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Michelle Ntampaka, a laboratory technician and lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, will return full-time to her Ph.D. program in August 2012. From 2005-2010, Michelle worked full-time while completing her Master’s Degree in Physics. With the Blewett Fellowship, Michelle will be able to fully devote herself to completing the research needed to earn her Ph.D.
Her research will explore ways in which halos might be populated, creating a bridge between simulated models and the multi-wavelength galaxy cluster observations currently taking place at the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
Michelle is also dedicated to educating teachers in Rwanda and is planning a teacher training session for summer 2013 to guide elementary educators to develop lesson plans that engage their students in astronomy and astrophysics, while making use of the limited resources available.
Sujatha Sampath will study the hierarchical structure of spider silks at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a postdoctoral research associate. It is envisioned that her work will help unravel details on the correlation between structure and observed physical properties, which can in turn be translated to biomimetic applications.
Sujatha began her research career in the United States in 2001 as a joint-postdoctoral research scientist
between the Neutron Science division at the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Wyoming. She suffered a career setback, however, when she left this position to join her husband in Milwaukee.
The Blewett Fellowship will enable Sujatha to return to her research field and broaden her research scope. She plans to pursue a tenure-track faculty position following her tenure as a Blewett Fellow.