Twenty-four Stanford doctoral students have been named DARE fellows

Laura Ng
Anthropology PhD student Laura Ng is among the new DARE fellows.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education has announced the newest cohort of the Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program. The two dozen Stanford PhD students represent a wide-range of academic disciplines, from aeronautics and immunology to literature and anthropology.

The program, which was launched in 2008, prepares students from diverse backgrounds to pursue and succeed in academic careers. Recipients are awarded during the last two years of their PhD program. There are currently more than 150 alumni of the program who have successfully launched careers in academia, industry and government.

Provost PERSIS DRELL and Vice Provost for Graduate Education STACEY BENT will formally recognize the fellows at a reception on Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Black Community Services Center.

Iwnetim “Tim” Abate, Materials Science and Engineering
Tim Abate is a PhD candidate in materials science and engineering. His research aims to improve the energy storage capacity of batteries to meet the ever-growing global demand for energy.

Nathnael Abebe, Electrical Engineering
Nate Adebe is a PhD candidate in electrical engineering. His current focus is in photonics, the science and technology to harness light.

Ariel Calderon, Immunology
Ariel Calderon is a PhD candidate and National Science Foundation Fellow in the immunology program at the School of Medicine. His thesis investigates the origins of our immune system, focusing on the formation of specific immune cells that are key in fighting off viral infections and cancer.

Matthew Clarke, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Matthew Clarke is a PhD candidate in aeronautics and astronautics. His research focuses on developing tools to design, analyze and optimize non-conventional, supersonic and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Cynthia García, Modern Thought and Literature
Cynthia García is a PhD candidate and Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Fellow in the Modern Thought and Literature Program, with a PhD minor in history. Her dissertation documents how Chicanx/Latinx communities in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago respond to the violence of geographical displacement and the racial homogenization of their communities through storytelling, public art and activism.

David J.X. Gonzalez, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER)
David Gonzalez is a PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), studying environmental health sciences, with a focus on ambient air pollution and reproductive health. He uses an interdisciplinary approach, applying methods from epidemiology and econometrics.

Eva C. González Díaz, Bioengineering
Eva González Díaz is an NSF fellow and a PhD candidate in bioengineering. Her research focuses on the development of tissue-engineered 3D in vitro models of primary and metastatic bone cancer for elucidating the role of the bone niche in promoting cancer progression.

James Harden, Immunology
James Harden is an NSF fellow and a PhD candidate in the Immunology program at the School of Medicine. His current research is on the high-dimensional characterization of the immune response after solid-organ transplantation.

Jasmine Hill, Sociology
Jasmine Hill is a writer, educator, organizer and PhD candidate in sociology. She is a National Poverty Fellow at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and co-editor of Inequality in the 21st Century with sociologist David Grusky (Westview Press 2017). Her dissertation aims to shed light on mechanisms creating and prohibiting social mobility for Black and Brown young adults.

Jen Marrero Hope, Chemistry
Jen Marrero Hope is a PhD candidate in chemistry. Their work has developed a novel light-activatable version of TrkA, an essential protein in neuronal development.

Torin Jones, Anthropology
Torin Jones is a PhD candidate in anthropology. He conducts research among young West Africans seeking asylum in Italy while investigating the intersections of migration, humanitarianism, race and emotion.

Christina Kent, Economics
Christina Kent is a PhD candidate in economics. Her fields are public and labor economics, and her research focuses on how cities change in response to large wealth shocks.

Abisola Kusimo, Mechanical Engineering
Abisola Kusimo is a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering with a PhD minor in management science and engineering. Her research seeks to broaden scholarly understanding and introduce culturally relevant techniques for scaling industrialization and high-precision manufacturing in West Africa.

Melissa Mesinas, Developmental and Psychological Sciences, Graduate School of Education
Melissa Mesinas is a PhD candidate in the Department of Developmental and Psychological Sciences program in the Graduate School of Education. Her research interests center at the intersection of education and psychology for Latinxs, including identity formation, learning in community contexts, cultural practices and indigenous knowledge systems.

Xavier J. Monroe, Education Policy, Graduate School of Education
Xavier Monroe is a PhD candidate and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in education policy and sociology of education. His research considers the translation of policy into practice to improve student opportunities and school transformation, and issues of equity and access for underrepresented minorities, particularly within STEM education.

Laura Wai Ng, Anthropology
Laura Ng is a PhD candidate in anthropology. Her dissertation examines the materiality of transnationalism by focusing on the late 19th- and early 20th-century Chinese migration to the United States.

Thao P. Nguyen, Theater and Performance Studies
Thao Nguyen is a PhD candidate in theater and performance studies. They are writing a dissertation on performance and art about sexual assault and rape created by queer and trans artists of color.

Greses Pérez, Science Education & Learning Sciences and Technology Design, Graduate School of Education
Greses Pérez is a PhD candidate in science education and learning sciences at the Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on engineering and science education in multilingual contexts.

Tagart Cain Sobotka, Sociology
Tagart Cain Sobotka is a PhD candidate in sociology. His research interests are in the areas of social psychology, gender and medical sociology. His dissertation explores the ways in which current and former opioid users draw upon various cultural scripts regarding addiction and gender to describe and understand their substance use, recovery and the behaviors of those around them.

Kelly Stifter, Physics
Kelly Stifter is a PhD candidate in physics Department and NSF Fellow. Her work focuses on the development and testing of the high voltage electrodes for the detector and reconstruction and analysis of the data from the first WIMP dark matter search.

Loza Tadesse, Bioengineering
Loza is a PhD candidate, and Agilent and Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education fellow in the Bioengineering Department. Her research focuses on rapid bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing using a label-free optical approach called Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.

Dorothy Tovar, Microbiology and Immunology
Dorothy Tovar is a PhD candidate and NSF Fellow, co-advised between the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and the Ecology & Evolution program. Her thesis investigates antiviral immune responses in bats to understand their ability to host and transmit viruses deadly to humans, including Ebola and SARS.

Eduardo Valle, Chemical Engineering
Eduardo Valle is a PhD candidate in chemical engineering. His work focuses on production of alternative and sustainable fuels.

Mai Wang, English
Mai Wang is a PhD candidate in English. Her dissertation, “The Nonaligned Self: Asian Redeployments of the American Renaissance,” examines the imaginative alliances formed between Asian authors and their 19th-century American predecessors during the Cold War.