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Doctoral Student Support, Ph.D. Program Admissions

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The COVID-19 public health crisis has had a serious, ongoing impact on colleges and universities across the nation, students enrolled at Brown, our broader campus community, and multiple aspects of University operations and finances. Among the many challenges are the disruption of the ability of many graduate students to conduct research and fieldwork, and the more limited professional opportunities for new Ph.D. graduates that are a result of the financial impact of the pandemic on higher education. We write with an update on support for doctoral students at Brown and to inform you of steps that are being taken to ensure that we can best assist currently enrolled students as they complete their degrees. Read more.

Student Research: Stay-at-home orders significantly associated with reduced spread of COVID-19, study finds

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Across the globe, COVID-19 has infected more than 18 million people to date and has killed hundreds of thousands — and the United States has been hit especially hard. Although the U.S. comprises just 4.2% of the global population, it accounted for approximately 33% of all reported infections by the end of April. However, the majority of U.S. states eventually imposed stay-at-home orders, and those orders appear to have significantly slowed the spread of the disease for the nation as a whole.

These findings, co-authored by Joe Silva, a PhD student in Health Services Research, along with a state-by-state breakdown of how quickly COVID-19 spread before and after lockdown orders, were published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases on Saturday, Aug. 1. Read more.

Student Research: Different tracks, same dinosaurs: Brown researchers dig deeper into dinosaur movements

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Using X-ray-based technology developed at Brown University, researchers, including lead author Morgan Turner, a Ph.D. candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology, uncover shared subsurface movement patterns between birds and dinosaurs, adding a new dimension of fossil track diversity. “This is the first study that’s really shown how the bird foot is moving below ground, showing the patterns of this subsurface foot motion and allowing us to break down the patterns that we're seeing in a living animal that has feet similar to those of a dinosaur,” said Turner. Read more.

Student Research: Researchers develop ultra-sensitive device for detecting magnetic fields

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A team of Brown University physicists, including doctoral Physics student Yiou Zhang, has developed a new type of compact, ultra-sensitive magnetometer. The new device could be useful in a variety of applications involving weak magnetic fields, the researchers say. “Nearly everything around us generates a magnetic field — from our electronic devices to our beating hearts — and we can use those fields to gain information about all these systems,” said Gang Xiao, chair of the Brown Department of Physics. The new device is detailed in a paper published in Applied Physics Letters. Read more.

2020 Commencement Speakers

Mira Nikolova '20 PhD and Abdullah Shihipar '20 MPH will address graduating doctoral and master's students during the Graduate School’s Virtual Degree Conferral ceremony on Sunday, May 24. Learn more about Mira and Abdullah.

Leaders in Their Fields, Four Students Selected for the 2020 Joukowsky Prizes

The 2020 Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Awards will be awarded to Madeline Bourque Kearin, Lu Lu, Erika Valdivieso and Hyeyoung Shin. This prize recognizes the superior research achievements of four doctoral students. The soon to be alums covered a breadth of topics from nineteenth-century asylum life and sickle cell disease research to the influence of Roman poetry in colonial Latin America poetry and neurons that act as metronomes to keep time in the brain. Read more.

Master’s Students Receive Accolades for Academic, Professional and Community Service Accomplishments

Lucas Baisch will receive the Master’s Award for professional excellence, Aakash Jhaveri will be recognized for his academic accomplishments, and Manuel Jiménez is honored for engaged citizenship and community service.

Baisch, ’20 MFA was nominated for his incredible accomplishments as a playwright and visual artist; Jhaveri ’20 ScM for his novel research on treatments for pancreatic and other cancers; and Jiménez ’20, executive master in business administration, for his creation of two new diversity and inclusion focused workforce programs through his position at Banco Santander in Spain. Read more.

Four Doctoral Students Receive Teaching Excellence Awards

One of the many ways graduate students connect to the broader Brown community is through teaching. The Excellence in Teaching Award acknowledges graduate students whose passion for teaching is recognized by their peers. This year, four students, Muntazir Ali (Religious Studies), Christina Bailey-Hytholt (Biomedical Engineering), Alyssa Pascuzzo (Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science), and Les Robinson (History), will be awarded for their extraordinary devotion to teaching. Read more.

Clayton and Delaney Honored for Advising and Mentoring

Advising and mentoring has never been more important, as the Graduate School honors two Brown faculty for their inspiring work. Michelle ClaytonAssociate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature and Director of Graduate Studies, and Sarah Delaney, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of Graduate Studies, were selected for the 2020 Graduate School Faculty Awards for Advising and Mentoring. Clayton is lauded by students for the sage advice she provides for their academic and professional endeavors. Delaney was nominated by the entire Chemistry Graduate Student Leadership Committee, as well as additional faculty, students, and alums. Read more.

Duncan and Nordlund Recognized for Contributions to Graduate Education

Each year the Graduate Student Council selects recipients for the Wilson-DeBlois and Bates-Clapp awards as a way to honor and thank staff members who have made outstanding contributions to graduate education at Brown. Marlina Duncan, Associate Dean of Diversity Initiatives and Assistant Vice President for Academic Diversity, receives the Wilson-DeBlois award. Carrie Nordlund, Associate Director of the Master of Public Affairs Program at the Watson Institute receives the Bates-Clapp award. Read more.