Argyro Katsika (Linguistics) was honored with one of two Best Student Paper Awards in Speech Communication at the 161st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Her essay, “Boundary Tones as Gestures: Coordination Relations at Boundaries,” deals with the timing of tonal events (rising and falling pitch movements) that occur at prosodic boundaries (the ends of spoken phrases). Using a magnetometer to study participants speaking Greek, she found that at the end of phrases speakers employ consistent timing patterns between stress, pitch, and vocal tract movements. Such results offer a window into how high-level cognitive linguistic structure shapes the physical properties of speech in real time. Argyro’s dissertation, advised by Jelena Krivokapić, investigates how both temporal and tonal events are coordinated to oral gestures at the end of phrases. She is scheduled to speak about her research at the annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in Portland, Oregon, in January. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Athens, Greece, and her M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, U. K.
Laura Allen (Chemistry) was awarded an NSF Scholar travel award to attend and present her research at the Green Chemistry conference in Washington, D.C., in June of 2011. An aspect of the Yale Green Energy Consortium collaboration, her work focuses on the synthesis of light-absorbing molecules for use in solar energy applications. Robert H. Crabtree is her adviser.
As part of the conference, Laura was chosen to be one of five American students to attend a dinner at the Japanese embassy with five Japanese students, where she participated in a roundtable discussion of governments’ role in science and different approaches to public awareness in science. After her graduation in May 2012, she will pursue postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan with Associate Professor Melanie Sanford (BS and MS 1996, Chemistry), who recently won a MacArthur “genius” grant. Laura earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio Northern University in 2007.
Christopher Brody (Music) has won the Arthur J. Komar Award for Outstanding Student Paper, which was pressented at the Music Theory Midwest Chapter meeting this past May. Titled “The V–I Paradigm in Bach's Binary Dances and a New Subject Category for Fugal Gigues,” this paper identifies a “previously unnoticed harmonic pattern (or 'schema') that appears in nearly all of Bach's dances for solo keyboard,” which, Chris argues, “is an integral part of how tonal structure was conceived in those types of pieces by Bach and his contemporaries.” The remainder of his dissertation, advised by Daniel Harrison, studies these pieces as well as selected arias from Bach’s church cantatas and passions, looking for other such schemas and analyzing their roles in musical structure. Chris earned his undergraduate degree in piano performance at Northwestern University, and then completed both an MA in music theory and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at the University of Minnesota.