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Preparing scholars, presenting excellence

  • Graduate symposiumWilliam & Mary's graduate students came together in the Sadler Center on March 26 and 27 to share ongoing research at the Ninth Annual Graduate Research Symposium. Here, Yan Hao presents on the automated reduction of calcium release site models via state aggregation.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Graduate symposium
  • Graduate symposiumMore than 135 research projects were presented in either poster sessions or oral presentations. Here, Dean of Arts & Science Carl Strikwerda (right) moderates a session titled "What Career Options are Available?"

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Graduate symposium
  • Graduate symposiumUnder the theme Preparing Scholars, Presenting Excellence, the event also included presentations from graduate-level researchers at nearly twenty other universities.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Graduate symposium

William & Mary’s graduate students came together in the Sadler Center on March 26 and 27 to share ongoing research at the Ninth Annual Graduate Research Symposium.

Under the theme Preparing Scholars, Presenting Excellence, the event also included presentations from graduate-level researchers at nearly twenty other universities. More than 135 research projects were presented in either poster sessions or oral presentations. A set of judging panels conferred sponsored awards on several symposium participants for excellence in research and scholarship. Other graduate students were recognized for excellence in the mentoring of undergraduates.

Nathaniel Phillips, a graduate student in physics, was one of the award winners. He is working on a system that would use the principles of quantum mechanics as a basis for a “perfectly uncrackable” encryption paradigm, allowing encoded messages to be transmitted safely. The project, he said, has important implications for national security.

“Technologies that enable uncrackable encryption will have to incorporate quantum mechanics,” he explained. His plan is to use an interaction between light and atoms as an encryption scheme. Phillips explained that information encoded in pulses of light can be reversibly mapped onto long-lived quantum atomic spin states, to be retrieved only by a recipient that holds “quantum key.”

Jonathan Skuza was one of the winners of the winners of the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring. He said that mentoring experience benefits the graduate mentors as well as their undergraduate protégés.

“To be an effective mentor, you need patience, plus the ability to convey concepts and teach,” Skuza said. “These are characteristics that faculty need to teach all students, graduate and undergraduate. I think that being able to mentor an undergraduate helps prepare one to be a faculty member, which is what I hope to become.”

In addition to the presentations from the Arts & Science graduate programs, the symposium featured a panel discussion by the Graduate Studies Advisory Board on the value of a graduate education.

Symposium Award Winners

Market Access International, Inc. Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences
 
Nancy Hillman
 The College of William and Mary, History. Advisor: Melvin Ely
 
A Complex Fellowship: Black and White Baptists in Southeastern Virginia, 1800-1860
 
 
Northrop Grumman Corporation Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Natural and Computational Sciences
 
Nathaniel Phillips
 The College of William and Mary, Physics. Advisor: Irina Novikova
 
Quantum memory under conditions of electromagnetically induced transparency and four-wave mixing in a hot atomic gas
 
 
Incogen, Inc. Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Natural and Computational Sciences
 
Sara Kampfe
 The College of William and Mary, Chemistry. Advisor: Deborah Bebout
 
Processing and Conversion of Algae to Bioethanol
 
 
William & Mary Award for Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences
 
Kathryn Holt
 Psychology, Advisor: Paul Kieffaber
 
Cognitive Aging: Influences on Attention and Response Switching
 
 
William & Mary Honorable Mentions
 
Jennifer Ogborne
 Anthropology, Advisor: Martin Gallivan
 
So… What Am I Supposed To Do With This Big Pile of Cans?: Methodological Techniques for Coping with 19th and 20th Century Can Dumps
 
 
Sarah Glosson
 American Studies, Advisor: Charles McGovern
 
Domestic Music Making in Late Eighteenth-Century Elite Chesapeake Society: Playing Music, Performing Identity
 
 
Visiting Scholar Award for Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences
 
Susan Llewellyn
 History, George Mason University, Advisors: Joan Bristol, Kathy McGill
 
Competing for Power: An Examination of Motivations Behind Changes in Women's Property Rights in Colonial Virginia
 
 
Visiting Scholar Honorable Mention
 
Ashley Whitehead
 History, West Virginia University, Advisor: Peter Carmichael
 
"A Debt of Honor": The Benevolence of Richmond's Female Elites at the "Last Confederate Christmas" of 1864
 
 
William & Mary Award for Excellence in the Natural & Computational Sciences
 
Lei Lu
 Computer Science, Advisor: Evgenia Smirni
 
Blocking for Efficient Server Overload Management under Bursty Arrivals
 
 
William & Mary Honorable Mentions
 
Shahla Nasserasr
 Applied Science/Mathematics, Advisor: Charles Johnson
 
Conditions for a TP2-Completion
 

 Kevin Smith
 Physics, Advisor: Gunter Lupke
 
Optical Control of Ultrafast Spin-wave Relaxation by Magnetic Anisotropy in a Ferromagnet
 
 
Visiting Scholar Award for Excellence in the Natural & Computational Sciences
 
Samuel Shimp, III
 Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Tech
 Advisors: Marissa Rylander, Christopher Reilly
 
Computational modeling of Hsp90 as a therapeutic target to inhibit immune-mediated inflammation in systemic lupus erythematosus
 
 
Visiting Scholar Honorable Mention
 
Senthilraja Singaravelu
 Physics, Old Dominion University, Advisors: Michael Kelley, Geoffrey Krafft
 
Laser Processing on bulk Niobium to produce Niobium nitride
 
 
Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Computational Sciences
 
Duy Le
 Computer Science, College of William & Mary, Advisor: Haining Wang
 
Detecting Kernel Level Keyloggers Through Dynamic Taint Analysis
 
 
Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in the Humanities and Social Sciences
 
David Brown
 
History Department
 
 
Julia Kaziewicz
 
American Studies Program
 
 
Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in the Natural and Computational Sciences
 
Stephen Cole
 
Biology Department
 
 
Jonathan Skuza
 
Physics Department