Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

Alyssa Ryan

Alyssa Ryan receives one-year grant to carry out research in Germany

Alyssa Ryan receives the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) One-Year Grant for Doctoral Candidates fellowship.

Here is Alyssa Ryan talking about this great opportunity

This award provides doctoral candidates and young academics and scientists with a fully-funded opportunity to carry out research and continue their education in Germany with an academic adviser. The project I will be undertaking in Germany through this fellowship focuses on the investigation of methods to achieve higher levels of motorway safety through the modeling of infrastructure, human behavior, and survey data of German motorways. I will be working with Dr. Constantinos Antoniou, Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich in Munich, Germany. My fellowship and funding runs from October 1st, 2020 through May 31st, 2021.

Why I Decided to Apply:

I originally considered applying for research funding in Germany in the fall of 2018. After reaching out to the Office of National Scholarship & Advisement (ONSA) at UMass and and discussing my options with the Director, Madalina Akli, I decided it was the path I wanted to take. I connected with Dr. Constantinos Antoniou for the first time in the spring of 2019 after much networking and searching for the appropriate adviser for the project. With the assistance of my adviser, Dr. Michael Knodler, faculty members within the Transportation Engineering program, Madalina, and the rest of ONSA, I applied for both the Fulbright Student Program and the DAAD One-Year Research Grant last fall to conduct research with Dr. Antoniou in Germany. I was glad to have received Alternate Status for the Fulbright Student Program through this process and was thrilled to accept the DAAD Fellowship that will allow me to complete this research work.

About Myself & My Research:

I am a second year Ph.D. student in the Transportation Engineering program within the Civil Engineering Department. I completed my B.S. in Civil Engineering in December 2017 and M.S. in Civil Engineering in May 2019, both from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I grew up in a rural area in upstate New York and understand the increased safety risks of non-urban areas that impact so many people, including myself, on a personal level. My research focus on traffic safety reflects this recognition. I conduct traffic safety research in the areas of human factors, surface transportation design, and equitable processes and design with an emphasis on rural areas.

Aurora Santiago-Ortiz

Aurora Santiago-Oritz named as one of 132 recipients of fellowship

Aurora Santiago-Ortiz awarded 2020 Ford Foundation Fellowship

Aurora Santiago-Ortiz is a PhD candidate in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her dissertation, titled Building Solidarity in Community-University Partnerships in Puerto Rico, ethnographically examines the collaborative relationship among students, community partners, and Santiago-Ortiz through the lens of participatory action research, a methodology grounded in social movements, anti-oppressive education, and critical pedagogy. The study looks at how participants collaborate across different raced, classed, and gendered identities in the context of a partnership that takes place in the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), a long-standing bastion of resistance to colonial governance, neoliberalism, and austerity measures that threaten its existence. Her study documents the development of solidarity as feminist, anticolonial praxis forged through collaboration, dialogue and reflection among those engaged in horizontal, community-based forms of research that seek social transformation.

Press Release from the Ford Foundation