Kansas State University selects three students for University Distinguished Professors Graduate Student Awards
Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's highest achieving faculty members are honoring the next generation of exceptional researchers with 2014 University Distinguished Professors Graduate Student Awards.
A Sept. 16 awards ceremony honored Jessica Rupp, doctoral student in plant pathology, Pittsburg, who received $5,000; Bryan Cafferky, doctoral student in marriage and family therapy, Walla Walla, Washington, who received $2,500; and Clark Holdsworth, doctoral student in anatomy and physiology, Vestal, New York, who received $2,500.
The award recognizes students who have shown outstanding achievement in scholarship through publications and other accomplishments appropriate for his or her academic field. K-State's university distinguished professor, or UDP, group, has established a set of guidelines and criteria for the evaluation of candidates, and Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School, coordinates the selection process.
"We are extremely proud of the commitment and dedication that our graduate students offer in their pursuit of new knowledge and invaluable insight," said Christer Aakeröy, president of the university distinguished professors group and a university distinguished professor of chemistry. "The UDP group is very keen to promote and recognize excellence in graduate research and scholarship across our campus. The award also will increase the visibility of the UDP group at Kansas State University."
Rupp's dissertation is "RNAi Mediated Virus Resistance in Transgenic Wheat." She is researching RNA interference, or RNAi, as an alternative for virus resistance for wheat. RNAi technology has helped the papaya industry overcome Papaya ringspot virus and has the potential to increase the production of wheat. Rupp will use the scholarship funds to purchase two software licenses to help her with her research and is interested in hosting wheat virus workshops across Kansas. She is co-advised by Harold Trick, professor in plant pathology, and John Fellers, adjunct associate professor of plant pathology and research molecular biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service.
Cafferky's dissertation is "Substance Use and IPV: A Meta-Analysis." He has gathered statistical information from more than 200 studies regarding the relationship between types of substance abuse and intimate partner violence. It will be the largest, most comprehensive and statistically sensitive meta-analysis on the topic. Cafferky will use the scholarship funds to purchase a computer to analyze the data, attend national and international conferences, and complete certifications. His adviser is Jared Anderson, associate professor of family studies and human services.
Holdsworth's dissertation is "KATP channel function in vascular and metabolic control during exercise: implications for cardiovascular disease." He is researching possible causes of an oxygen imbalance in individuals with chronic heart failure and diabetes, which leads to an intolerance to exercise. Holdsworth will use the funds for national conference travel and to present science career advocacy lectures to advanced placement high school students. His adviser is Timothy Musch, professor of anatomy and physiology.
The awards are made possible through a combination of donations from individual university distinguished professors and support from the university's vice president for research.