Dave Costello

Chelsea Smith (left) and Jordyn Stoll (right) were selected for a Department of Energy Graduate Student Research Program

Two Kent State University students, in the College of Arts and Sciences, were among 62 students from 50 different U.S. universities recently selected for funding by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.

Raissa Mendonca gets a sample of the water at West Branch State Park as part of a biogeochemistry project at Kent State University. (Photo taken by Jim Maxwell)

Though she had an interest in science at an early age, Raissa Mendonca had no idea she would end up over 4,000 miles away from her hometown of Recife, Brazil studying and doing award-winning ecological research in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She probably did not expect to be wearing a bug net over her head in Manitoba either.  Now, while pursuing her Ph.D. at Kent State, Mendonca conducts research in Costello’s lab that focuses on ecotoxicology and biogeochemistry and how environmental disturbances affect aquatic communities and ecological processes. One of her recent projects resulted in her being first author on a peer-reviewed journal article and earned her a $5,000 award to continue pursuing her research.