2019 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.


Click here to view the 2019 Gramm Ceremony Photos

Award Winners

Desirae Embree
Desirae is a PhD candidate in the Department of English where she studies gender and sexuality in film and other media. Her dissertation and research focuses on the impacts of gendered economic inequality on the production of sexually explicit media within the lesbian community in the late-20th century. Her work has been supported by a variety of awards and fellowships including the Yale LGBT Research Fellowship, the Phil Zwickler Fellowship at Cornell, and the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research’s Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to her research, Desirae has taught multiple courses, including an introductory composition courses, as well as upper-division courses in literature and film. Desirae plans to defend her dissertation in fall 2019.
Grace Ellen Brannon
Grace is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication. Her research focuses on application and practical implications on issues of privacy management of health information in a variety of contexts. Grace’s dissertation examines how employed individuals with diabetes manage their private health information in the family and the workplace. She has presented 14 competitive peer-reviewed presentations at several regional, national, and international conferences, winning two Top Paper awards. Additionally, her research has been published in prestigious journals such as Health Communication and Patient Education and Counseling. She was selected as the recipient of several scholarships and fellowship over her graduate tenure at Texas A& M University. Since 2015, Grace has been the instructor of record for 18 sections across 5 courses, including lower- and upper-level, mass lecture, and online courses. Grace has also been an active member of the academic community at departmental, university, and general field levels. Grace will graduate May 2019 and join the faculty at The University of Texas at Arlington in fall 2019 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor.
Lars Erik Andreas Ehnbom
Andreas is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry. His research focuses on understanding and predicting the function of newly designed Werner complexes, which are a new class of catalysts for enantioselective organic synthesis. Since June of 2015, Andreas has been conducting research and studying in the laboratories of Professor John A. Gladysz and Professor Michael B. Hall. He has received numerous awards including the Oxford University Press Award for excellence in chemistry and the Dean's Summer Student Scholarship from University College London (UCL). Additionally, he has worked on several research projects including a project facilitated by Professor Peter Somfai, focusing on photoredox catalysis and authoring a book chapter in Organic Reactions entitled “Aziridination of Alkenes using Nitrene Transfer Reagents.” In 2018, Andreas received a Pre-doctoral Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to visit RWTH Aachen and several other research groups in Germany. Andreas plans to graduate spring 2020.
Jaskirat Singh Batra
Jaskirat is a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His doctoral research focuses on developing ‘micro-scale’ and ‘soft material-based’ devices for biomedical applications. As a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the College of Engineering, Jaskirat has taught several undergraduate courses in addition to giving guest lectures in various graduate courses on topics such as nano-biotechnology and nano-technology fabrication. He has been presented with an “Outstanding Teacher Award 2018” by his department. Beyond engaging in innovative teaching methods in classroom and research lab, Jaskirat has also mentored many students through the student organization that he co-founded in 2015, called the Aggies in Science, Technology and Engineering Policy. During his time here at Texas A&M, Jaskirat has been involved in various leadership and service roles through multiple student organizations and university committees, and awarded numerous honors for his contribution to the graduate student body and the university service.
Wendi Kamman Zimmer
Wendi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture. Her research focuses on digital literacy, specifically regarding teacher preparedness; perspective-taking; and writing development at both the K-12 and higher education levels. Wendi’s current work assesses classroom transfer of teachers’ digital learning identities with an additional emphasis on graduate writing development. Additionally, she works at Texas A&M University's Center for Teaching Excellence where she focuses on conflict management, graduate writing support, and enhancement of teaching and learning. In this role, she is responsible for curriculum redesign efforts, individual consultations with faculty, delivery of professional development programming related to teaching and learning, and weekly writing sessions aimed at developing strong writing habits and increasing writing and publishing productivity. Wendi will join the faculty at Texas A&M University in the fall 2019 where she will teach literacy and communication skills to undergraduate students in the Division of Sport Management.

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