Celebrating Our Graduate Students

Every year as we approach Graduate Student Appreciation Week, we ask Directors of Graduate Studies and program administrators to send suggestions our way for students to feature and celebrate on our website. We always have more than we can accommodate, which speaks to the quality and excellent work of our graduate students, as well as the esteem in which they are held by their advisors, peers, and mentors.

Scroll down to read about the wonderful work some of our LGS students are doing!

Li Chen (Computer Science and Informatics). Li Chen, a doctoral student in Computer Science and Informatics, has already co-authored 14 peer-reviewed journal publications as a graduate student. He is highly motivated and works extremely hard. He has also devoted lots of time to help and mentor junior students, and spends time organizing activities for students such as group meetings and journal clubs. 
Ruofei “Fei” Chen (Master’s in Development Practice).  Fei’s background is typical of a global citizen. Born and raised in Peru - and studied in China, where her family is from - she is fluent in Spanish, Chinese, and English. While at Emory, Fei has focused her training and practicums on the convergence of business and development. Last year Fei participated in a year-long pilot interdisciplinary initiative coordinated by Goizueta’s Social Enterprise Program. The project aimed to finding innovative and sustainable solutions to priority public health challenges affecting a farming community in Nicaragua, where Fei spent the summer working with local counterparts to implement the planned activities. She is currently serving as a Corporate Partnership intern with CARE USA and preparing to spend next summer in Indonesia working with UNICEF’s WASH programs. Fei is a natural-born leader, and serves as the President of the Latino Graduate Student Association at Emory University and as a Career Ambassador of Laney Graduate School. Fei’s studies at Emory are partly supported by the Margaret McNamara Fellowship, a highly competitive award for women from developing countries.
Helen Baker (Nursing). Helen is a Woodruff Fellowship recipient. As a doctoral student in Nursing, she has participated in data-gathering for research at the Rollins School of Public Health on condom size in South Africa, and, with two other nursing doctoral students, she also won an ethics case study contest. She has completed requirements for certification as a family nurse practitioner, taught in one of the summer pre-college programs (related to global health), and gathered data for her dissertation in Togo (collecting all of her data in French).  She has also played in the Emory Flute Choir for several years. 
Stephanie Miedema (Sociology). Stephanie’s dissertation research examines how gender and sexuality influence mental health outcomes among men who have sex with men and transgender men ("Toms") in Thailand.  This is a very important and timely topic (especially the focus on transmen); we know that homophobia and discrimination adversely affects the mental health of sexual minority individuals in Western contexts, but there is very little research on this issue in non-Western contexts.  It is also innovative, drawing on research from both sociology and public health.
Jonathan Basile (Comparative Literature). Jonathan Basile conceived and coded the website libraryofbabel.info, which is an online implementation of Borges’s famous story “The Library of Babel,” a library containing all conceivable books.  The site will provide the exact location in its vast arrays of shelves of any sequence of words (or nonsense) you care to enter: it contains all books ever written (in the Roman alphabet) in the past, and all books that can ever be written in the future.  Jonathan has just completed a book on his project, expanding on the technical and philosophical reflections that are already part of the website.
Ben Li (Biostatistics). Mr. Li is an outstanding student in terms of research. He has already published eight papers during his first four years as a PhD student, among which, he is the first or the joint-first author on three, and the second author on another three. His papers are on top-notch bioinformatics and biostatistics journals including Nucleic Acids Research, Bioinformatics and Statistics in Biosciences. In the two papers he first authored, he proposed to leverage historical data that are abundant in genomics field to improve the detection of differentially expressed genes, a classical and critical problem in genomics. He demonstrated that his method significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods based on hierarchical models, which are considered as the status quo. He also actively engaged in scientific collaborations, developing novel methods and computer programs to solve real biological questions. The collaboration with the Tim Read lab has already led to two second author publications. In both cases, he is the lead contributor in statistical analysis of the study data. Also, Ben won the 2016 Michael Kutner Distinguished Doctoral Student Award. 
Anne Hannusch (Economics). Anne’s dissertation investigates a topic that is of high political importance in the European Union. She analyzes cross-country differences in the labor force participation of mothers with young children. Her dissertation stands out methodologically as she develops an innovative model for researchers and policymakers to analyze the effects of family policy reforms on the participation of mothers in the workforce. In doing so, her research adds to the cross-disciplinary debate about the effects of motherhood on employment, the gender wage gap, and gender inequality. In addition to her studies, Anne works as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She previously completed a 6-month PhD traineeship in the Research Division of the European Central Bank.  Anne was also the recipient of the 2015 Economics Department graduate award for excellence in teaching.
Augustus “Gus” Cook (Film and Media Studies). A product of Film and Media Studies 4+1 program, Gus represents the excellent young scholars being cultivated in our graduate program. Over his five years in Film and Media, Gus has drawn successfully upon a wide array of arguments, ideas, and interpretations about film and video games. He is a natural teacher, able to marshal an impressive variety of topics into clear, compelling, and conceptually sophisticated arguments. His thesis research on digital performance and gender is both timely and important. Moreover, his eclectic training in the Film and Media Studies program has enabled him to interpret new and emerging media forms such as video games and motion capture. Gus will continue developing his knowledge and contributions to the fields of film and media studies through doctoral work this fall.
Milkie Vu (Behavioral Sciences and Health Education). Milkie Vu works on issues related to racial and ethnic minority health and immigrant health, with a focus on substance use and chronic disease and cancer prevention. She was recently selected for the 2017 Emory Global Health Institute Individual Field Scholar award and will be working this summer with a social service organization in Atlanta to study stressors and impact on tobacco use in a sample of adolescent children of immigrants. She is very excited to carry out this project, which will generate findings on an understudied population and help informed culturally-relevant services and programs for them.