Graduate School Student Success

Jen Bonniwell is in her third year of the Electrical and Computing Engineering Ph.D. program, and she presented the results of her accepted paper, entitled Performance Analysis of Resilient Dynamic Feedback H2 Controllers, at the 2015 IEEE Multi-Conference on Systems and Control, in Manly, NSW, Australia. Her presentation provides an a priori analysis procedure useful to engineering system control designers by aiding them to make insightful selections of components with adequate tolerances. Jen was also awarded the Schmitt Leadership Fellowship.


This summer, Father Matthew Olver, a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Theology studying Systematic Theology, published Contraception's Authority: An Anglican's Liturgical and Synodical Thought Experiment in Light of ARCUSA's 'Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment' in volume 50 of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.


Brian Pattengale photoThis summer, 2nd year Chemistry Ph.D. student Brian Pattengale presented a research poster at the Gordon Research Conference of Photochemistry at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. His research, entitled The Effect of W/Mo Doping on the Electronic Structure, Optical Properties, and Photocatalytic Performance of BiVO4 Photoanode, strives to understand how solar energy conversion materials work on a fundamental level. A promising solar fuel, hydrogen, can be created by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen - the only by-product. This reaction can already be performed, but isn’t yet efficient enough to compete with other energy sources. The material of interest in this study, bismuth vanadate (BiVO4), is a promising catalyst for the water splitting reaction but needs some improvement. There are a number of ways to modify materials like BiVO4 such as doping, depositing co-catalysts on the surface, and nanostructuring. Exactly how these modifications improve the material is poorly understood so this study aims to examine the optical properties through transient absorption spectroscopy right here in Dr. Jier Huang’s lab at Marquette as well as the structural properties through X-ray absorption studies at Argonne National Laboratory in IL. If we can understand exactly how the aforementioned modifications (in this case, doping) improve the material, it would be very informative toward the rational design of improved water splitting systems with a BiVO4 photoanode. Brian was also awarded the Jobling Fellowship this summer.



Shaoli Wu photoThis August, 2nd year M.S. student in Mechanical Engineering, Shaoli Wu, presented a paper at the ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences in Boston, Mass. Wu's paper, entitled The Development of a Human Gait Model with Predictive Capability and the Simulation of Able-bodied Gait, discusses how the development of current prostheses and orthoses typically follows a trial and error approach. In this type of approach, devices are designed based on experience, tried on human subjects and then redesigned iteratively. This design approach is costly, risky and time consuming. A predictive human gait model is desired such that prostheses can be virtually tested so that their performance can be predicted qualitatively, the cost can be reduced, and the risks can be minimized. The development of such a model is explained in this paper. The developed model includes two parts: a plant model which represents the forward dynamics of human gait and a controller which represents the central nervous system (CNS). The development of the plant model is explained in a different paper. This paper focuses on the control algorithm development and able-bodied gait simulation. The controller proposed in this paper utilizes Model Predictive Control (MPC). MPC uses an internal model to predict the output in advance, compare the predicted output to the reference, and optimize control input so that the error between them is minimal. The developed predictive human gait model was validated by simulating able-bodied human gait. The simulation results showed that the controller is able to simulate the kinematic output close to experimental data. Shaoli plans to continue on to his Ph.D. at Marquette and further pursue his gait research.



peter malak photoPeter Malak, 2nd year M.S. student in Mechanical Engineering, had the honor of presenting his research at the International Design Engineering Technical Conferences in Boston, Mass. this August. His research, entitled Dynamic Analysis of a Planar Mechanism with Variable Topology, explains the demand for mechanisms with variable topology (MVTs) that can perform multiple tasks with the least amount of actuators. This could drive manufacturing costs down in industry. These devices have the ability to provide numerous motion profiles within one device. In this work, a specific planar MVT was dynamically analyzed. This mechanism functions as a RRRP mechanism (i.e., slider-crank) in one configuration and as a RRRR mechanism (i.e., crank-crank) in the other. The kinematics and kinetics of the RRRP and RRRR configurations were analyzed with a Lagrangian approach. The resulting equations were coded both in equation form and in Matlab SimMechanics then compared. A method for transitioning between configurations was also developed. These equations could be used to develop an applicable controller and principles for synthesizing future MVTs. Upon graduating from Marquette, Peter plans to pursue a career in the mechanical engineering field specifically in robotics or industrial automation.


Kelly LeMaire photoThis August, 5th year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Kelly LeMaire attended and presented her research at the American Psychological Association annual conference in Toronto. Kelly's project, entitled Confrontation of Sexual Orientation Prejudice: The Effect of Gender, examines the way gender and gender roles impact the way people react when they witness sexual orientation prejudice. Specifically, she is interested in what qualities about the situation and/or a person make it more likely for someone to stand up and speak against prejudice toward the LGBT community. Kelly was recently awarded the Arthur Schmitt Fellowship for the 2015-2016 academic year. Additionally, she received a research award from the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center for her dissertation research. Upon completing her degree at Marquette, Kelly hopes to work in an Academic Medical Center where she can be involved in clinical practice, training of future professionals, and research.



