2012-2013 Student Fellowship Recipients
College of Saint Mary
Kelly Lane is a senior at the College of Saint Mary and will graduate in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Kelly has worked closely with one of her fellow students to develop the College of Saint Mary Elementary Science Outreach Program. This program, intended for local Omaha elementary schools, provides hands-on science activities and lessons. Kelly and her program co-founder are also working to develop a website that will assist in expanding the program and offer science-learning resources.
Kathryn Dearing is senior at College of Saint Mary. She plans to graduate in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in Chemistry. She is the co-founder of CSM Elementary Science Outreach Program that was developed in 2011. This program offers hands-on science learning activities for elementary students in the Omaha Metropolitan area. Kathryn is currently working to expand the outreach program and develop a website that offers science-learning resources for the elementary teachers.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Laura Judd graduated in May of 2012 with her Bachelor of Science in Meteorology/Climatology with minors in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her past experiences include an internship with LI-COR Biosciences in Lincoln, as well as undergraduate research of the remote sensing of fires with a mini-grant from the NASA Nebraska Space Grant last year. This past summer, she lived in California doing airborne research aboard NASA’s P-3B aircraft with the Student Airborne Research Program through NSERC and NASA. She’s currently working toward a Master’s degree in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research focuses on smoke injection height modeling using WRF-Chem.
Levi Boggs is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology/Climatology with minors in mathematics and physics. He works part time as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Jun Wang, performing analysis of the impacts of volcanic aerosols on the atmosphere. He is also a member of the American Meteorological Society.
Eric Markvicka received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in December 2011 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under faculty mentor Dr. Shane Farritor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests are in the development and application of surgical robots capable of minimally invasive surgery. During previous summers, Eric has participated in NASA Space Grant internships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, and Honeybee Robotics and Spacecraft Mechanisms twice. Eric's project involves the research and development of an in vivo multi-functional miniature robot platform with distributed motor control to perform surgery during long-term spaceflight. This miniature robotic system can be completely inserted into the peritoneal cavity through a single incision and provides a method to perform general surgical procedures during emergency medical situations in space where a surgeon is not accessible.
Alexandra Toftul is a graduate student of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has completed several Space Grant funded internships at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, where she worked in the Electric Propulsion Thruster Development Laboratory. Her current Space Grant fellowship project is a Master’s thesis on the topic of pulsed plasma drives for Electric Propulsion applications. This is a collaboration with Dr. Kurt Polzin of NASA-MSFC.
Joe Bartels graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in December 2010. While an undergraduate he was active in several student organizations and held multiple offices including serving as the President for both UNL’s chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the mechanical engineering honor society, Pi Tau Sigma. He is now pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at UNL where he is a graduate research assistant. He works under the direction of his advisor, Dr. Shane Farritor, researching the design and application of robots to perform minimally invasive surgery. My fellowship project is to design a robot capable of teleoperated, in vivo minimally invasive surgery. The design of this robot will include several improvements over previous robots including onboard motor control, internal wiring, and a new advanced control system. These improvements will help make the robot surgical system smaller, more robust, and more portable.
Jacob Greenburg completed his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in the fall of 2010. Then decided to pursue a Master of Science in the same field of Mechanical Engineering; showing his passion and resolve towards the subject. Once a part of the M.S. degree track, he began his research in surgical robotics. This was in pursuit of a more efficient means of measuring force and torque values for a surgical robot. To date, he continues down this path with his M.S. degree with further educational goals on the horizon.
Carly Baumann is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln majoring in Meteorology with a minor in Mathematics. She is conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Jun Wang analyzing MISR and MODIS aerosol products. Carly is one of the officers of the American Meteorological Society Club on campus. In the summer of 2012, she interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California following the transport of dust over Kuwait. The internship was sponsored in part by NASA Nebraska Space Grant.
