September 9, 2019

Spotlight on Emily Updegraff, PhD, TGS Chief of Staff

Emily Updegraff, PhD, joined The Graduate School (TGS) in September 2019 as the chief of staff. In this role, she is responsible for the school’s human resources administration, strategic communications, and daily operations. She facilitates communication within TGS and with other Northwestern schools and partners and serves as a strategic adviser to the dean and associate provost for graduate education. Prior to TGS, Emily spent nine years as the director of operations & outreach/assistant chair in Northwestern’s Department of Physics & Astronomy. She has also taught physiology and cell biology courses for the School for Professional Studies since 2011.

August 26, 2019

Spotlight on Vadim Shifrin, Esq., TGS Consulting Attorney

Vadim Shifrin, Esq. is the new consulting attorney for The Graduate School (TGS). He is the central point of contact for TGS students seeking legal consultation. In addition to serving TGS students, Vadim is the principal and founder of Shifrin Law Group, a Chicago-based law firm that specializes in a variety of practice areas. He is a respected and entrepreneurial attorney with a history of success representing clients in the personal injury, criminal law, real estate, media, and sports and entertainment fields.

July 29, 2019

Spotlight on Lucky Stiff: MFA Graduate in Directing

Lucky Stiff graduated in June 2019 from the School of Communication with a master of fine arts in directing. Their thesis, Becoming Lucky, explores the art of Drag through the intersections of nightclub culture, performance art, and theater. In addition to regular performances around Chicago, Lucky is cohost of The Tea, a weekly podcast cohosted by Chicago-based drag queen, T Rex.

July 15, 2019

Spotlight on Liliana M. Hernandez Gonzalez: PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering

Liliana M. Hernandez Gonzalez is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering. Her research focuses on determining the ecological resilience of urban green spaces in the Chicago metropolitan area and their benefits for storm water retention using a distributed high-frequency sensing network. Liliana is a former Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) participant and has been recognized as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, National GEM Consortium Associate Fellow, and Walter P. Murphy Fellow. In addition, Liliana was recently inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.

June 28, 2019

Spotlight on Everett Lasher, PhD: PhD Alum in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Everett Lasher received his PhD in earth and planetary sciences from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in June 2019. His research focuses on how the climate and environment along the west coast of Greenland have changed over the last 11,000 years. Everett’s work was recently featured on CNN, among various other news outlets.

June 10, 2019

Spotlight on Julian Kevon Glover: PhD Candidate in African American Studies

Julian Kevon Glover is a PhD candidate in the Department of African American Studies at the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. Their dissertation is a performance ethnography of the experiences of transgender women in the ballroom scene across Chicago, London, Paris, and Amsterdam. Glover is currently a Franke Fellow at the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and was recently inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Their work appears in various publications, including Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal, American Quarterly, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, and Text & Performance Quarterly.

May 20, 2019

Spotlight on Kaylin McMahon, PhD: Postdoctoral Trainee in Nanotechnology

Kaylin McMahon, PhD, is a postdoctoral trainee in nanotechnology at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research involves many disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and materials science, with a focus on designing and synthesizing materials for new diagnostic tests and therapeutics. Kaylin recently co-founded a start-up biotechnology company called Zylem Biosciences, Inc., which aims to perform the complementary work required to move invented therapies from the lab to the clinic.

April 29, 2019

Spotlight on Shuhan Fan and Luther Clement-Lam: MFA Graduates in Documentary Media

Shuhan Fan and Luther Clement-Lam are recent graduates from the School of Communication with masters of fine arts in documentary media. Their first documentary film made since graduating, Stay Close, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January and will be broadcast in the POV (Point of View) series on PBS in the Fall of 2019. Stay Close immerses animation and archival footage, chronicling the underdog story of a fencer from Brooklyn who overcomes a gauntlet of hardships on the road to the Olympics. The film was the recipient of the 2016 Tribeca Film Institute/ESPN Future Filmmaker Prize.

