Alumni Success Stories
Graduate Alumna Wins Selective Fellowship
August 24, 2020
Katherine Skocelas came to the School of Computing and Information Systems in the Summer of 2017 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Public Relations from GVSU. Originally considering her foray into Computer Science to enable a career change, she realized her degree could also allow her to create the research advancements she had been passionate about communicating with her Advertising & Public Relations degree.
Always an exceptional student, Katherine worked with faculty in the School of Computing and Information Systems on the crossover of biological and computing research in an effort to better understand and control disease. She leveraged these ideas in an application for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sponsored Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) graduate fellowship, which led to a summer of research on Improved Robotic Software in Unexpected Environmental Scenarios Using AI, leading to a poster presentation at the MSGC Fall Conference in 2019 and a related publication in the IEEE International Conference on Electro Information Technology entitled Test Data Generation for Recurrent Neural Network Implementations.
As though this was not enough, Katherine graduated at the end of the Summer 2019 semester and started a dual-PhD in Computer Science and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior at Michigan State University in Charles Ofria’s Digital Evolution Laboratory after a competitive application process.
Now in her second year as a PhD student at Michigan State University, Katherine was awarded the three-year National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Awarded to only a select group of the most outstanding PhD students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Katherine is one of only a handful of Michigan State University students who have won the award in the last 10 years. Katherine plans to continue her research into the cross-section of Biology and Computer Science to create and study biologically-inspired artificial immune system algorithms for distributed networks.