's study was the first to measure beach erosion associated with sea-level anomalies and his results underscore the importance of including them in beach-erosion models and management plans."
Sara Turner, Chemistry
"Sara's results are an important advance in the field of dynamic adhesives and represent a step forward for manufacturing processes."