April 15, 2019

Spotlight on the Northwestern Prison Education Program

The Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP), led by Jennifer Lackey, PhD, Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Philosophy, is a partnership between Northwestern University and the Illinois Department of Corrections. NPEP aims to provide a high-quality liberal arts education to incarcerated students in the state of Illinois by offering credit-bearing courses through Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies. This program enhances Northwestern’s academic mission by fostering the development of a dynamic and diverse intellectual community.

April 8, 2019

Spotlight on Ana Maria Acosta, PhD: Director of Graduate Studies of the Physical Therapy Engineering Dual Degree Program

Ana Maria Acosta, PhD is the director of graduate studies (DGS) of the physical therapy and engineering (DPT/PhD) dual degree program, offered jointly by the Feinberg School of Medicine and the McCormick School of Engineering. Acosta is also the associate chair for post professional education and an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences. Her research primarily focuses on why individuals lose the ability to move their arms and hands freely following a brain lesion and how this loss impacts the musculoskeletal system.

March 25, 2019

Spotlight on Alec Biehl: PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Alec Biehl is an PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the McCormick School of Engineering. His research highlights, among other notions, the need to account for the influence of identity and norms on travel-related choices, especially when sustainability-oriented policy necessitates deviation from current habits. Alec currently serves on the executive boards of the Graduate Leadership & Advocacy Council (GLAC) and the McCormick Graduate Leadership Council (MGLC). He is the current communications coordinator for the Social and Economic Factors of Transportation committee within the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. His work was recently featured by the Association for Psychological Science and Smart Cities Dive, among various other outlets.

March 11, 2019

Spotlight on Dolores Díaz: MFA Candidate in Writing for the Screen and Stage

Dolores Díaz is an MFA candidate in the Writing for the Screen and Stage program at the School of Communication. She is a playwright and television writer. Dolores recently completed a television pilot, Border Grammar. In October 2018, Three Cat Productions (Chicago, IL) presented her full-length play, Man of the People. Also in October, MOJOAA Performing Arts (Raleigh, NC) and Nothing Without a Company (Chicago, IL) presented her short play, Appreciation Day. Dolores was a semi-finalist for the 2018/2019 Goodman Playwrights Unit.

February 25, 2019

Spotlight on James Hedrick: PhD Candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering

James Hedrick is a PhD candidate in the Chemical and Biological Engineering program at the McCormick School of Engineering. His work focuses on the advancement of 3D printing technologies. In addition, he is a co-founder and CEO of CDJ Technologies, a company that aims to revolutionize advanced manufacturing with high throughput 3D printing technologies that take ideas from prototyping to manufacturing in a streamlined, low cost solution. 

February 11, 2019

Spotlight on Harriette Kevill-Davies: PhD Candidate in Rhetoric and Public Culture

Harriette Kevill-Davis is a PhD candidate in the Rhetoric and Public Culture program at the School of Communication. Her primary interest is in artifacts created for and marketed to children, particularly boys, and the ways in which they bring children into political projects to mold them into a particular kind of citizen. Her work focuses on the United States during the Truman era of the Cold War. In addition, she is currently a graduate associate in the Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning.

January 28, 2019

Spotlight on Lauren-Ashley Buchanan, PhD, Associate Director of Student Life for The Graduate School

Associate Director of Student Life Lauren-Ashley Buchanan joined The Graduate School (TGS) at the start of the year. After receiving a bachelor of arts in psychology from Northwestern, Lauren completed her PhD in communication studies at the University of Iowa, where she most recently worked as a visiting assistant professor and research administrator. In her new role with TGS, Lauren serves as the primary liaison to our campus partners and graduate student organizations.

January 7, 2019

Spotlight on Nayna Agrawal: MFA Graduate in Writing for the Screen and Stage

Nayna Agrawal graduated in May 2015 from the School of Communication with a master of fine arts in writing for the screen and stage. Featured in Variety's "110 Students to Watch" (2015), she is a former analyst, policy writer, international aid director, and touring dancer. In January 2018, Nayna was selected for the Sesame Street Writers’ Room fellowship, an intensive eight-week program designed to highlight and grow underrepresented talent in children’s media. She was recently awarded a creative development deal by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit, educational arm of Sesame Street.