Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associates Featured in DRIVE Symposium
The Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship Symposium will highlight the diverse research achievements of this year’s fellows. The symposium will celebrate their accomplishments and features presentations of their path-breaking research.
The symposium will include short presentations from the postdoctoral research associates. It will take place at 614 E. Daniel St. on the third floor on April 19 at 10 a.m until 12:30 p.m. Box lunches and refreshments will be provided. Metered street parking is available. To learn more and register to attend by April 11, please visit go.illinois.edu/DRIVEsymposium.
The presentations will showcase the ingenuity and discovery of the associates, said Jamelle Sharpe, Chair of the Diversity Realized at Illinois through Visioning Excellence (DRIVE) Committee.
“This is an incredibly impressive group of emerging scholars working in a variety of academic disciplines,” Sharpe said. “What they share during the Symposium reflects their individual ingenuity as well as the breadth of intellectual discovery that defines the U of I community.”
The postdoctoral research associates are individuals from underrepresented groups in all fields of study and women in STEM who demonstrate significant academic potential. Promising candidates for campus faculty positions may be nominated for the Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Program.
“Our postdocs have been incredibly successful in securing tenure-stream faculty positions, especially here at Illinois,” Sharpe said.
They have also developed invaluable networks of mentors and colleagues that will continue to nourish their careers long after completing the program, Sharpe said, but they are not the only beneficiaries.
“Diverse faculties have been shown to improve student learning, departmental climate, and scholarly productivity,” Sharpe said. “And for almost a decade, the DRIVE postdoc has significantly contributed to the campus’ diversification efforts. It shows Illinois’ commitment to excellence, and it’s something every member of our community can be proud of.”
The symposium will feature six scholars each giving a presentation on their current research projects. The Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associates presenting are as follows.
Gonzalo Campillo-Alvarado is working in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The University of Iowa. His current research in the group of Professor Ying Diao focuses on the understanding of dynamic properties in single crystals of organic semiconductors aiming to design the next-generation multifunctional electronics. His talk is titled “Crystal Chemistry of Flexible Electronics.”
Bronte Charette is part of the Department of Chemistry. Her Ph.D. is in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Her current research in the group of Prof. Lisa Olshansky focuses on synthesizing switchable transition metal complexes and measuring the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters dictating their reactivities for renewable energy conversion strategies. Her talk is titled “Conformationally Dynamic Copper Complexes for Solar Fuel Technologies.”
Víctor H. Cervantes is part of the Department of Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematical and Computational Cognitive Science from Purdue University. His research focuses on the mathematical development of a probabilistic theory of contextuality, and mathematics and statistics applications to psychological modeling and educational assessment. His talk is titled “Models of Unforced Choice.”
Stewart M. Coles is part of the Department of Communication. His Ph.D. is in Communications and Media from the University of Michigan. His research examines how people develop their understanding of social issues related to identity. More specifically, he studies the way media depictions of social issues and marginalized groups evoke prejudice and stereotypes, shape and activate identity, and influence public opinion and political behavior. His talk is titled “Evaluating the Political Relevance of Media Content: Conceptualization and Consequences.”
Kayla Nguyen is part of the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering. Her Ph.D. is in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University. Kayla now focuses her time developing new electron microscopy techniques with an emphasis on imaging the smallest unit of magnetism – the electron spin. Although she is first a scientist, Kayla is extremely passionate about building more pathways for girls and young women in the STEM fields. Her talk is titled “New Direct Electron Imaging Techniques for Quantum Materials.”
Kimberly C. Ransom is part of the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. Her research examines the oral histories and material objects of Black children who once attended segregated schools in the Deep South during the Jim Crow Era (1940-1969). As a public scholar and artist, Kimberly also uses her historical research to create public exhibits related to African American childhood in and around schools. Her talk is titled “Pieces of Me: Insider/Outsider Status in History of Education Research.”
The Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Program is administered by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Office for Access & Equity, and the Diversity Realized at Illinois through Visioning Excellence (DRIVE) recruitment and retention committee.
If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate, please email Holly Clingan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.