College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

2018 Dean’s Doctoral Fellows

Ilana Engel - Psychology​

Engel’s research interests include aging, especially in the context of pain, diabetes, and other chronic health issues. She is interested in health disparities, barriers to successful aging, and older adults’ access to healthcare resources. Specifically, her research focuses on interventions to support older adults’ health behaviors and mental health.

Melinda Chen - Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies​

Melinda is a first-year Dean’s Doctoral Fellow and Ph.D. student in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at the University of Kansas. She earned her B.A. in Global Liberal Studies, concentrating in Law, Ethics, & Religion at New York University. Her thesis explored the socio-legal and philosophical ramifications of the self after rape, comparing Taiwanese and American rape cultures and their relation to self-construction to advocate for culturally sensitive sexual violence treatment models in non-Western contexts. Melinda’s current research examines comparative rape with an area focus in East Asia.

Ashley Borkowski - Chemistry

Ashley Borkowski is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Georgia Gwinnett College. She is interested in the field of Physical Chemistry, but more specifically the theoretical side of Physical Chemistry. For her research, she intends on learning various computational methods to solve questions that arise from the experimental side of chemistry.

Andrew Shultz - Physics & Astronomy

Andrew graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a bachelor of science in physics and a bachelor of engineering (mechanical) in 2018. Andrew has a general expertise in software and data analysis, while also being fluent in hardware and interfacing between the two wares. He has been active in ultra high energy (UHE) neutrino research for many years. He also worked for half a year at LANSCE, a linear particle accelerator at Los Alamos National Laboratory, before coming to KU to work with Dave Besson on UHE neutrino related research. His main research interest is the detection of UHE neutrinos and the development of next generation detectors and data analysis techniques.

Jenny Sledge - Theatre

Jenny’s research centers on modern Irish drama as a reification of Irish identity through national character. Examining the scope of this literature through a post-colonial lens, her interest centers on the dramatic portrayal of female characters and real women constructed to support the epistemology of Irish Nationalism. In re-examining the intention behind the art through theories of semiotics, performativity and gender, Jenny hopes to reconsider how compliance with subjective norms suppresses and represses the narratives of women, constituting an erasure.




2018 Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellows


Alexandra Golik - Clinical Child Psychology​

Golik aims to become a clinical scientist who improves the lives of youth who have endured traumatic circumstances, such as terrorism, war, and humanitarian disaster. Through a culturally-sensitive lens, she focuses on examining the psychosocial and health needs, psychological effects of traumatic events, and the risk and resilience factors that influence the development of trauma-related psychopathology for young trauma survivors and their families, with a particular interest in minority groups. In addition, Golik’s aim is to develop and dissemination trauma-focused evidence-based interventions that mitigate child trauma.

Matthew Travert - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Travert has a strong interest for the evolution of body axis and particularly the formation of these axis during cnidarians life cycles. He is primarily interested in the membrane structures of jellyfish.

Lisa Favicchia - English

Favicchia has been striving to become a part of the creative writing program at KU since their undergraduate career. Favicchia's ultimate goal is to become a professor teach composition, literature, and creative writing, work on the staff of a literary journal, and further pursue writing and publishing her poetry.

Kelsey Ferguson - Molecular Biosciences

Ferguson’s goal is to have a career in cutting edge medical research. She has a wide range of interests in medical research, from antibiotic resistance research to improving drug delivery, and everything in between.

Bethany Potter - Anthropology

Potter’s interests are primarily in lithics and the Paleoindian. She is also interested in investigating ways to continue generating interest in the field of archaeology.

Sheyenne Fishero- Linguistics

Fishero’s current research study with Professor Jessica Sturm focuses on how psychotypology, the perceived closeness of two languages, affects first language grammatical gender transfer during third language acquisition. Her independent research project involves comparing groups of participants, one group whose first language and third language both have grammatical systems with two genders, and one group whose third language has three grammatical genders, to analyze participants’ abilities to correctly identify the gender of nouns in their third language.