Donald Pan is a PhD student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in the School of Biological Sciences. He is a member of Dr. Karrie A. Weber's Microbial Biogeochemistry & Geomicrobiology Lab. During his undergraduate study in Astrophysics and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, he obtained undergraduate research experience at NASA's Johnson Space Center researching cyanobacterial oxygen production for lunar habitats and at Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute testing the Mars Viking Lander's Gas Exchange Biological Experiment in the driest desert on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile. He therefore developed a capacity for conceptualizing nature from the scale of bacteria all the way to the scale of planetary systems and became fascinated by how biological activity at the smallest scales (that of bacteria and viruses) can have ecosystem-level and global-level consequences. He is currently interested in how the complex interactions between viruses, bacteria, and geochemistry in continental subsurface environments influence larger scale processes. The project funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant will investigate carbon flux from bacterial communities to viral communities within continental subsurface environments. New data could substantially alter our understanding of nutrient and community dynamics within subsurface environments as well as lead to the development of techniques to identify viral biosignatures for the search for life on other planets.
Nick Goeser is a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a minor in International Engineering. He is involved in the honors program, UNL’s NASA SEED Microgravity University team, and conducts research in the NIMBUS (Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems) lab. Last year as a part of the Microgravity team, he helped to validate the use of a micro-flame ionization detector in reduced gravity by creating an apparatus to test the micro-FID during a zero-g flight. Prior to the Microgravity team, he was involved in UNL’s Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition team. Nick will be researching the use of wireless power transfer from small, quad-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) to power devices on the ground with the use of magnetic resonance. Utilizing magnetic resonance allows for wireless power transfer at a distance much greater than that of traditional direct magnetic coupling. One application of this research is to allow UAV’s to power or charge sensors in hard-to-reach or remote places by flying over them.
Joan Dreiling graduated suma cum laude in 2008 with Bachelor’s degrees in both physics and mathematics from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. She then began pursuing a PhD in physics at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. At UNL she works in the research group of Timothy Gay studying collisions of spin-polarized electrons with chiral molecules. The results of this work will provide valuable information regarding the molecular evolution of life, specifically why many biological molecules exhibit homochiral properties.
Tony Nguy-Robertson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under Anatoly Gitelson in the School of Natural Resources. His research is focused on the remote estimation of crop biophysical characteristics (BPCs) such as green leaf area index (gLAI), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation, biomass, etc. His research uses close range remote sensing techniques of these BPCs and upscaling these results to multi-spectral satellite-based systems, primarily MODIS. His most recent publications have been utilizing simple empirical models, or vegetation indices (VIs), to estimate the photosynthetically active leaf area index, also known as gLAI.
Michael Head graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in December of 2010. In 2009 he served as chair for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Design Competition and in 2010 served as the group's president. In the summer of 2012, Michael interned with Honeybee Robotics and Spacecraft Mechanisms in Longmont, Colorado. Michael is a graduate research assistant in the Applied Mechanisms and Design Research Lab researching modular joystick design with passive locking for virtual reality surgical skills training and will graduate in 2012 with a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Thomas Frederick is a first year PhD student in mechanical engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees were also from UNL. Tom has interest in varying fields, as demonstrated in his wide range of internships from aerospace at Lockheed Martin to automated agriculture at Blue River Technology. He currently is a graduate research assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Department working for Dr. Shane Farritor. His Space Grant project is related to the building and programming of a sample acquisition rover with arm that can be remotely controlled in Houston from Lincoln.
Alan Goyzueta graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2011. As an undergraduate he was a National Hispanic Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and served as a vice president of the Tau Beta Pi. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under the direction of Dr. Carl Nelson. He is a graduate research assistant in the Applied Mechanisms Design and Research Technologies Lab working on a compliant laparoscopic surgical grasper that is capable of grabbing soft tissues without causing unnecessary trauma or perforations during surgery.
David Peterson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, working under the guidance of Dr. Jun Wang. His primary research interests are meteorology and satellite remote sensing. With support from NASA graduate fellowship programs, he recently investigated the effects of lightning and other meteorological factors on wildfire ignition in the North American boreal forest and developed a sub-pixel-based calculation of fire intensity for MODIS. Under the NASA Nebraska Space Grant, he is currently working on applying his previous work to improve characterizations of smoke injection heights and fire weather. This information is paramount to advancing the prediction of smoke emissions and transport, which is especially useful for future air quality and visibility forecasts.
