Graduate School; University News

Grad students from each college compete for cash prizes in research event


Fourteen finalists drawn from all seven academic colleges will compete for a $1,000 top prize on the final day of the Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS) on Friday, April 16, starting at 9 a.m. on Twitch at

GRADS is an annual research competition organized by Clemson’s Graduate Student Government (GSG) with support from the Graduate School and the academic colleges. GRADS showcases the innovative research being done by graduate students across all seven colleges at Clemson University and gives graduates students the opportunity to present their research via poster symposium and oral presentations.

In the preliminary stage earlier this month, students submitted their posters and brief introductory videos. Fourteen finalists have been selected and will present a short talk based on their poster at the finals on April 16.

Second and third place winners will also receive cash prizes, as will a “People’s Choice” winner chosen by viewers live during the event.

Clemson students, faculty and staff are encouraged to tune in on Friday to cheer on their college’s finalists or just learn more about the outstanding research Clemson graduate students are doing every day. Viewers can watch via browser or download the app for phone, desktop, gaming system or another streaming device here; the GSG channel is Clemsongsg.

Finalists are listed below, along with the session in which their talk will appear. Session 1 is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.; session 2 begins at approximately 10:10, and session 3 begins at 11:15. Winners will be announced at 12:30.

College of Agricultural, Forestry and Life Sciences

  • Bridget Blood, Forestry and Environmental Conservation (session 3)
  • Pawanjit Kaur Sandhu, Plant and Environmental Sciences (session 1)

College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

  • Michelle Eichinger, Planning, Design and the Built Environment (session 3)
  • Tanin Haidary, Construction Science Mgmt/Planning, Design and the Built Environment (session 2)

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

  • Bob Wen, Economics (session 2)
  • Sara Krivacek, Management (session 1)

College of Science

  • Tristan Schramer, Biological Sciences (session 1)
  • Lauren O’Connell, Biological Sciences (session 2)

College of Education

  • Qianyi Gao, Teaching and Learning (session 3)

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

  • Pinar Ozmizrak, Healthcare Genetics (session 2)

College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

  • Roshan Venkatakrishnan, Human Centered Computing (session 3)
  •  Paritra Mandal, School of Computing (session 1)
  •  Stephen Vicchio, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (session 3)
  •  Madeline McCarthy, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (session 2)

One of the most important functions of events like GRADS and 3-Minute Thesis is leading students to focus on learning how to communicate their research. Namrata Sengupta, program manager of scientific public engagement at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Clemson Ph.D. alumna, says, “Knowing your subject matter isn’t enough; researchers have to be able to communicate their work to all kinds of audiences – from the campus community and state officials to funding agencies and the general public. I am thrilled to see Clemson continuing to support these initiatives and creating avenues for students to participate and practice these skills.”