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Rackham Graduate School will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday from 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 25 to 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 29.

Student Spotlight: Theresa Ong

Theresa’s research combines agro ecology and theoretical ecology in urban agriculture. Her dissertation focuses on the migration and dispersal of pests in an agro ecosystem and how the urban landscape affects the dispersal of pests through the environment.

Her fieldwork is in Ann Arbor at Project Grow community garden sites, as the dispersed garden plots provide a great space for urban agriculture. She places pots at garden sites and studies aphid distribution from them, using satellite imagery to test green space and the migration patterns based on genetic composition of the aphid populations found at specific sites.

Student Spotlight: Katy Peplin

It’s exciting to explore uncharted territory. That’s what Katy – and her department – are doing with the young Ph.D. program in Screen Arts and Cultures. “I think we’ve had three Ph.D. candidates graduate so far.”

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Screen Arts and Cultures here at U-M, Katy made the big move to LA for a Master’s in film at UCLA. The strong faculty at Michigan drew her back to U-M to pursue her doctorate in the program they had recently begun.

Student Spotlight: Steve Allen

In his Ph.D. research, Steve is studying inflammatory breast cancer, specifically the microenvironment of normal tissue and immune responses to determine how non-cancerous cells may make this form of cancer more aggressive. A fundamental characteristic of inflammatory breast cancer is not necessarily that it grows and divides more rapidly than non-inflammatory breast cancer, but that inflammatory breast cancer cells are much more migratory and invasive. “This is considered the most lethal form of breast cancer; it comes on quickly, is quick forming and can metastasize within weeks and months instead of years.” he says.