NSSR PhDs win funding for research!

A number of NSSR PhD students recently won dissertation awards, grants, and fellowships to help fund their research. Some of these awards are highly competitive, so we wanted to say congratulations to the following students:

Jessica Chavez, Psychology PhD student, won a grant from the Society of Family Planning Research Fund for an extension of her dissertation research. Jessica’s works draws from a reproductive justice framework, and she aims to better understand women’s psychological experiences of abortion using a discursive approach. Although many studies demonstrate that abortion does not lead to negative mental health, Jessica looks at how this research is used in policy and psychotherapy practice. Read more about her work here.

Katyayani Dalmia, a PhD student in Anthropology, has won an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council. Her work examines the relationship between, bodily appearance and skin color, and social hierarchy in South Asian culture. Her focus is on the northern Indian city of Lucknow, which has its own specific history of emphasis on beauty and bodily aesthetics. Read more about it here.

Robbie Hiltonsmith, Economics PhD student won a dissertation grant from the Center for Retirement Research funded by the Social Security Administration. Robert’s work focuses on leakage risk of 401(k) retirement plans, a significant, but understudied phenomenon that leads to lower income for retirees. Robert considers the effects the various policies targeting this leakage would have on retirement funds. Read more here.

Chloe Mura, from the Psychology Department, has won a dissertation grant from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). Chloe’s dissertation examines narratives of trauma-related distress and treatment preferences in West African asylum-seekers. The aim of her research is to capture the cultural variations in the expression and understanding of trauma in order to inform mental health interventions for this population. This project is done in collaboration with the Program for Survivors of Torture at Bellevue Hospital.

Anna Strelis, from the Philosophy Department, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Denmark in Philosophy, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently. Driving Anna’s work, titled “The Value of Aesthetic Education in Ethical Life: A Kierkegaardian Approach,” is the concern over how to nurture an individual’s capacities, such that she may lead a full and ethical life, without sacrificing essential parts of the self. This responds to a worry that contemporary educational models over-emphasize rational aspects of learners, to the neglect of emotional and imaginative abilities.

Alexios Tsigkas, a PhD student in Anthropology, has won the Social Science Research Council’s 2013 Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship. His work looks at the discourse of taste surrounding the production of Ceylon tea in Sri Lanka. Special attention is given to the role this commodity has played in the history of colonialism. How does “taste” and “tasting” guide the production of this commodity as worldwide demand is on the rise? You can read more here.

Ana María Ulloa, an Anthropology student, has won the National Science Foundation’s Dissertation Grant in Science Technology and Society. Her research is concerned with tracking how flavor—a sensorial experience intimately tied to pleasure, affect, memory, and culture, often thought of as subjective and private—has acquired salience as an object of knowledge for different scientific, industrial, and gastronomic purposes. She plans to conduct fieldwork in academic laboratories (science), flavor companies (industry), and experimental kitchens (craft ) in the United States and Spain to look ethnographically at the process of making flavor simultaneously into a coherent object of scientific knowledge, a technological commodity designed for the food industry, and a crafted experience for well-off diners.

Elizabeth Ziff, a Sociology student, won a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation. Her dissertation will investigate the experiences of U.S. military wives who have been, or are currently gestational surrogates, and will examine how these women came to be surrogates, what their experiences were, and how being a “military wife” informs this choice. Analysis of this group will result in an enriched and focused account of the motivations for women to become surrogates, how the surrogate identity is constructed and performed, and the lasting effects of the practice on these women and their families. In addition, potential intersections of class, race, military life, family and national discourse will also be explored in this project.

Have you won an award or know someone who has? Tell us about it and we’ll include it in a future GRADFACts post.

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