Jack Senefeld photoJack Senefeld, 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Clinical and Translational Rehabilitation Health Science program, recently traveled to San Diego, CA to present his research at the American College of Sports Medicine conference. Jack created a poster entitled Sex Differences in Ultra-marathon Running: Performance and Participation to showcase at the conference. His research has important implications for our understanding of sex differences in elite sport performance and clinical relevance for understanding implications for rehabilitation. Although it has been established that men outperform women in sport performances because men have a larger and faster muscle mass and a higher maximal oxygen consumption compared with women, there is evidence suggesting a lack of depth in participation by women in sport. Therefore, sex differences in elite performance of sport are exaggerated. This project determined that sex differences in ultra-marathon performance were strongly associated with greater ratio of men finishers compared with women, providing evidence that observed sex differences in sport performance are strongly influenced by participation rates between the sexes. Jack has previously presented his research at academic conferences and has been honored with various awards, including the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation at the Midwest ACSM Annual Meeting and the 2013 American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting Non-Invasive Neuromuscular Interest Group Poster Award.


Rita Deering photo3rd year CTRH Ph.D. student Rita Deering also presented her research at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in San Diego. Her project, entitled Fatigability and Steadiness of the Trunk Flexor Muscles in Young, Healthy Adults, presents data describing the strength, endurance, and steadiness of contraction of the abdominal muscles of young adults. Both men and women were tested, and all women included had never been pregnant. This information is important because the abdominal muscles are an important muscle group for many tasks performed in daily life, including breathing, lifting tasks, and pushing/pulling tasks. This study showed that there were no differences in strength, endurance, or steadiness between men and women. The participants in this study will serve as controls for her next study, which will assess the same parameters in women after having a baby. As a Physical Therapist, Rita is interested in physiological and functional changes that occur as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Her Ph.D. studies will examine abdominal muscle function, pain perception, and functional mobility in women after childbirth. This January, Rita was also awarded $50,000 from the Women’s Health Research Program Grant (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Wisconsin) to help support her Ph.D. studies.



This spring, a committee of Marquette English and History graduate students organized and hosted the 2015 Graduate Student Humanities Conference on campus. The theme was Oddities? : Exploring the Dynamics of Human Constructions and over 50 attendees participated in the conference events. Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth, professor of history at Mount Mary University, delivered a keynote address. Portions of her speech have been published in the History department's blog, Historians at Work. Additionally, first year master's student Tony Guidone was presented with the Graduate Student Presentation Award for his research submission and presentation, which the committee felt best exemplified the spirit and theme of this year's conference.


Amy Newman photoDuring this year's Oncology Nursing Society's Annual Nursing Congress in Orlando, FL, Ph.D. Nursing student Amy Newman presented a poster entitled, Reliability and Validity of a Tool to Assess Oncology Nurses’ Experiences with Prognosis-Related Communication. This poster described the work that she performs to document the psychometric properties of an instrument to measure oncology nurses’ experiences with prognosis-related communication. This project will support Amy's dissertation research, which will explore pediatric oncology nurses’ experiences with prognosis-related communication with parents of children with cancer. Amy is interested in exploring what sort of an impact such experiences have on the nurse and his/her ability to provide quality care to patients. This preliminary work will lay the groundwork for future intervention research aimed at improving and ensuring effective communication among medical team members, parents, and patients. Amy currently works as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Her goal in obtaining a PhD is twofold: first to continue to perform her own research ultimately aimed at improving the lives of my patients and their families, and second, to grow and develop the nursing research within her department. At the end of 2014, Amy also received a grant from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, the 2014 Explorer Grant: Mentored Nurse Researcher, which will support her dissertation research.


Arjun photoArjun Raj Prabu Andhra Sridhar, a master's student in Electrical Engineering, presented a posted at the Leading Power Electronics Industry Manufacturers conference in Charlotte, NC. His poster, entitled Implementation and Validation of DQ current control of a Bidirectional SiC Single-Phase AC-DC Converter, focuses on the Design and Implementation of a High density, Bidirectional Electric Vehicle (EV) battery charging converter for Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications. V2G enables the EV’s battery to be connected to the utility grid, to sink or source real and reactive power. The stored energy in EV’s battery can be used for providing ancillary services to the power system during peak demand. Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductor devices are used instead of the Silicon (Si) semiconductor devices to design a high power density EV battery charger. After completing his M.S. degree at Marquette University in summer of 2015, Arjun would like to continue research in Transportation and Renewable energy.


