The NSM Graduate Student Advisory Board serves as a liaison between the NSM graduate students and the Dean’s Office. It provides a safe platform where graduate student issues can be discussed freely and where two-way communication between the College and the graduate student community can occur efficiently. Members of the advisory board also help organize events and initiatives to enhance the graduate experience in the College.
Department of Physics
I am a fourth-year physics Ph.D. student advised by Professor Kevin E. Bassler. I completed my undergraduate studies in engineering physics at Delhi College of Engineering, India. The field of my research is statistical and computational physics, which mainly focuses on working with non-stationary increment random processes. Despite the vast research on random processes, little is known about such processes when the increments are non-stationary. My research aims at developing robust computational tools required for the analysis and characterization of such processes, which can then be applied to real-world data. In 2018, I received a fellowship from the prestigious American Association of University Women for continuing my research. As a staunch feminist with a penchant for science, I look forward to encouraging more female students to pursue a career in the field of science and technology.
Department of Mathematics
In 2016 prior to graduate school, I received my bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Houston. I love Houston so much that I wanted to stay here for a few more years. Now, I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student studying mathematics with my advisor, Dr. Anna Vershynina. We work in an area called quantum information theory. This rich theory is a nice blend of mathematics and some physics. We focus on different kinds of entropy and entropic inequalities. Furthermore, I advocate for women in mathematics and enjoy sharing the beauty of mathematics with young children.
Department of Biology & Biochemistry
I’m a Ph.D. student in Kerri Crawford’s plant community ecology lab. I have a B.S. in biology and J.D. in law from the University of Houston and B.A. degrees in economics and journalism from the University of Missouri. I study the way plant communities develop, respond to exotic invasions, interact with soil microbiota, and adapt to climate change. Previously, I have worked as a photographer, investigative reporter and multimedia website editor. I chronicled my undergraduate research work in the Galapagos Islands at DarwinsFootsteps.com and my hikes through the natural landscape of Texas at DearTexas.com.
Department of Chemistry
I am a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry. I received my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Oregon State University in 2018. I work with Dr. Jakoah Brgoch, and my research is focused on utilizing data-driven machine learning prediction and first-principles electronic structure to guide experimental synthesis of novel super-hard materials. The current spectrum of synthetic high hardness materials requires resource-intensive synthesis and cost-prohibitive materials, like iridium (which is a fascinating element, but extremely sparse as its presence on Earth is due primarily to meteorites). I am trying to find materials that overcome these barriers in order to make them more feasible to be utilized outside of the laboratory while getting a better understanding of what makes a material mechanically “hard” along the way. Outside of the lab, I look for ways to share my passion for chemistry and materials with others while also finding opportunities where I can grow my educational skills and advocate for sensible innovation in collegiate chemistry curricula.
Cristina M. Morales-Mojica
Department of Computer Science
I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón. Currently, I’m a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the computer science department. I have been working in the medical robotics and imaging lab under Dr. Nikolaos V. Tsekos’ advisement. My research interests include medical imaging, visualization, and the development of augmented reality applications for image-guided procedures and robot assistance intervention.
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Since receiving my B.S. in 2005 from Central Connecticut State University, I have spent my time in the geologic engineering and petroleum industries, as well as earning a M.S. from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I am now in the 4th year of my Ph.D. program here at the University of Houston. Under my advisor Joel Saylor, I broadly research mountain growth within the interior of North America (i.e., intraplate deformation), and how that mountain growth affected local and regional drainage networks. My research investigates the sedimentary, stratigraphic, geochemical, and structural record of these phenomena, while employing a suite of field and laboratory tools. In general, learning and sharing drive my passion for geology, and I look forward to a career in the sphere of education and research.