Graduate Peer Mentor Awards 2016
The annual Peer Mentor Award is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding, and the Office of Professional Development and Communications in the Graduate School. This award recognizes graduate students who have made positive impacts on their research-mates, advisors, program staff, undergraduates, and many others with whom they interact.
Meet the 2016 Awardees –
Masters candidate, Environment and Resources
Dantrell Cotton is a Southside Chicago native and second-year Environment and Resources Masters candidate in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He also completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, double-majoring in Community and Environmental Sociology, and Environmental Studies. Under the mentorship and leadership of his advisor, Dr. Monica White, Dantrell’s research interests include food justice, urban ethnography, and methodological approaches to addressing food access issues. Currently, Dantrell serves as the Health Equity Project Intern on a Ford Sustainability grant, in collaboration with University Health Services (UHS), Slow Food UW South Madison, Growing Power and community partners, to research and increase food access in South Madison. He is also the New York 5 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Mentor with the Posse Program, located in the Red Gym. Dantrell also serves as the empowerment coach and director of the Madison Inspiration Community Choir through the Nehemiah Foundation, working with youth throughout the city to spread the message of hope, strength and the power to overcome.
Ph.D. candidate, Computer Sciences
Fatemah Panahi is a Ph.D. candidate in the computer sciences department focusing on databases. Fatemah’s research goal is to make it easier for users, both those without much technical knowledge and analysts, to work with data. She also holds a Master of Science from both computer sciences and industrial engineering departments and completed her bachelor’s degree in computer sciences at UW-Madison as well.
Fatemah is an active member of the UW-Madison’s chapter of ACM’s Women in Computing (WACM). The group is dedicated to fostering an environment in the computer sciences department where women can thrive. Chapter members encourage and mentor undergraduate female students to give them the confidence they need to excel in computer sciences.