College of Sciences Celebrates Six New Haley Fellows

Graduate students from each of the six College of Sciences schools have received 2022-2023 Herbert P. Haley Fellowships to expand their research — and connect with fellow scientists and mathematicians at conferences and events.

September 13, 2022

Six graduate students, one from each school in the College of Sciences, are among the latest recipients of the Herbert P. Haley Fellowship at Georgia Tech. The initiative recognizes significant accomplishments and outstanding academic achievements for graduate students at Georgia Tech.

College of Sciences’ 2022-2023 Haley Fellows are Karim Lakhani, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Cody Mashburn, School of Psychology; Andrew McAvoy, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Joshua Pughe-Sanford, School of Physics; Roberta Shapiro, School of Mathematics, and Cassandra Shriver, School of Biological Sciences.

Haley scholars receive a one-time merit award of up to $4,000 thanks to the generosity of the late Marion Peacock Haley. Haley’s estate established the creation of merit-based graduate fellowships at Georgia Tech in honor of her late husband, Herbert P. Haley, ME 1933. It is an award which may be held in conjunction with other funding, assistantships, or fellowships, if applicable. 

Meet the scholars

Karim Lakhani is a 5th-year Ph.D. student who is studying paleoceanography in ADVANCE Professor Jean Lynch-Stieglitz’s lab. The fellowship will allow Lakhani to spend more time on research, where he is currently “looking at the transition between the surface ocean and the deep ocean and how that was different, so the shells I look at are from organisms that floated at specific depths in the ocean in the past.”

Cody Mashburn’s research interest is the cognitive basis of individual differences in intelligence and reasoning. “Basically, why do we see variability in how well people are able to perform on intelligence tests, and how well they are able to problem solve,” he said. Mashburn will use the funds to add “more tools to my research arsenal” and to attend relevant workshops. 

Andrew McAvoy is a fifth-year Ph.D. student who plans to use the Haley funds for registration and travel-related expenses so he can present his research at scientific conferences.

“My graduate research involves studying small molecule production in Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria, one of the most feared pathogens infecting cystic fibrosis patients,” McAvoy said.

Joshua Pughe-Sanford’s fascination with dynamics — how things move, breaking down complex behavior into simpler parts — drives his physics research. “Dynamics can describe how elementary particles collide, how neurons fire in our brain, how traffic accrues, how galaxies collide,” he said. “The list goes on and on and, in essence, the work I do can be applied to all these different fields.” 

Roberta Shapiro’s research centers on using topology — the study of geometric properties that stay the same, even when they are distorted — to answer questions in complex dynamics. Saying that “mathematics is all about collaboration,” the fourth-year graduate student plans on using the funds to attend conferences “and make connections with future collaborators. That means there's more math coming soon!”

Cassandra Shriver, who is starting her second year in the Quantitative Biosciences graduate program, studies comparative biomechanics and conservation science. “Specifically, I'm curious how various morphological differences and scaling constraints affect climbing kinematics, and how these strategies might change as you increase in size from something as small as a squirrel to as large as a bear.”

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Writer: Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer II/Science Writer
College of Sciences