Doctoral Students Earn ‘Excellence in Scholarship’ Awards

Students receive fellowships from U.Va. based on their original scholarship and academic merit.

By Melissa Maki

Twenty-two advanced doctoral students recently received fellowships from the University of Virginia based on their original scholarship and academic merit.  The $5,000 awards for excellence in scholarship are administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.  The grants support students in the sciences and engineering as well as the humanities and social sciences. 

This year’s fellows have earned high accolades, attracting funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Education, and National Institutes of Health for their research.  In addition, the fellows have presented their work internationally and published in prominent journals in their respective fields such as Nature and Journal of Moral Philosophy.

“A key aspect of engineering scholarship is attending and presenting at the leading conferences and industry events in the field,” says Neda Cvijetic, Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Sciences & Engineering recipient.  “The funding from this award will give me greater travel flexibility in this regard, enabling me to both present my research and represent the University in a wider forum.”  Cvijetic, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering and an NSF fellow, has had her research featured in four peer-reviewed journals.  Cvijetic’s work focuses on heterogeneous networks, that is, she envisions a future where different devices such as mobile phones, laptop and desktop computers share a single communication network that is faster and more reliable than ever before.  Cvijetic has already established a fruitful collaboration with a telecommunications research laboratory. 

Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences fellow Peter Traub notes that he is grateful for the support.  “It will help to fund my final year of dissertation work, which will be a series of five pieces exploring the relationship between sound and physical and virtual space.” says Traub, Ph.D. student in the Department of Music’s Composition and Computer Technologies program.  A Jefferson Scholar, Traub has published in Contemporary Music Review and was recently commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts to create a new work.  The resulting work, ItSpace, is a play on the MySpace social networking site that features objects, rather than people, and brief compositions produced from sounds made by the objects.  Traub has also created a participatory installation based on ItSpace that has been presented locally at both the McGuffey Art Center and The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative. 

“This year’s fellows have brought the University recognition through their impressive array of accomplishments,” says Roseanne Ford, associate vice president for research and graduate studies.  “We are pleased to be able to honor the hard work and creativity of these outstanding scholars.”


Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Sciences & Engineering

  • Lorena Bociu, Department of Mathematics
  • Dipan Bose, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Joel Baumgart, Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Matthew Bolton, Department of Systems & Information Engineering
  • Neda Cvijetic, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Jason Forman, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Jesse Graham, Department of Psychology
  • Mark Hanson, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Kathryn Paige Harden , Department of Psychology
  • Zhibin Lin, Department of Physics
  • David Nidever, Department of Astronomy
  • Matthew Oberhardt, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Timothy Pabst, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Daeho Park, Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology Program
  • Randy Schrecengost, Department of Microbiology
  • Ellena van der Schalie, Neuroscience Graduate Program
  • Lixin Wang, Department of Environmental Sciences

Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Ty Landrum, Department of Philosophy
  • Jesse Rhodes, Department of Politics
  • Amanda Sigler, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Danielle Smith, Department of French
  • Peter Traub, Department of Music