WPI Presidential Fellowship

The WPI Presidential Fellowship launches the PhD career of highly talented students to WPI. Students selected are US citizens pursuing a PhD in STEM or business, and demonstrate leadership in their field. Three students have been selected in 2017-2018.

Dayna Mercadante

Dayna will be joining the PhD program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in Fall 2017 as one of the inaugural WPI Presidential Fellows. She has BS degrees in Biology and Math from Franklin Pierce University. Dayna’s undergraduate research has been published in Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems, Series B, in 2016. She has completed a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Missouri State University, and has previous industrial experience as a research scientist at Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Inc.

Veronica Kimmerly

Veronica has a dual B. Engr. Degree in Chemical Engineering and Math from Virginia Tech, where she earned a 4.0 GPA and also minored in German.  During her undergraduate career, Veronica engaged in research on the Russian Flu of 1889, and is a co-author on three scholarly publications in this area. She also has a M. Engr. In Fire Safety Engineering as part of an Erasmus Mundus International Master’s in Fire Safety degree program, which was a partnership between Ghent University, Lund University, and the University of Edinburgh.  Veronica will be joining the PhD program in Fire Protection Engineering at WPI as an inaugural WPI Presidential Fellow.

Alexandra Rose Valiton

Alexandra Rose Valiton will be joining the WPI Robotics Engineering PhD program in Fall 2017 as an inaugural WPI Presidential Fellow.  In 2012, she received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Spanish from the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a 4.0 GPA.  Alexandra has several years of industrial work experience, and comes to WPI after having held positions at Standard Motor Products, National Instruments, Schlumberger, and Denali, Inc.  We are also pleased to note that both of Alexandra’s parents have BS and MBA degrees from WPI.

WPI Endowed Graduate Fellowships

Laura Reyes is the recipient of the George I. Alden Fellowship for 2017-2018. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Florida International University. Laura’s undergraduate research was published in Tribology Letters in 2016. She will be pursuing a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at WPI. The George I. Alden Fund was established in 1929 by Professor Alden, a WPI faculty member and former head of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Laura Reyes

Avery Harrison is the recipient of the Marietta Anderson Fellowship for 2017-2018. Avery will be pursuing a PhD in Learning Sciences & Technology at WPI. She has a BA degree in Psychology from the University of Richmond. Her research has been published in the Journal for Academy of Advancement of Business Research. She has received numerous awards during her undergraduate career, including the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award in 2015 and the John Neasmith Dickinson Memorial Research Grant in 2014, both from the Department of Psychology at the University of Richmond. Arvid E. Anderson, from WPI’s class of 1920, established this gift in memory of his wife, Marietta Anderson. He designated that the funds be used to support an outstanding woman graduate student during her first year of doctoral studies at WPI.

Avery Harrison

Yasmina Benkhoui is the recipient of the Mohammad A. Bin Khaled Alshawaf MD Graduate Engineering Distinguished Fellowship. Yasmina has BS and MS degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from ENSIAS (National School of Computer Science and Systems Analysis) in Morocco. She also completed two years of preparatory study in Tours, France. Yasmina completed internships with Zodiac Aerospace and with the Moroccan Ministry of Finance. She will be joining the PhD program in Electrical and Computer Engineering at WPI, and she would like to focus on power systems and renewable energy. The Fellowship was established by a generous gift to WPI from Dr. Tarek Al-Shawaf ’55, and supports a graduate student from an Arab League Nation.

Yasmina Benkhoui

Caitlin Walde is the recipient of the Helen E. Stoddard Fellowship. Caitlin received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from WPI in 2015 and MS in Materials Science and Engineering, also in 2015. She was previously President of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society at WPI. She has worked as a Research Assistant at Ecole d’ingénierus et d’architectes, Fribourg, Switzerland and as an intern at United Technologies Corporation. She is pursuing a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. The fellowship was endowed by funds of former WPI Trustee Robert W. Stoddard and his wife, Helen (Estabrook) Stoddard, and are intended to support a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering.

Caitlin Walde

Andrei Koch is the recipient of the Bruce Mannooch Memorial Fellowship. He has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College (2013) and an MS in Aerospace Engineering from WPI (2017). Andrei has completed research internships with Oak Ridge National Laboratories and with the Air Force Research Laboratory. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at WPI. Bruce Mannooch was a local resident and great friend to WPI. He established this fund to support a graduate student pursing studies related to space exploration or astronautics.

Andrei Koch

Zhaotong Yang is a recipient of the William B. Smith Fellowship*. He has completed a BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Science and Technology of Beijing, China. He received an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from WPI in May 2017, and will be continuing as a PhD student in the department. Zhaotong is the first PhD student to become a part of the WPI-Tsinghua University Center for Global Public Safety. 

Zhaotong Yang

Maryam Masroor Shalmani is a recipient of the William B. Smith Fellowship*. Maryam has a BS degree from Sharif University of Technology and an MS degree from the University of Tehran, both in Materials Science and Engineering. Her research has been published several times, including in Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China, the Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, and Procedia Materials Science. She will be pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at WPI, and is interested in research in nanotechnology.

Maryam Masroor Shalmani

Lydia Hantsche is a recipient of the William B. Smith Fellowship*. She has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont. Lydia successfully completed an internship at the NASA Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA. She will pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering at WPI.

Lydia Hantsche

Mengqiao Yang is a recipient of the William B. Smith Fellowship*. Mengqiao has a BS in Building Environment and Energy Application Engineering from Jilin Jianzhu University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. He received numerous awards during his undergraduate career, including a provincial prize for Mathematical Modeling and a national prize for English. He has two research publications in Applied Mechanics and Materials, based on his prior research. Mengqiao’s research interests are in fluids and thermal energy, and he will be pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at WPI.

Mengqiao Yang

 

*There are multiple recipients this year of the William B. Smith Fellowship. This fund was established through a generous gift by William B. Smith, a supporter and friend of WPI, who wished for the funds to support Mechanical Engineering.