Danielle Klein, an M.A. student in the English department, was recently selected for the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers opportunities for students to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. Danielle will be working at a high school in Madrid, helping local English teachers while serving as a cultural ambassador for the United States. A full press release can be found in Marquette's News Center.


Darren Nah

Darren Nah, a 2nd year Political Science M.A. student, presented his paper entitled Rosseau and Kant on Moral Evil and the Remedy at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, IL. His paper discusses how morality and politics are significantly intertwined. How one views human virtue, moral vice and its remedy have important consequences for how one views the role of government and politics in individual lives. Darren discusses two influential philosophers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant, and shows how each of their moral philosophies have differing consequences for human virtue, freedom, education and politics. In short, Rousseau's moral philosophy entails significant curtailment of individual freedom to achieve virtue, whereas Kant's moral philosophy allows greater spheres for individual autonomy. Darren was also recently selected to be a presenter at the Institute for Humane Studies' annual Summer Research Colloquium at Chapman University in California and received the Adam Smith Fellowship from the Mercatus Center for George Mason University.


Mashal AmjadMashal Amjad, a 2nd year International Affairs M.A. student, presented her research at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, IL. Her paper, entitled Peace in Democratic Times: Assessing India-Pakistan conflict in 1999 and 2001-02, focuses on Western-style liberal democracies and aims to capture features beyond liberalism that could potentially define non-Western democracies. In this paper, Mashal also critically reviews some of the classic literature in the field and builds on possible outcomes to predict how and why a democratic regime is expected to be more peaceful than others. In short, democracies are expected to have a weak ability and will to pursue belligerent foreign policy, and she tests this theoretical framework against two case studies from South Asia. Upon her graduation from Marquette, she hopes to carry out policy-oriented research and work for a foreign diplomatic mission.


Paul Pasquesi, a 1st year Ph.D. student in Religious Studies, had the honor of presenting a paper at the Society of Biblical Literature Conference in San Diego. His paper, Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: Re-reception of the Holy Spirit, describes how theologically, God as Trinity transcends gender, however liturgically, God is emphatically and repeatedly treated as masculine. Paul's research traces the Divine Feminine in its earliest formulations and the conceptual effect that had on the role of women within the Church, both in ritual and ecclesiastical roles. After further study of the development and decline of this feminine imagery of the Holy Spirit, Paul will propose a reclaiming of the Divine Feminine and the effect this can have on arguments regarding women's roles in the contemporary Church.



David Marra photoDavid Marra is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology department. This January, he participated in the Nonlinear Datapalooza: A New Kind of Conference for a New Kind of Science located at Chapman University in Orange, California, which was put on by the Society of Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences. At this conference, David worked with methodological experts to learn how to use recurrence quantification analysis to analyze physiological synchronization. David then used this method to analyze galvanic skin response data that was collected in an experiment at Marquette University. He wanted to explore the extent that unconscious, physiological arousal of an individual synced with other team members in a simulated emergency response situation. This newly learned data analytic technique will open new doors for future projects and future analyses in social and biological sciences.


Xan Bozzo photoAlexander Bozzo, Ph.D. student in Philosophy, recently presented a research paper at the American Philosophical Association's conference in St. Louis, MO. His paper, entitled Berkeley's Semantic Argument, focuses on George Berkeley, an 18th century Irish bishop, who defended the philosophical positions of idealism and immaterialism. In short, these are minority positions in philosophy that claim that everything we perceive (tables, mountains, books, etc.) cannot exist when not perceived by someone. That is to say, the "physical world" is really nothing more than ideas (indeed, ideas in God's mind). In his paper, Alexander shows that a widely misunderstood passage in Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge is valid, despite its falling short of soundness. This is a significant contribution because it provides a charitable read of an important thinker, and helps elucidate a number of other central disputes within Berkeley scholarship. Alexander is currently writing a dissertation on David Hume; in particular, the role of clear and distinction perception in Hume's theory of causation. He hopes to teach philosophy at the college level upon finishing his degree at Marquette.


Anthony Correro photoThis March, 2nd year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Anthony Correro will present his research at the Association for Psychological Science conference in Amsterdam. His poster presentation, entitled A Study of Weak Associates: Does Arousal Attenuate False Recognition? studies the effects of emotional arousal on memory. Participants learned lists of words, then watched an anxiety-provoking film clip or a neutral film clip. Broadly, arousal led to better memory for words that were studied and led to a reduced tendency to claim that misleading words were studied. Further, arousal after learning reduced the retrieval of weak false information. This study is significant because it provides evidence for the depth to which emotional arousal modulates memory. In his career at Marquette, Anthony has also received several other academic awards and honors, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, International Convention of Psychological Science Travel Grant, and Psi Chi Unrestricted Travel Grant. 


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