Campus News

2015 Graduate Student Awards

This year’s 2015 graduate student award recipients have been announced.

Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award
This award is given to recent doctoral students for outstanding research at UGA or immediately after graduating.

It is named for the late Robert C. Anderson, who served as UGA’s vice president for research and president of the University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc.

This year’s recipients are Danielle Atkins, a recent doctoral graduate in public administration and policy. Her research focuses on federal and state-level policy changes that make emergency contraception available without prescription and how these shifts have affected contraceptive behaviors of women; and Julie Rushmore, a recent doctoral graduate in ecology, who uses behavioral observations from a community of wild chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda, to examine how disease-causing pathogens are transmitted among the chimps and to evaluate the effectiveness of various disease intervention strategies.


James L. Carmon Award
Presented to UGA graduate students who have used computers in innovative ways, the award is named for the late UGA faculty member who for 36 years helped make the university a leader in computer research and development. The award was established by the Control Data Corp.

This years’s recipients are Dilina ­Perera, a doctoral candidate in physics and astronomy, who developed a state-of-the-art computer simulation technique that unites two methods used to solve problems in ­condensed matter physics: molecular dynamics and spin dynamics; and Ryan Toole, a master’s candidate in engineering, who is developing an optical processing scheme that mimics neuron interactions within biological neural ­networks.


Postdoctoral Research Awards
Created in 2011, these awards recognize the remarkable contributions of postdoctoral research scholars to the UGA research enterprise. The UGA Research Foundation funds up to two awards a year to current scholars.

This year’s recipient is Olivia ­Perwitasari, a postdoctoral researcher in the infectious diseases department of the College of Veterinary Medicine, who has made remarkable contributions to the field of antiviral therapeutics and the host-virus interactions to govern infection outcome. Her work at UGA has focused on the repurposing of available drugs as new influenza treatments.


Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Awards
Initiated in 1999 to recognize the quality and significance of graduate student scholarship, these awards may be given in five areas: fine arts, humanities and letters, life sciences, mathematical and physical sciences, and applied studies.

This years’s recipients are Allison Howard, a ­recent doctoral graduate in psychology, who studies animal travel patterns in natural environments and the decision-making processes that animals use to decide where to go. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Maryland’s department of biology; Yuanyuan Ma, a recent doctoral ­graduate in food science and technology, who took on a research project that focuses on fortifying peanut butter with antioxidant-rich peanut skins, which generally are regarded as an industrial byproduct. Ma’s research makes possible the development of new peanut butter product lines and niche markets of peanut skin-fortified products with improved antioxidant and fiber levels; Colette Miller, a recent doctoral graduate in foods and nutrition, who studies obesity and how excessive weight may contribute to the development of liver diseases like fatty liver, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancers. Currently a postdoctoral research associate at UGA, Miller recently accepted a postdoctoral research position at the Environmental Protection Agency at Research Triangle Park;  Anriban Mukhopadhyay, a recent doctoral graduate in computer science, who researches the use of 3-D shape analysis, computer vision and machine learning in biomedical image analysis. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies in Lucca, Italy; and Pauline Reid, a recent doctoral graduate in English, who conducts highly original research that integrates and extends scholarship on early modern vision, book history and early modern rhetoric. She currently is a lecturer at the University of Denver Writing Program.