Browsing: Student Spotlight

Enrolling at Stony Brook University as a shy student from upstate New York, Janki Patel ’17 could have never envisioned the leader she would become. “Coming from a small high school, I didn’t have the academic opportunities that many of my friends had and I already felt I was at a disadvantage as a freshman,” she said. But as a member of the University Scholars program, which encourages stewardship and leadership in addition to academic dedication, Janki made a smooth adjustment to campus life and her confidence grew by leaps and bounds. Without prior research experience, Janki joined International Genetically…

Big dreams often begin as little actions. When she was a child, Irene (Rena) Thomas ’17 and her sisters would stage “pretend” newscasts just for fun. As the Syosset, New York native got older, she became obsessed with reading Seventeen magazine cover to cover. “After that, I wanted to work for a magazine,” she said. “Then that dream kind of faded out and I entered college undecided.” Thinking she was attending a general orientation, Rena stumbled upon the orientation for the School of Journalism, and by the spring semester of her freshman year she decided to make journalism her major.…

Michael Salerno, a third year Biomedical Engineering PhD student, was awarded the 2017-2018 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship, a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the U.S. to support outstanding PhD students from American universities to conduct research in France for up to nine months. As part of the Chateaubriand Fellowship, Salerno will be supported to go to France for nine months on a joint project:  Integrating Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Ultrasound (fUS) in the behaving rat, to study the relationships between blood flow and neurochemistry during various behaviors. “Mike’s break-through research aims to advance a new imaging modality that…

Genetics PhD candidate Alex Bott is ready to take his place in the front ranks of the fight against cancer, and he has the grants to prove it. This past year, Bott was recognized with two prestigious and highly competitive awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the F31 (Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award) and the newly-established F99/K00 — the Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award, which is designed to encourage and retain outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated potential to pursue careers as independent cancer researchers. Bott’s research focuses on Myc, a regulator gene amplified in a wide range of cancers, particularly breast cancer.…

Biomedical Engineering PhD student Michael Salerno was awarded the 2017-2018 STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship, which is a grant offered by the French Embassy in the U.S. to support outstanding PhD students from American universities to conduct research in France. As part of the fellowship, Salerno will receive support to go to France for nine months on a joint project, “Integrating Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Ultrasound (fUS) in the Behaving Rat,” to study the relationships between blood flow and neurochemistry during various behaviors. “Mike’s breakthrough research aims to advance a new imaging modality that combines the sensitivity of PET imaging with the…

Stony Brook Linguistics PhD candidate Paola Cepeda has been recognized with a 2017 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship for her thesis research entitled “Negation and Time. Against expletive negation in temporal clauses.” Cepeda is an international student from Peru. Scholars previously thought that this type of negation, which is present in a variety of natural languages, had no meaning (e.g., a speaker saying, “I missed not seeing you last summer” when he/she actually missed was “seeing you” and not “not seeing you”). Cepeda’s groundbreaking research suggests otherwise. In addition to addressing an open question in her…

Omar Naimi ’17 thinks of himself as “absurdly ambitious.” As a child, he wanted to become President of the United States. But as he grew older and learned about the complications inherent in politics, he traded that dream for a new one: becoming an architect. Then in high school he became obsessed with the microscopic complexities of cells and their components, atoms. He realized that big dreams could involve the smallest building blocks and processes known to mankind. “I went from wanting my name on a skyscraper to wanting to have a protein named after me,” said Queens native Omar, a…

Jamie Sommer, a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Stony Brook University, has received a research grant from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy for her work, “Is Bilateral Environmental Aid Effective? A Cross-National Analysis of Forest Loss.” Sommer is one of 20 award winners chosen by the board of trustees from 535 applications. “I am honored to receive the Horowitz Foundation research grant to continue my work on analyzing the effectiveness of bilateral aid at reducing environmental harms cross-nationally,” said Sommer. “This project is part of my larger research narrative, which aims to understand the role of the state…

When Andrew Kumpfbeck signed up for his freshman seminar (LDS 102) on Drug Discovery in spring 2015 with Dr. Joav Prives, he did not foresee the impact this choice would have on his undergraduate career. But after listening to his Pharmacology professor talk about his research on the regulation of surface receptors in muscle cells, Andrew became motivated to inquire about joining his professor’s lab – which he did the summer after his freshman year, and where he has thrived in the research environment. Just recently, Andrew was selected to receive a URECA summer fellowship to support his research in…

Marianna Savoca, director of the Career Center, spoke to us about the Center’s long-running commitment to excellence and collaborations with partners on and off campus. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT STONY BROOK? In addition to leading a team to accomplish our “Educate-Prepare-Connect” mission, I keep stakeholders informed about market and industry needs, employer feedback on student competitiveness and strategic priorities. Career development is not an office — it’s an ecosystem. It’s my job to make sure that our ecosystem is filled with committed Seawolves and our extended alumni and employer “families.” WHOM DOES THE CAREER CENTER SUPPORT? As the career service…

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