Cohort 3 (Entering 2012-2013 AY)

 

Teresa Kao
IGERT Trainee, 2012-
B.S., Applied Physics
Wiesner Research Group
Advisor:  Dr. Ulrich Wiesner
Cornell University

 

 


I joined Professor Ulrich Wiesner’s group at Cornell University after earning my B.S. in Applied Physics from Columbia University in 2012. My research in the Wiesner Group focuses on developing a set of multicolor fluorescent silica nanoparticles for biomedical imaging applications. As an IGERT Trainee, I’ve been given the opportunity to be involved in developing a new model for graduate education. My participation in the IGERT training modules taught me to communicate more effectively across disciplines and helped me to develop skills in collaborative problem solving. My IGERT experience has been one of the highlights of my graduate career and it is one that I believe will continue to be useful for the rest of my career.



Sonny J. Penterman
IGERT Trainee, 2012-
B.S., Chemistry (Minor in Mathematics and Professional Writing)
M.S., Materials Science
Colloidal Materials and Chemistry Lab
Advisor:  Liddell-Watson Group
Cornell University

 



I joined Professor Ulrich Wiesner’s group at Cornell University after earning my B.S. in Applied Physics from Columbia University in 2012. My research in the Wiesner Group focuses on developing a set of multicolor fluorescent silica nanoparticles for biomedical imaging applications. As an IGERT Trainee, I’ve been given the opportunity to be involved in developing a new model for graduate education. My participation in the IGERT training modules taught me to communicate more effectively across disciplines and helped me to develop skills in collaborative problem solving. My IGERT experience has been one of the highlights of my graduate career and it is one that I believe will continue to be useful for the rest of my care  My research in the Liddell-Watson group involves solution precipitation of colloidal fullerene microcrystals, and analysis of their growth, structure and photophysical properties.  Solvent systems serve as templates for growth of monodispers anisoropic microcrystals with modified composition and structure.  The slovated crystals are found to have varied photophysical properties, such as enhanced photo luminescence, compared to pristine fullerenes.  Particle sizes and shapes are tunable by adjusting synthesis parameters, resulting in faceted polyhedra, rods and platelets.  The microcrystals are assembled under confinement to yield photonic crystal arrays that potentially support novel light-matter interactions.  My participation in the IGERT program has been beneficial to my career development through exposure to a wide range of professional skills that are not accounted for in a typical graduate curriculum.  For example, our pedagogy module addresses many common challenges involved with classroom instruction and dissemination of technical knowledge to a wide range of audiences.  Technical writing and presentation skills are developed through a series of modules, strengthening these fundamentally important skills for communicatiing results and selling ideas in a wide range of technical career paths.  Aside from the formal education provided in IGERT, the program provides a venue to meet and collaborate with other students from a variety of backgrounds and academic interests, and fosters a community that helps each individual grow personally and professionally through collaborative efforts.  Emphasis on these qualities extends beyond the traditional approach to graduate education and encourages Trainees to be multi-faceted leaders in the scientific community.



Vanessa N. Peters
IGERT Trainee, 2012-
B.S., Chemistry
Optical Materials and Laser Spectroscopy Lab
Advisor:  Dr. Mikhail Noginov

Norfolk State University

 

 

Hyperbolic metamaterials were theorized and experimentally explored within the last two decades. These materials have shown exciting responses to light, based on their hyperbolic behavior which allows for a high density of photonic states. Because of hyperbolic dispersion and this increased photonic density of states, some processes can be manipulated or affected.  This has been shown experimentally with spontaneous emission, Forster energy transfer, and surface wetting by other members in my research group.  In my research, I am investigating the effect of these materials on different chemical reactions.  I am observing if chemical kinetics are enhanced/retarded/influenced by these hyperbolic metamaterials.  At this time I am observing a semiconducting polymer’s photo-degradation and how it is affected by hyperbolic metamaterials. After this, I will look into other chemical processes, such as surface interactions, chemiluminescence, and catalysis. Another form of hmm’s I work with, are metallic filled alumina membranes, I use electro deposition to fabricate these materials. Further research with these membranes will include studies of the membrane’s influence on chemical reactions. Being a part of IGERT as a PhD candidate at NSU has allowed me to strengthen my portfolio and prepared me for life after graduate school.  The ability to work with other young researchers and collaborate on different projects is a great skill that I obtained due to my involvement with IGERT because of our affiliation with other institutions. Along with that, there were multiple networking opportunities and professional development seminars given to trainees on writing resumes, proposals, ethics in research, how to submit a journal article, etc. I feel that I will be more prepared for what comes after graduation due to the modules within our training that has us work on both technical and soft skills. Whether it was collaborating on a project with other trainees, writing a white paper and proposal, obtaining CITI certification, learning how to effectively teach and determine when your teaching style is not effective, rehabilitating lab activities and writing lesson plans, traveling to France and trying to set up collaborations with international institutions, IGERT has been a pivotal role in my graduate education and I am thankful for the opportunities that I was given due to my participation in this group.



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