Andrew Hathaway is working toward a Master of Science degree in Architectural Engineering with an emphasis in acoustics under faculty mentor Dr. Lily Wang at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He graduated from Iowa State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Music Technology. He is a student member of the Acoustical Society of America, the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, and ASHRAE. He has been a graduate teaching assistant for courses in Architectural Acoustics and Heat Transfer. He currently works as a student intern for Central Acoustics Consulting, Inc. His current Space Grant fellowship project is a Master’s thesis on the topic of rattle noise in buildings associated with high level bursts of noise.
Amy Kessner is a graduate student working toward her Masters degree in Atmospheric Science at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Her research interests include satellite remote sensing of the atmosphere, aerosol impacts on climate, and climate and forecast modeling. In the summer of 2011, she participated in the Graduate Student Summer Program at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center working in the Climate and Radiation Lab. During the summer of 2012, Amy continued her research at NASA under the Senior Internship program supported by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant. Currently, she is funded by the NASA Nebraska Fellowship to investigate the land and atmosphere characteristics during the 2012 Central Plains drought using satellite data. Amy plans on graduating this May, and looks forward to beginning her career in the atmospheric sciences.
Max Twedt graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering working as a graduate research assistant in the Biomedical Imaging and Biosignal Analysis Lab under Dr. Greg Bashford. His research focuses on modeling as well as the transitive response of blood flow velocity of intracranial vessels.
Eric Fritz is a Senior Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Eric has interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California during the summers of 2011 and 2012, working in the microdevices laboratory. In addition, he interned at NASA Ames Research Center in the spring of 2012 working in the Aeromechanics department. Eric is involved in student lead organizations such as Microgravity University and Rock-Sat C, both of which are funded by NASA Nebraska Space Grant. Along with other students, Eric is preparing an experiment payload for launch on a sounding rocket through the Rock-Sat C program. The experiment will verify the viability of using an Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) pump in a zero-gravity environment, as well as test the EHD’s resilience to launch forces. The EHD pump is a novel method of electronic cooling that uses no mechanical methods to pump the cooling fluid.
Jacob Anderson received his B.S. in Meteorology in May 2010 and his M.S. in Atmospheric Science in August 2012 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jacob is currently a PhD student at UNL studying Atmospheric Science. His research focuses on combining meteorology and satellite remote sensing to improve aerosol observations from space.
Bryan Kubitschek is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is serving as the outreach officer of the UNL chapter for the second year in a row. He has been working with water bottle and model rockets as a hobby since high school. He has also participated in the Team America Rocket Challenge (TARC) for two years. In the past he has mentored for the Bright Lights program developed for elementary and middle school students. He has experience in high power rocket design and launches after taking a lead role in the 2011 Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). He was an active member of the 2011-2012 University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) and leading this year's USLI team. He served last year as the Outreach Coordinator and is determined to integrate the outreach into the design of the USLI rocket. He is also an active member on this years RockSat-C team, who have been selected to launch their design experiment into space. The experiment will verify the reliability and usage of Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) pump in a microgravity environment. The EHD pump is the leading method in non-mechanical cooling methods.
Paul Kubitschek is a junior Computer Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the Reporter and Safety Officer of the UNL Student Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Assistant Team Leader of the NASA University Student Launch Initiative at UNL. In the past, he has participated in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) in high school as well as the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) during his freshman year. As well as attend the RockOn workshop at Wallops Flight Facility, where he successfully worked on a team that sent a scientific payload into space. Over the summer he interned at Goddard Space Flight Center, where he worked on rapid prototyping and micro machining. While he was there, he set up a collaboration between NASA and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to assist the research of the Electro Hydrodynamic (EHD) pump which he brought back to UNL. The EHD pump will launch on a sounding rocket next June. He also works at the university as an undergraduate Computer Science teaching assistant, and is a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band.
