UCI News

Four graduate students are 2021-2022 Public Impact Distinguished Fellows

December 10, 2021
Four graduate students are 2021-2022 Public Impact Distinguished Fellows
2021-2022 Distinguished Public Impact Fellows: Dandan Yang, Emory Edwards, David Au and Desiree Macchia

Out of 51 total applications from graduate students, 14 finalists were selected to compete for the four 2021-2022 Public Impact Distinguished Fellowships, each with a $12,000 award. The remaining 10 finalists are Public Impact Fellows and receive $1,000 in fellowship funding. Public Impact Fellowships highlight and support Ph.D. or MFA students whose current research has the potential for substantial impact in the public sphere. Ideal candidates are involved in research designed to significantly improve or enrich the lives of Californians and/or national and global communities.  The Public Impact Distinguished Fellows have the opportunity to participate in Grad Advocacy Day in Sacramento to represent UCI and interact with legislators.

Meet the 2021-2022 Public Impact Distinguished Fellows:

Dandan Yang, education, researches technology-supported language learning for children from linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

Emory Edwards, informatics, investigates ways that people with disabilities can be represented fairly and be socially and organizationally integrated into technology design

David Au, physiology and biophysics, researches how insects like flies and mosquitos receive photic inputs to drive specific behaviors, like attraction or avoidance to light.

Desiree Macchia, physiology and biophysics, studies how the connectivity between brain cells changes throughout Alzheimer’s disease progression.    

Ten Public Impact Fellows – each received $1,000

·         Monica De Roche, political science

·         Pegah Mottaghizadeh, mechanical & aerospace engineering

·         May Hui, physiology and biophysics

·         Alexandria Jones-Patten, nursing

·         Timothy Hartshorn, anthropology

·         Nicholas Drago, chemistry

·         Hye Rin Lee, education

·         Victoria Rodriguez, public health

·         Emanuel Preciado, urban and environmental planning and policy

·         Renzhe Yu, education