Campus Life

2020 U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship Recipients Announced

The Phil Gramm Fellowships are awarded annually to current doctoral students for excellence in both research and teaching.
By Office of Graduate and Professional Studies staff October 14, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced the 2020 recipients of the Dr. Phil Gramm Fellowships. The honor is awarded annually to current doctoral students whose excellence in both research and teaching exemplifies the meaning of scholar/mentor in the highest sense, according to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS).

Colleges or Interdisciplinary Programs (IDPs) may nominate two students to be considered for these prestigious awards.

Each awardee receives a personalized award certificate and a fellowship in the amount of $5,000.

This year’s recipients are:

Michaela Baca

Baca is a doctoral candidate in the department of English. Her research is focused on later medieval and early modern women’s writing and feminist book history and bibliography. Her dissertation rethinks the role of book ownership and authorship specific to Tudor queenship and its impact on commercial women’s authorship. The archival research for her dissertation, conducted primarily at the British Library and the Free Library of Philadelphia, was supported by her department and a Glasscock Center for Humanities Research’s Graduate Research Fellowship. Her work on Mary I will appear in a forthcoming edited collection as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Queenship and Power series. In addition to her research, Baca said she enjoys teaching writing and literature in the English department, where she integrates digital approaches to texts and questioning the power dynamics of canon creation with her students. Her teaching has been recognized by the Staley Creswell Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Fasken Graduate Student Teaching Award, and the Association of Former Students Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Teaching. Baca plans to defend her dissertation in January 2021.

Kimberly Clough

Clough is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, where she studies 20th century transnational literature. Her dissertation explores literary representations of Muslim women’s veiling practices. Refuting assumptions of uncritical religious observance or coerced covering, Muslim writers evince self-reflection about veiling practices as performative of identity. Baca has presented her research at international academic convenings and has been awarded travel grants to attend these events. As instructor of record at Texas A&M, she has taught multiple courses from introductory composition to upper-division literature. Her teaching has been recognized by the Association of Former Students Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching. She currently works as a graduate assistant researcher for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation where she assists in assessment initiatives.

Shreedevi Arun Kumar

Kumar is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, under the supervision of Akhilesh Gaharwar. She received her bachelor’s in molecular biology and biochemistry at Rutgers University. Her research is focused on developing drug delivery platforms for various biomedical applications including vaccination and cancer treatment. She successfully developed a biodegradable, injectable vaccine delivery platform that can potentially withstand the harsh transportation conditions often experienced in developing countries. This platform can also be activated upon injection by the medical staff providing additional personalized control over the delivery of the vaccine. She has published the results in peer-reviewed journals and has presented in several national conferences. Kumar is also pursuing entrepreneurial efforts to commercialize this technology by participating in NSF I-corps Site program. She is passionate about teaching and mentoring students, is an Academy of Future Faculty fellow, and has served as an instructor of record in the Department of Biomedical Engineering for two semesters.

Carolyn Gunthardt

Gunthardt is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry. Her research focuses on the photodissociation dynamics of small molecules, including ozone. She has made a significant research breakthrough in developing an understanding of the anomalous behavior in oxygen rotational distributions arising from the photolysis of ozone. She has multiple high-profile research publications and has received awards for her research, including the Thomas Hairston Memorial Graduate Scholarship and the Dow Chemical Graduate Scholarship. She has served as a teaching assistant for general and physical chemistry laboratories, including kinetics and thermodynamics. She was awarded Outstanding Teaching Assistant by the Chemistry First Year Program. She has also served as a mentor for five undergraduate students in chemistry.

Mickey Parker

Parker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Doctoral Program and an active member of the Applied Biodiversity Science (ABS) multi-disciplinary doctoral program. Parker’s dissertation research focuses on restoring populations of declining species—specifically, the dunes sagebrush lizard—through conservation translocations. He has presented research at 17 local, national and international conferences and has co-authored seven peer-reviewed journal articles, technical notes and book chapters. Over the course of his career, Parker has mentored at least 20 undergraduate students. He brings his passion for teaching aspiring biologists to the classroom, where he has been a lab instructor for three courses.

Jordan Rogan

Rogan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology (ECCB) and a member of the Applied Biodiversity Science (ABS) multi-disciplinary doctoral program. Her dissertation research takes a multi-disciplinary approach to assess the impact of anthropogenic land-use change on mammal biodiversity in Monteverde, Costa Rica. She has taught two different undergraduate lab courses in her department for multiple semesters, and has been a featured guest lecturer in several courses. Rogan has also served as a mentor for Texas A&M undergraduate students in ECCB and in the ABS Conservation Scholars Program funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, as well as two international students (from Costa Rica and Peru) in research analysis and as field assistants for her doctoral research in Costa Rica. She has received several awards during her time at A&M, including a Fulbright Fellowship. Rogan has actively engaged in STEM outreach in the community, and in various leadership and service roles through multiple student organizations and university committees including the entirely student-led science and research exhibition, The Ecological Integration Symposium. She will present her final thesis to the community to aid in on-the-ground, collaborative conservation initiatives.

David W. Sullivan

Sulllivan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Management in the Mays Business School. His dissertation, chaired by Murray Barrick, focuses on the manifestation and impact of anticipated misfit during the job search process. He has conducted additional research projects examining topics such as person-environment fit, performance management and gender bias. His work has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and the Journal of Management. In addition to his research activity, Sullivan has also mentored a team of students through the Aggie Research Mentoring Program and has taught two sections of managing human resources. He is the recipient of the Mays Business School’s 2019 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research and 2020 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Doctoral Student. Sullivan has also served as a Doctoral Student Representative in the Human Resource Division for the Academy of Management. He plans to defend his dissertation in spring 2021.

Media contact: Rob Dixon,

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