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Student Spotlight: Patrick Harlin

When asked what is the favorite piece of music he’s written, he smiles and says, “Hopefully the one I compose next. You have a sense there’s more you can always do with a piece, and I take that energy and put it into the next one.”

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Patrick has always composed and played piano. “At my undergraduate institution, I had to be on board with a composition and performance major right away - or not. It stuck. I came to U-M because it has one of the best composition programs and composers to study with and I really connected to their music. They have a great reputation in the arts community. And I could see myself living in this town.”

Student Spotlight: Olga Shalev

Olga earned her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from the Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology. She served as a lieutenant in the Israeli navy and after graduation worked for seven years as the chief engineer at in research and development.

"I decided to earn the Ph.D. and wanted to expand my expertise with new research fields and really experience all of that by studying abroad, so my husband, two children and I made the bold decision of relocation to Ann Arbor. U-M is really attractive because it has such a strong engineering school and Ann Arbor is one of the best places to raise kids. Funding and housing played a big role in my final decision, as well."

Student Spotlight: Frank Kwarcinski

Frank’s research involves using small molecule compounds to answer essential questions about cell growth and proliferation. More specifically, he studies the development of kinase inhibitors as both a potential cancer therapeutic and a probe to better describe phospho-signaling pathways. The goal is to characterize the interactions small molecules make with their target – research that will help elucidate the relationship between kinase structure and function, while providing useful cellular knowledge. “I want to help find the root of the problem, get to the underlying issue,” he says.