Effie Greene is a junior Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is conducting research in the Advanced Surgical Technologies Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Shane Farritor. She recently completed a technical paper that will be published in Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium. Along with her research, Effie is involved in the student organization Microgravity University. Along with other students, she is working to develop a free-flying vehicle to be evaluated during microgravity at NASA's Johnson Space Center this summer. Upon graduation, Effie plans on pursuing a master’s degree.
Alex Wilke is currently a junior Computer Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In particular, he is interested in hardware/software integration, including robotics and controls systems. He has worked for the University in IT support, as well as a software development intern for GC Image. Currently, he is working with other University students and NASA engineers on a sounding rocket test payload for the electrohydrodynamic pump. Once finished with his schooling, Alex hopes to find a career working with embedded systems.
Walter Bircher is a mechanical engineering major at UNL. Walter performs research under the supervision of Dr. Shane Farritor in the Advanced Surgical Technologies Laboratory. Walter recently published an original research paper in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Journal of Medical Devices. Walter is a three time winner of the State Department's nationally competitive Critical Language Scholarship. Walter studied abroad twice in Ankara and Bursa, Turkey. This summer Walter will be interning at Honeybee Robotics in New York City. Walter is an honors student, a member of the engineering student advisory board, a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society, and a UNL Regents Scholar. Last but not least, Walter is an avid aquarist and loves his fish tank.
Emma Reid is a sophomore mathematics major at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She currently works for the University as a mathematics tutor. This summer Emma will be interning at Langley Research Center working to support wind tunnel characterization, wall interference, and testing technology. She is a UNL Regent's Scholar and an avid cruciverbalist. Upon graduation, Emma plans to pursue a masters degree.
Kevin Kreis graduated from Omaha North High School with honors and continued his education a the University of Nebraska-LIncoln were he is studying Mechanical Engineering. He is currently enrolled in the honors program and is the Vice President of the school’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Club (AIAA). He participates in the AIAA club’s Lunabotics team which is funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant. After graduating from UNL Kevin plans on pursuing a master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering.
Kearney Lackas graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in August 2012. While an undergrad, Kearney was involved in many clubs and student design competitions. He was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and held Treasurer for one semester. He was also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society. In addition to clubs, Kearney was involved with the Design/Build/Fly student design competition which challenged student teams to develop, build, and test a UAV against a series of challenges. Currently, Kearney is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering under Dr. Shane Farritor. Kearney‘s project is to develop a better surgical interface to improve the control of in vivo surgical robots. His system will provide gravity, dynamic, and friction compensation as well as many other features to increase the ability of tele-operated surgeries.
Mark Reichenbach is an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and plans to graduate in December 2013 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In his time at UNL he has had an internship for Bison, a sporting good manufacturer, and is now working in Professor Farritor’s lab.
Alex Adams is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He formerly competed for Nebraska as a walk-on in Cross Country and Track & Field. Alex is a member of Pi Tau Sigma and ASME. In his free time, Alex manages his prototyping and design company, Blue Inventor, LLC. He intends to pursue a career in robotics.
Allison Miller is a junior Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently works as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Dr. Shane Farritor's robotics laboratory. Her current projects extend across a wide spectrum, from helping to build a Mars rover for NASA's RASC-AL robo-ops competition, to designing a robot for use in an agricultural environment. Allison plans on graduating with a Bachelor's degree in May of 2015, and will then continue on to pursue a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Dustin Jazwick is a graduate of Southeast Community College’s Nondestructive Testing program at the top of my class. From there, he enrolled in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Mechanical Engineering program where he is currently a junior. Jazwick is an active member in the UNL Lunabotics team, Lincoln Teammates program, and Lincoln’s Royal Family Kids Camp Program. After graduation he plans to pursue a career in product testing and development in the aeronautics.
Eric Diamond is currently a junior Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Eric is a student in the honors program at UNL, a member of Tau Beta Pi, and is a UNL Regents Scholar. He participates in the UNL Lunabotics team which is funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant. He is involved in the areas of mechanical design and fabrication on the robot. Eric plans to graduate in May 2014 and pursue a career in mechanical engineering design.
Anthony Bertrand is a Junior at UNL, majoring in mechanical engineering. He is a Marine veteran and a Lincoln Nebraska native. His hobbies are fishing, running, classic cars and ballroom dancing.
Joel Banninga is an electrical engineering undergraduate at UNL who has an interest in robotics and how they work. He also has a fascination with space and the challenges that it poses. This fascination lead him to join the Lunabotics Team at UNL.
Nathan Wulf is a junior mechanical engineering major from Springfield, Nebraska. He is actively involved in not only USLI, but also Lunabotics. He has helped design and draw 3D models for their team’s lunar rover to be used for NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition this May in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This summer, Nathan will be a mechanical engineering intern at EAD Engineering, Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska.
Matthew Mahlin is a graduate student at University of Nebraska - Lincoln and has been heavily involved in the AIAA - UNL Student Chapter and aerospace design competitions since 2009. In 2010 he took on a leadership role in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition and took over leadership of the CanSat competition team. In 2011, he was elected as president of the chapter, lead the NASA USLI competition team to MSFC, and took the NASA Lunabotics team to KSC in 2012. He was able to take several members of the chapter to the RockOn! satellite payload workshop that summer as well. Currently, he acts as an adviser for the chapter's design teams; from approving the lunabotics rover designs for construction, designing the avionics bay for USLI, and running community outreach booths at several events. All of these efforts are on top of working on a thesis in Wire Electro-Discharge Machining of Titanium and work as the QA Manager for the P3 Program. He hopes to one day put his skills to work at NASA MSFC or the Aerospace Industry.
John Jasa is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is involved with ASME, AIAA, Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi. Additionally, he has been conducting research in the Polymer Mechanics Laboratory concerning glassy amorphous polymers, such as polycarbonate. He is also a TA for the Intro to CAD class and a member of the honors program. He plans to obtain a master's degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering before pursuing a career in industry.
Alex Drozda has always had an inquiring and scientific mind, and grew up on TV shows like Bill Nye: The Science Guy. So when he started his higher education career at a community college, he thought he wanted to do something with general knowledge, like teaching. But it wasn't long before he realized he found engineering far more interesting and multidisciplinary than anything he had seen before, and began coursework in that major. Drozda has since then become involved the AIAA club at UNL and looks forward to the many new opportunities such involvement will bring.
Ethan Monhollon is a senior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln majoring in biochemistry with minors in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. He is a new member to the NASA Microgravity Team this year and greatly enjoyed the experience. For the Microgravity Team, Ethan spends his time with mechanical design, construction, and test phases of creating and inspecting the physical components used in experimentation. Also, Ethan conducts research in Dr. Gwendolyn Bachman’s biological sciences lab covering the characteristics of heat shock proteins in amphibious life with emphasis on terrestrial turtles. With this research Ethan plans to parameterize the effects of environmental stresses upon hibernating amphibians. Finally, Ethan is also an active member in the honors program at UNL and is currently completing is thesis.
Joan Yule is currently a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. In the past Joan has interned at Johnson Space Center working in their lighting analysis and simulation branches. She will be participating in the Robotics Academy this summer located at NASA Ames Research Center working on the Lunar Micro Rover. During her college career she has been actively involved in Microgravity Universty, conducting research on composite materials, and acting as a guide for UNL Outdoor Adventures. She hopes to continue her education by receiving a master's in Mechanical Engineering.
Alex Buford is a junior mechanical engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This is Alex’s first year as a part of the UNL AIAA club. He has worked on rebuilding the outreach robot and participated in building the USLI rocket.
Peng Liu experience includes undergraduate research of optical vortices in laser beam and an internship with the Lincoln city’s Public Works and Utilities Department. He is also a member of the UNL’s NASA SEED Microgravity University team, consisted of a group of undergraduate engineering students working together to develop a flyer to be tested in microgravity at NASA.
