College names 2019 Outstanding Graduate Students

Eight graduate students were recognized for their outstanding achievement at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence on April 17. The college also honored undergraduate students and faculty members, Brenda Hall and Paul Rawson, at the event.

Portrait of Shokoofeh Ghasemi holding a tray for wood fibersShokoofeh Ghasemi, Fred Griffee Memorial Award
School of Forest Resources

Developed a new chemical-free method to create filaments for textiles and composites applications from wood products.

Her advisor is Mehdi Tajvidi, assistant professor of renewable nanomaterials in the School of Forest Resources.




Portrait of Nima AminiNima Amini,George F. Dow Graduate Scholarship
School of Forest Resources

Developed particleboard panels free of formaldehyde-based resins, eliminating carcinogenic properties and pollution from the production and recycling of wood composites.

His advisor is Mehdi Tajvidi, assistant professor of renewable nanomaterials in the School of Forest Resources.



Portrait of Dhriti Nayyar working with scallops in a laboratoryDhriti Nayyar, Norris Charles Clements Graduate Student Award
School of Food and Agriculture

Evaluates food preservation methods to extend the refrigerated shelf-life of scallops.

Her advisor is Denise Skonberg, associate professor of food science in the School of Food and Agriculture.




Portrait of Jeanne DuShaneJeanne DuShane, Graduate Research Excellence Award
Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences

Characterizes how viruses manipulate cellular communication mechanisms in order to cause human disease.

Her advisor is Melissa Maginnis, assistant professor of microbiology in the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences.




Portrait of Amalia Harrington working in a laboratory. Amalia Harrington, Outstanding Service Award
School of Marine Sciences

Assesses how adolescent lobsters respond to warmer, more acidic ocean conditions.

Her advisor is Heather Hamlin, associate professor of aquaculture in the School of Marine Sciences.




Portrait of Anna Buckhardt Thomas in the field with a bird. Anna Buckardt Thomas, Outstanding Master’s Degree Student Award
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Conservation Biology

Contributed to conservation of declining American woodcock and golden-winged warbler through monitoring bird response to habitat management and tracking migration.

Her advisor is Amber Roth, assistant professor of wildlife management in the School of Forest Resources and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology.


Portrait of John QuinnJohn Quinn, Jean A. & David A. Webb Professional Master’s Award
School of Social Work

Works with communities, builds coalitions and partnerships, and develops innovative programming to address the needs of Maine’s youth.

His advisor is Leah Maxwell, the master of social work distance coordinator for the School of Social work.



Elias Ayrey flying a small plane over MaineElias Ayrey, Edith M. Patch Outstanding Ph.D. Award
School of Forest Resources

Uses artificial intelligence to interpret airborne laser scans to make the most comprehensive map of New England’s forests to date.

His advisor is Daniel Hayes, Barbara Wheatland assistant professor of geospatial analysis and remote sensing in the School of Forest Resources.