NDSU psychology student receives Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

NDSU psychology student receives Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship


NDSU’s College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies has awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship to Anna Strahm for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Strahm is a psychology doctoral student who is advised by Clayton Hilmert, associate professor of psychology.

“The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is very competitive – programs may nominate only one student. This means that each applicant is one of the top doctoral students at NDSU,” said Brandy Randall, professor and associate dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. “Strahm was selected from this outstanding applicant pool by a Graduate Council faculty committee after a rigorous review process.”

Strahm’s research examines how women’s emotions and nutrition during pregnancy are associated with their blood sugar and overall pregnancy health. The results from the study have implications for identifying women at higher risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. More effective identification and earlier interventions will not only improve the health of women during pregnancy but also the health of their children later in life.

“Receiving this fellowship is a culmination of hard work and the support of many people,” Strahm said. “This award is a validation of our efforts and the value of the research itself. I am very grateful for the opportunity this fellowship provides to dedicate of my remaining efforts at NDSU to this project, as it lays the groundwork for the future research that I intend to build my career with.”

Strahm will receive a stipend plus additional funding for travel. The award is designed to increase the completion rate of doctoral students and to recognize excellence.

Support of $24,000 enables students to dedicate their time exclusively to dissertation research. In addition, $2,500 was awarded to support Strahm presenting the research at two international conferences.

The research, titled “The Impacts of Prenatal Nutrition Stress, and Reactivity of Blood Sugar and Perinatal Outcomes,” earlier received a Sanford Health – NDSU Research Seed Grant totaling more than $86,000. Strahm was listed as co-investigator for the grant, while Hilmert is the primary investigator.

Fellowship application evaluation criteria included a summary of the student’s research and credentials, a timeline for dissertation completion within 12 months and the quality of the adviser’s mentoring plan.

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