Brad Christensen is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He is a 2nd year member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) where he participates in NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) and Lunabotics Mining Competition. This year, he will take a lead role in designing UNL AIAA’s rocket for the 2013-2014 Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a masters degree.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Jenna Yentes is a doctoral candidate with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She works as a graduate research assistant and laboratory manager for the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has been funded previously by NASA Nebraska Space Grant to investigate the changes in walking patterns that are associated with pulmonary disease. In the currently funded project, she will be investigating the relationship between breathing rhythms and walking rhythms. She hopes to graduate in May of 2013. She is traveling to the 2013 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference and Expo to present work stemming from a previous NASA Fellowship. This meeting takes place April 23-26th in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Kerry Brader is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) with a focus on Cancer Biology. Kerry’s graduate thesis focuses on gaining a better understanding of the effects of phosphorylation on the regulation of homologous recombination repair proteins in response to the induction of double-stranded DNA breaks. Of primary interest to her are the effects that these posttranslational modifications have on protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.
Jung Hung Chien (JC) was born in Taipei, Taiwan and received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and his M.S. in Electromechanical Engineering. After this, he decided to move to Eugene, Oregon to pursue a degree in the United States. JC arrived to the US in 2002 and finished his second M.S. in Human Physiology in 2005. In addition to his M.S., JC finished a B.S. in Computer Information Service in 2008. In 2009 JC and his wife packed up all of his degrees and their daughter and headed to Omaha, NE to pursue his doctorate of philosophy at the University of Nebraska Omaha. JC became an American citizen in 2012. His current research focus is to examine the role of tactile sensation on locomotor adaptation in astronauts returning from long duration spaceflights. In addition he is also investigating the effects of assisted forces on walking in healthy adults. In January of 2013, JC successfully defended his doctoral comprehensive exams and his current status is all but defended.
Cassia Rye is a Medical Sciences Doctoral candidate with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology, she is very interested in the human factors involved in spaceflight, and countermeasures development and employment. Her interests include clinical trials on human factors and physiologic performance in spaceflight, which will become increasingly important with the expanding commercial spaceflight industry and future missions of longer duration into deep space.
Chun-Kai (a.k.a. Kai) Huang is currently a 3rd year doctoral student in the School of Allied Health Professions of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Kai received his Bachelor degree in Physical Therapy from Chang Gung University, Taiwan in 2005, and graduated with his Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science from CGU in 2007. His research interests are exploring how people perceive sensory information and adjust their gait pattern accordingly in different stimulated environment, and how people perform upper limb movement in a working environment. Kai will participate in a NASA mini grant project with Dr. Ka-Chun Siu on investigating the impact of modular joystick on upper limb muscles activation while performing different surgical training tasks.
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Adrian Sanabria-Diaz is currently pursuing a B.S. in Physics at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He is the current president of the UNK Physics Club. While at UNK, Adrian has been involved with modeling nonvolatile memory elements based on ferroelectric polymer Langmuir-Blodgett films. In addition, he is currently characterizing other Langmuir films by a method known as Brewster Angle Microscopy, and with this year’s NASA Nebraska Space Grant Fellowship, will be analyzing ferroelectric polymers with the BAM apparatus. Over the summer, he had a research internship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and worked within the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience with Dr. Ducharme and his mentor, Dr. Timothy Reece. After graduation Adrian would like to pursue graduate studies to further his understanding of the universe within the fields of biophysics, astrophysics, or quantum cosmology.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Mitchell Bruckner is an intern in the Math Department at UNO, working on a web-based protein network visualization tool for the Cell Collective. In my spare time I like to program, a skill that I started learning in the eighth grade.
Melissa Emory graduated magna cum laude with honors in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Mathematics under the direction of Dr. Griff Elder. Melissa is studying the family of Diophantine Equations AX^4+BY^4=CZ^4 in quadratic number fields. This project, which is part of Algebraic Number Theory and Arithmetic Geometry, deals with finding integer points on curves. The methods developed to analyze this topic have become methods in cryptography due to Elliptic Curve Cryptography. Melissa's future plans are to pursue a doctorate in Mathematics
Ryan Hasenkamp is a graduate student at the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility. Previously, Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. As an undergraduate student, Ryan was active in the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility as an undergraduate research assistant. Currently, Ryan is a graduate research and teaching assistant at the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility working closely with Dr. Nicholas Stergiou and Dr. Sara Myers. Through support by the NASA NE Space Grant, Ryan will investigate the interaction between cognitive and physical functioning.
