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West Virginia State Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellows

Class 2: 2023

Barrett-Anne Briggs Barrett-Anne Briggs is a PhD student in Biology at West Virginia University. Her doctoral research focuses on Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiological agent of Lyme disease, regarding transcriptomic profiling through its primary tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. She collaborates with the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology at WVU in order to pick potential peptide-based targets for a potential Lyme vaccine. She has a BS in Biology from Wingate University with an emphasis in chemistry and political science. Barrett also has experience working at the intersection of science and policy working for the North Carolina Department of Administration through The State of NC Internship Program for the NC Museum of Natural sciences in the Genomics and Microbiology lab. Barrett is interested in exploring a career in science policy; she is especially drawn to federal policy. Barrett is from Vass, North Carolina and currently resides in Morgantown, WV. Barrett’s fellowship is with the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative and WV Ascend, working with Danny Twilley, PhD and Elizabeth Vitullo, PhD.

Stacia Harper Stacia Harper is a PhD student at West Virginia University in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Natural Resource Management at West Virginia University. Her dissertation research focuses on the spatial distribution of climate stress to urban populations and the linkages between environment, health and demographics. She is currently working with NASA’s Climate Change Research Initiative to further develop her research interests between climate, population, and environment. Stacia received her B.A. from West Virginia University in Political Science and Economics and received her M.S. in Resource and Applied Economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her professional background has focused on the regulation of electric and natural gas utilities and the development of markets to incorporate renewable power, energy efficiency and demand response for electric and natural gas utilities. Following completion of her PhD, Stacia hopes to contribute to climate resilient policy design and implementation within state and national policy forums.

Kenzie Kohrs Kenzie Kohrs is a master’s student in Energy Environments at West Virginia University. She is also pursuing graduate certificates in GIS and Spatial Analysis and University Teaching. In her graduate studies, she researches mine land reclamation through the use of spatial software and analysis.. She received her undergraduate degree in Energy Land Management from West Virginia University, where she was an undergraduate research assistant working on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program mapping conservation easements across the country. Kenzie is interested in learning and perfecting her skills in mapping and GIS software. Kenzie is located in Morgantown, WV. She is conducting her fellowship in the office of Student and Faculty Innovation, working with Erienne Olesh, PhD, MBA.

Andrea Milstred Andrea Milstred (she/her) is a PhD student in Behavioral Neuroscience at West Virginia University. Her research focuses on investigating the abuse liability of nicotine products and tobacco use behaviors among different populations. She has an interest in tobacco policy and in researching the effects of tobacco regulations on disadvantaged groups. She hopes to have a career in a policy related field after graduation. She has a BA and MS from Shippensburg University, where she majored in Experimental Psychology. Andrea is from Baltimore, MD and currently resides in Morgantown, WV. Science & Technology Note

Sage Muttel Sage Muttel (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Geology Department at West Virginia University. Her research focuses on the relationship between organic-rich mudrock deposition, bottom-water anoxia, glacial/interglacial settings, and the role of paleo-wildfires in the Devonian using high detail geochronology, geochemical analysis, and field work. Sage received her M.S. in Geology at Missouri State University (working under Dr. Matthew McKay - a WVU alum) in 2020 and her B.S in Geology at University of Houston - Downtown in 2017. Sage is originally from Houston, TX and her goal beyond graduation is to join the energy industry using her skills in reservoir analysis. Sage's fellowship is with the WVU Energy Institute working with Sam Taylor, Assistant Director for Strategic Partnerships and Technology.

Robin Oliverio Robin Oliverio (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Neuroscience at West Virginia University. Her research focuses on the relationship between traumatic brain injuries and alcohol misuse. Additionally, she studies the neuroscience that could underlie rehabilitative measures following a traumatic brain injury. Robin is the current president of West Virginia University's Science Policy Organization and has organized several events through this organization wherein students learn about science communication, research ethics, and advocacy. She hopes to continue her career with a focus on science policy, particularly as it relates to public health concerns.

Taylor Stump Taylor Stump (he/him) is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering in the Statler College of Engineering at West Virginia University. His doctoral research focuses on Neural Engineering and involves the design, fabrication, and testing novel neural electrodes. This work involves collaborations with University of Utah, University of Minnesota, University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland), and the Hannover Medical School (Hannover, Germany). Being a West Virginia native, he has been involved in community science outreach and has interest in broader public policy influencing West Virginian’s health, high technology employment, and energy needs. He has a pending patent and experience with intellectual property policy. He hopes to find work as a technical advisor for advanced concepts in translational neural interfaces and contributing to ethical and policy frameworks for these technologies. Taylor resides in Morgantown, WV.

Mohammed Tamim Zaki Mohammed Tamim Zaki (he/him) is a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University (WVU). During his graduate studies at WVU, he co-developed an open-source data-driven carbon accounting model, which aids policymakers as a decision-making tool for the restoration of coastal wetlands in northeast United States. Currently, his research is focused on up-scaling technologies that can convert organic waste, such as food waste, animal manure into valuable resources (energy, nutrients, and carbon) in rural communities of WV through data science. He is interested in local and state-level policy and capacity building to establish WV as a national leader for rural decarbonization. Outside research, Tamim is a mentor for Latin American undergraduate students under the Clean Water Science Network mentorship program. Tamim's fellowship is with the WVU Agricultural Extension Service working with Dave McGill, Professor/Extension Specialist for Forest Resources Management. He will be working with Dave as a part of the MASBio project exploring the value (e.g., bioenergy, biochar) of urban wood waste in West Virginia that is otherwise discarded in landfills.