Research Communications

Graduate College announces 2014-15 Named Fellows 

Aug. 6, 2014

Five Ohio University graduate students have received Named Fellowships for the 2014-15 school year to pursue research and creative projects on the topics of rape culture, plant genetics, mental health in young adults, international agricultural innovation and Wikipedia as a teaching tool.

The recipients are Neal Adelman, School of Theater; Debarati Basu, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology; Stephen Marshall, Department of Psychology; Juneann Garnett, Latin American Studies Program; and Matthew Vetter, Department of English.

Each student was awarded a fellowship of $15,000, plus a full tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters.

Schools and departments may nominate one graduate student for the competitive program, which is managed by the Ohio University Graduate College. The program features The John Cady Fellowship, The Donald Clippinger Graduate Fellowship, The Claude Kantner Graduate Fellowship, The Anthony Trisolini Graduate Fellowship and the Graduate College Fellowship.

Nominations for the 2015-16 cycle will be due on Feb. 6, 2015. Full guidelines and forms are available online at

To learn more about the 2014-15 Named Fellows, read their statements about their research, scholarship and creative work:

Student: Neal Adelman

Fellowship: Anthony Trisolini Graduate Fellow
Degree program: Third-year student pursuing MFA in playwriting
Hometown: Forth Worth, Texas

Project Title: On the nature of rape culture

Statement: In my thesis play, the intent is to explore masculine social and political mechanisms, and to investigate the ways in which the continued inheritance of masculinity fosters a culture in which rape is not taken seriously, or worse, condoned.   
By dramatizing a specific moment of this inheritance I intend to unpack the term "rape culture," not just for those with higher educations, but for our culture at large.

As a Named Fellow, I will have greater freedom to research and write. I will have more time to interview law enforcement personnel, explore local case history and further my interactions with the Ohio University Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

Student: Debarati Basu

Fellowship: Donald Clippinger Graduate Fellow
Degree program: Fifth-year student pursuing PhD in environmental and plant biology
Hometown: Kolkata, India

Project Title: Identification and characterization of genes involved in the biosynthesis of arabinogalactan protein in Arabidopsis

Statement: I am working with plant-specific proteins, arabinogalactan (AGP), in the model plant Arabidopsis. These sugar-coated macromolecules are used in cosmetics and as low-calorie sweetening agents.

I am characterizing the role of enzymes in the synthesis of AGPs. Using double mutants of the enzyme galactosyltransferase (galt2galt5), we are seeking to understand which AGPs are affected by the absence of these enzymes and how this affects the physiology of the plant.  Our research involves large-scale isolation of AGPs from wild-type plants and mutants, purification and detailed analysis using proteomics.

I am grateful to receive this award, as it will allow me to concentrate on my research.

Student: Stephen Marshall

Fellowship: Graduate College Fellow
Degree program: Fourth-year student pursuing PhD in clinical psychology
Hometown: Athens, Ohio
Project Title: At-risk high schoolers transitioning to adulthood: mental health and mediating factors that impact early outcomes
Statement: I have been interested in helping individuals make the transition to adulthood ever since my first job as a counselor for college students. In the past decade, the field of psychology has recognized the late teens to late 20s as an important, dynamic stage of development termed "emerging adulthood."

The Center for Intervention Research in Schools at Ohio University recently completed a study that tracked a local cohort of high school students who were at-risk because of emotional or behavioral problems. The Named Fellowship will enable me to reconnect with these students to assess factors that predict transitional outcomes in their first year after leaving high school. As little research has been conducted on young adult outcomes of at-risk high school students, this project will expand understanding of emerging adulthood and perhaps inform developmentally sensitive intervention efforts for mental health problems.

Student: Juneann Garnett

Fellowship: John Cady Graduate Fellow
Degree program: Second-year student pursuing MA in Latin American Studies with a certificate in development practice
Hometown: Georgetown, Guyana

Project Title: Bridging the gap between agricultural innovation and implementation: the way forward for Guyana

Statement: My goal is to propose ways to promote faster and more efficient transfer of knowledge for innovation from source to practice, taking into consideration farmers' needs and perception. Using insights regarding best practices collected by the Inter-American Institute for the Cooperation in Agriculture in Costa Rica and assessments I made of farmers surveyed in Guyana, I plan to create a model for transferring agricultural information to farmers in Guyana. I hope this model can be used by regional organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to form the baseline from which country-specific information and communication technologies can be built to promote change.

This research will build on my expertise in agriculture, development studies and information science to perpetuate national, regional and global solutions to human development and improved livelihoods.

Student: Matthew Vetter

Fellowship: Claude Kantner Graduate Fellow
Degree program: Fifth-year student pursuing PhD in English
Hometown: Maysville, Kentucky

Project Title: Teaching Wikipedia: The pedagogy and politics of an open-access writing community
Statement: The fact that it is frequently banned in the classroom reveals what many academics believe: Wikipedia has no place in higher learning.

My research challenges this belief by asserting the many opportunities the encyclopedia provides for teaching writing, rhetoric and research. By asking students to observe and write in Wikipedia, instructors can engage them in the textual practices of a productive, collaborative community of writers. As a teaching associate at Ohio University, I'm designing courses to help students explore these opportunities. In addition to maximizing learning outcomes, we're discovering that we can also improve the encyclopedia's coverage of local, under-represented topics and diversify its editor base. Together, we're changing higher education by opening up the classroom to public intellectual work, while thinking critically about how our contributions can support Wikipedia's agenda to remain the "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit."