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College of Human Ecology

Jennifer Hanson receives $15,000 fellowship

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jennifer Hanson, human nutrition, is one of three doctoral candidates who have received $15,000 fellowships through the Kansas State University Research Foundation Doctoral Fellowship program.

Hanson is investigating omega-3 fatty acids and their relation to cognitive outcomes in soldiers deployed to combat areas.

The students were chosen because their research has national appeal and future intellectual property associated from it, said Marcia Molina, vice president of the Kansas State University Research Foundation. The other students are Rachel Manspeaker, doctoral candidate in mathematics, and Yi Zhang, doctoral candidate in chemical engineering.

"I'm looking at several hundred members of military at Fort Riley and Texas during pre-deployment and post-deployment to Iraq, and looking for neutral protective factors in their lifestyles -- particularly in their diet," Hanson said.

Her research could help determine whether diets high in omega-3 fats have the potential to protect the brain and psychological wellbeing of soldiers who experience brain injuries or other traumatic events in combat.

Manspeaker is using data mining software to gather information, compile data and identify patterns in clusters of students enrolled in introductory college algebra courses.

Zhang is exploring the synthesis of thin solid films of icosahedral boron arsenide and its characterization, which act as a semiconductor.

Since nominations are by a candidate's major professor, it also showcases a mentor's support of a student's research, said Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School.

Mark Haub is Hanson’s major professor.

"The purpose of the fellowship is to provide financial support to outstanding doctoral candidates by helping advance and promote their research and the completion of their doctoral programs," Shanklin said. "The students benefit because they can enhance their research projects; travel to national and international conferences to present their research; or travel to special laboratories to gain the expertise needed to conduct their research."

Prepared by K-State communications and marketing and Human Ecology communications

This article was posted on Saturday, October 16, 2010, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.