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Graduate Student Laura Waldman was Awarded a University Research Postdoctoral Fellowship

March 16, 2022

Laura Waldman, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was one of four individuals awarded a University Research Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

Waldman develops and characterizes composite materials with applications in multifunctional and self-healing materials, experimental solid mechanics, and mechanobiology. Her mentors are Martha Grady and John Balk.

Since 1990, the University of Kentucky Office of the Vice President for Research has supported this fellowship program with the primary goal of diversifying the pipeline of candidates qualified to become academic leaders in their fields. The program supports a stipend, plus benefits, along with funds for their research career development.

“We are pleased to announce our new cohort of fellows, and we are excited to partner with them and their mentors to help shape their research careers,” said Lisa Cassis, UK vice president for research. 

“Fellows pursue an individualized research program under the mentorship of UK faculty and actively participate in a series of research career development activities designed to enhance their competitiveness for a future faculty position," said Nancy Schoenberg, associate vice president for research in research professional development and postdoctoral fellowship program director. "This program is designed to set them up for success.”

In addition to working closely with their mentors, the OVPR postdoctoral fellowship program involves the Inclusive Postdoctoral Enhancement Program, which includes individual navigation by UK faculty members, individualized sessions with the Proposal Development Office, and group and personalized enrichment programming. Schoenberg said, “One especially exciting component of the program is an in-depth conversation with Dr. Katrice Albert, the newly appointed vice president for institutional diversity.”

“Kentucky has ambitious and audacious diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Fostering diversity in meaningful ways, like these postdoctoral fellowships, will enhance UK’s culture of belonging and the impact we can have on the diverse communities we serve," said Albert. "I look forward to sharing my career journey with these fellows.”

Danelle Stevens-Watkins, associate vice president for research in diversity and inclusion and director of the UNited In True racial Equity (UNITE) Research Priority Area, said, “UNITE is excited to support Amy Jones Haug’s work in diversity policies through this fellowship. Continued investment in diverse research postdoctoral fellows will create the faculty leaders we need as we move toward equitable solutions.” 

Learn more about the other awardees here.