2017 U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Recipients

Dr. Phil Gramm spent two decades serving in the U.S. Congress and Senate, using his economic and financial expertise to create important laws and policies and to provide advice to legislators and the White House. Currently, Dr. Gramm is the Senior Partner of Gramm Partners, a public policy firm in Washington, D.C.

Graduate students make contributions to the success of the University through research and teaching. Often, doctoral students may be outstanding in one or the other, but the students who are awarded this Fellowship excel in both research and teaching – the mark of a true scholar.

Award Winners

Jake Carrow is a PhD candidate at Texas A&M University in Biomedical Engineering. His research interests investigate the potential of bio printing new biomaterials to regenerate cartilage and treat osteoarthritis. Specifically, he is designing a growth-factor free approach toward functional tissue repair using a mineral-based nanoparticle-polymer composite. His research utilizes emerging technologies in cellular biology and additive manufacturing for the measurement and design of new therapies.

In addition to mentoring undergraduate students through his teaching and supervision of a lab-sponsored “AggiE-Challenge” group, he has been an officer in the TAMU Chapter of the Society for Biomaterials for three years. He aims to develop and educate biomaterial researchers on campus, while providing outreach opportunities in the community. Beyond Texas A&M, he is involved in the local chapter of Special Olympics. Jake intends to continue his pursuits in research following graduation.

Anna Marie Christianson is a PhD candidate at Texas A&M University in Chemistry from the Gabba├» research group. Her research interests has focused on the improvement of photophysical properties in antimony- and phosphorus-based chromophores and fluorophores for application as chemical sensors.  These molecules exhibit an optical response to stimuli governed by chemistry occurring at the main group element; her research has uncovered a number of possible mechanisms for such photophysical responses.

Anna has also been involved in many organizations for science outreach, most notably the Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honor Society. Upon graduation, Anna and her husband Jon will move to Louisville, Kentucky, where Anna will begin her career as a tenure-track professor of chemistry at Bellarmine University.

Meagan Elinski is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M University in Chemistry. Meagan’s research research interests address energy conservation by seeking a more fundamental understanding of tribology. More specifically, she is investigating the impact of surface chemistry and nanoscopic roughness on the tribological properties of graphene.

Meagan is currently mentoring undergraduate students in chemistry research, and previously guided a visiting student in Texas A&M’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Meagan has helped develop a materials science-themed workshop for Texas A&M’s Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) program, to help increase interest in STEM fields for 6th grade girls. She has also helped develop a nano-engineering course as part of Texas A&M’s Youth Adventure Program (YAP). She looks forward to continuing to contribute to the development of the chemistry department as a researcher, teacher, and mentor.

Joseph Harrison is a PhD candidate at Texas A&M University in Mays Business School. His research interests revolve around social and psychological aspects of top executive teams and corporate boards of directors and how these affect outcomes for those individuals and their firms. Thus far, Joseph’s work has been published in Academy of Management Annals and the Journal of Business Ethics. He has published two book chapters and has presented 10 papers at national and international conferences.

Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Joseph spent several years in management consulting in the Washington D.C. area, providing project oversight and database management, design, and technical support for government clients. He will join the Management, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership faculty at the Neely School of Business at Texas Christian University in the fall. Joseph is happily married, and together they have three children.

Kristen Hicks is a PhD candidate at Texas A&M University in Nutrition. Her research interests focus on developing, disseminating and determining the impact of nutrition focused continuing medical education for practicing physicians and early determinants of increasing practical nutrition knowledge. As an instructor in her courses, she emphasizes the role of utilizing the healthcare team, educating physicians to practice with a preventive medicine approach.

During her doctoral work, Kristin founded and currently coordinates two mentorship programs. Aggie Graduate and Professional Community Club is an organization with over 1,700 graduate and professional students across Texas A&M that focuses on connecting graduate and professional students with undergraduate students, mentoring young students to the pathway of graduate school and the steps to become successful in there career. The other organization aims to connect local Registered Dietitians to undergraduate dietetics students, to provide hands-on nutrition experiences for students.

Robert Hinck is a PhD candidate and Vision 2020 fellow at Texas A&M University in the Department of Communication. He has a certificate in China Studies from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding how political actors make sense of their strategic environments. His work explores the role of media, narratives, argumentation strategies, and organizational communication in international relations and political debates. His dissertation examines the organizational rhetoric of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogues; and how the two countries work together to minimize the risk of strategic distrust and attempt to build lasting identification of shared geopolitical interests.

Robert is currently serving as a research assistant for Texas A&M’s Media Monitoring System where he has authored seven research reports for the Pentagon’s Strategic Multilayer Assessment program, analyzing issues ranging from: ISIS’s use of Twitter, geopolitical narratives in Russian media, to potential drivers of conflict in the Asia Pacific.

Shannon Kelley is a PhD candidate at Texas A&M University in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests focus on the conceptualization and assessment of pathological personality from a multi-method perspective, with a particular emphasis on the operationalization of antisocial and psychopathic characteristics. Her interests additionally include the influence of psychopathy evidence on legal decision-making and the reliability and validity of forensically relevant assessments in real-world contexts. Her dissertation investigates the validity of an alternative model of personality pathology in measuring psychopathy among offenders and predicting recidivism, institutional misconduct, and treatment outcomes.

Shannon recently accepted a pre-doctoral internship at Massachusetts General Hospital as a Harvard Medical School Clinical Fellow. Following completion of her internship, Shannon intends to pursue an academic career with an emphasis on research and continue encouraging aspiring psychologists through teaching, mentorship, and clinical supervision.

Corinne Metzger is a PhD Candidate at Texas A&M University in Kinesiology. Her research interests have included the impact of energy restriction, disuse, and exercise on skeletal integrity. She has also focused on inflammatory bone loss - specifically, that incurred with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Currently, she and her collaborators are testing novel interventions to prevent bone loss in chronic IBD.

In the Bone Biology Laboratory, Corinne has mentored many undergraduates in research – seven of these students have presented their research at regional meetings and three completed undergraduate capstone research projects under her direction. Since 2010, Corinne has taught 77 sections as Instructor of Record with the Physical Education Activity Program, providing instruction in the basic science of health and fitness alongside activity classes. In 2013, she was named the Physical Education Activity Program Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the year. While at A&M, Corinne has instructed over 2000 Aggies and continues helping students learn and adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

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