Zoraya Aide Hernandez is from Omaha, NE and is currently pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Aviation with a concentration in Professional Flight. She soloed in a Cessna on November 2012 and hopes to get her Multi-Engine ratings when she graduates in May 2015 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Zoraya received her first Bachelor's degree from UNO, majoring in Sociology with concentration in Medicine and the Environment. She was a Project Assistant for a research on Lead Poisoning in the Omaha area. At the age of four, Zoraya and her parents migrated to the US from Mexico. She is a first generation college graduate and wants to be a role model for other men and women coming from her native background. The NASA Nebraska Space Grant Fellowship will help Zoraya attend the 2013 Women in Aviation Annual Conference and to enable her to network, meet peers in the same field, look for potential job and internship opportunities and get exposure to the industry. This opportunity will also help her attend several aviation and aerospace related presentations and panel discussions.
Bryan Kowal is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Computer Science with a minor in MIS (Management Information Systems) and a concentration in Software Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Previously, Bryan earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics and a concentration in Information Assurance at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Bryan Kowal has been working as a software developer for the Cell Collective (http://www.thecellcollective.org) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha while working on his Master’s Degree. For his fellowship project, Bryan will be adding a capability that will allow the Cell Collective to interact with and import existing information from various external biological databases including UniProt and GO.
Zane Smith is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Aviation with a concentration in air transport administration. It is his first year at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, starting as a junior; he joined two organizations both Women in Aviation (WIA) and the Collegiate Aviation Industry Professionals (CAIP). By doing this, he hopes to expand his knowledge of the aviation industry and develop lasting relationships with others of similar interests. With this travel grant, Zane Smith is attending the WIA conference in Nashville for the opportunity to network and gain knowledge from individuals who are involved in the aviation field.
Mikasha Dye is currently a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Majoring in General Studies with a concentration in Professional Flight and a minor in Psychology; she is currently a student pilot at Millard Airport. She has also applied for the Marine Officer Program to become an outstanding pilot as well as serve her country. Prior to attending UNO, Mikasha served for four years in the United States Air Force. Since returning to Omaha after her enlistment ended in 2009, Mikasha has dedicated her time to being a full time student. She is currently a member of the Flying Mavs UNO’s Flight Team and also the Women in Aviation Maverick Chapter. Because there are currently none, Mikasha will make history when she receives her Private Pilot’s License as the first African American Woman in the state of Nebraska to do so. When she is not studying or flying, Mikasha enjoys painting and drawing. The NASA Nebraska Space Grant will allow Mikasha Dye to attend the Women in Aviation National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. She is very excited to network with other aviation students as well as aviation vendors. Mikasha would like to get her resume out into the general aviation public and to meet other inspiring aviation individuals.
Brad Horner is a freshman undergraduate student at University of Nebraska at Omaha pursuing a degree in mathematics. He works with Dr. Elder in number theory and with Dr. Todd on knots, braids and diagrammatic algebras. In his spare time he volunteers as a top contributor to the international Q&A site Math.StackExchange, and works as a teaching assistant in UNO's Math Lab. As a personal life goal he includes developing an understanding of the connection between representations, fields and modular forms, the core of Langland's Program. With fellow student Michael Angel he devises and presents a weekly seminar on p-adic numbers, designed to culminate in a presentation and potential research question at the conference Ramification and Hopf-Galois Module Theory, which will help him with both his personal goal and the professional interest in establishing himself in the mathematics community.
Eric Guzman is a Junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation with a concentration in Air Transport Administration. Guzman is a FAA certified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. He received a travel grant from the NASA Nebraska Space Grant program to attend the Women in Aviation International Conference in Nashville, TN.
More Student Fellows Here! (Creighton, Western Nebraska Community College, Nebraska Indian Community College, and Chadron State College)