Kansas State University


Graduate School

Student successes

K-State Research Forum

Graduate and undergraduate students at Kansas State University presented their research to campus and the community at the 18th annual K-State Research Forum March 27.

The forum included oral presentations and poster presentation from more than 101 graduate students and 18 undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines. Research topics included engineering, math, physical sciences, agricultural sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and education, among other topics.

Dinesh Erram, doctoral student in entomology, discusses his research during the K-State Research Forum.

“Each year, the K-State Research Forum showcases the research, scholarly and creative activities occurring on our campus,” said Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School. “The forum gives our students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting and to share their success with the community.”

Awards were given for the top presenters in each session.

K-State Alumni Association Graduate Student Awards

Outstanding academics, leadership and service earned two Kansas State University graduate students honors from the K-State Alumni Association. Romil Bhandavat and Katryn (Kat) Lopez were recognized by the Alumni Association with its Graduate Student Awards. A committee consisting of members of the Alumni Association board of directors and K-State students selected the winning candidates.

Bhandavat, doctoral student in mechanical engineering, received the Graduate Student Award for Academics and Lopez, master’s graduate in mass communications, received the Graduate Student Award for Leadership and Service.

Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship and Travel Awards

A Kansas State University graduate student was honored for his exceptional achievements in scholastics and research.

Ismael E. Badillo-Vargas, doctoral candidate in plant pathology, received the $15,000 Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship in Molecular Biology. His research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of the interaction between Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and its most efficient insect vector, Frankliniella occidentalis. Vadillo-Vargas will use the fellowship to support future postdoctoral research and professional development. He plans to attend a proteomics workshop in Cold Springs Harbor Laboratories, New York, and the X International Symposium on Thysanoptera and Tospovirus in Brazil. The fellowship will also help Ismael relocate to Europe to begin postdoctoral research.

Two additional graduate students each received a $1,000 Sarachek Scientific Travel Award.

Emily Archer Slone, doctoral candidate in microbiology, is currently researching over-reactions of the immune system. She plans to use the award to attend the Society for Leukocyte Biology’s annual meeting focusing on innate immunity. There she will have the opportunity to learn from and network with leading scientists in her field.

Alina De La Mota-Peynado’s, doctoral candidate in biology, research objective is determining how proteasomes are assembled and the roles “helper” proteins play in this process. She plans to use the award to attend conferences relevant to her research, allowing her to network with leading scientists and showcase her work as she applies for postdoctoral positions.

The Saracheck Predoctoral Honors Fellowship and Travel Awards are made possible through the generosity of Dr. Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek.  Dr. Sarachek received his doctoral degree in genetics from Kansas State University in 1957.

Golden Key GTA/GRA Awards

Kansas State University’s chapter of the Golden Key recognized two graduate assistants for their outstanding contributions during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Ximena Cibils Stewart, master’s student in entomology, was named the outstanding graduate research assistant of the year and Emily Archer Slone, doctoral candidate in microbiology, was named the outstanding graduate teaching assistant of the year.

Stewart and Slone were recognized at a reception that highlighted the contributions graduate teaching and research assistants make in achieving the university’s mission.

Golden Key recognizes and encourages academic achievement and excellence among college and university students in all academic disciplines.