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. Five students have been selected in 2018-2019.
Lynnette Robinson will be joining the Ph.D. program in Mathematical Sciences during the Fall of 2018 as a WPI Presidential Fellow and a GEM Scholar. She recently obtained a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Fisk University, in Nashville, TN. Lynnette has completed various research opportunities for undergraduate students, where she engaged in both statistical research regarding drug use, as well as epidemiological modelling of the severe Ebola outbreak in 2014. She has also held multiple internship positions and experiences at the Department of Treasury.
Janelle Vultaggio received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Providence College in 2013 and finished her M.S. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Brandeis University with laboratory experience focused on biotechnology in February of 2016. Since graduating from Brandeis, she has worked with Dr. Marc Kirschner, Dr. Leon Peshkin, and Dr. Johan Paulsson as a Research Assistant and Lab Coordinator in the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School. She has an interest in infectious diseases and microbiology. She is fascinated by microbial stress response, environmental and microbial relationships, and various factors that may influence a microbial community. For general activities, she enjoys running, boxing, and indoor cycling. She also loves her volunteer work at RARA, an organization in Lowell Massachusetts whose mission is to enrich the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities through recreational programs. With a positive, energetic attitude and eagerness to learn, she is thrilled to join the Ph.D. program at WPI in the Biology and Biotechnology Department as a WPI Presidential Fellow.
Jocelyn Petitto entered Tufts University in 2016 as a DVM/MPH candidate and left the DVM program in the fall of 2017 to concentrate her MPH studies on epidemiology and biostatistics. She worked with the Mass Department of Public Health, analyzing the data quality of their Immunization Information System. She is currently comparing the efficacy of using alternative methods of Lyme Disease surveillance. In a previous life, she earned a MAT with a focus on secondary math and science education from Marlboro College, where she researched open-ended assessments as a mode to gauge student understanding. She has a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy at Boston College. She is excited to join the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics program as a PhD candidate and WPI Presidential Fellow.
Brittany Lewis is currently enrolled in a PhD program in the Department of Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute as a WPI Presidential Fellow. Prior to joining WPI, she graduated from the University of Delaware with an Honor’s Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and a minor in Philosophy. She then spent three years working as a software engineer at Microsoft.
Alex Castaneda will be joining the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall of 2018 as a WPI Presidential Fellow, where he plans to focus on thermal and fluid sciences. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his undergraduate career, Alex received multiple academic awards, and he was a member of the top senior design team during his final semester. While at Illinois, Alex also obtained his Six Sigma Green Belt, he gained industry experience at CNH Industrial and Ford Motor Company, and he was a research engineer at Creative Thermal Solutions.