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Meet Our Graduate Students

photo of BME graduate studen, Emelina Vienneau

Kaelyn Warne

Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Engineering

"I’m a Vanderbilt engineer because the collaborative culture and interdisciplinary mindset, combined with the rare access to state-of-the-art laboratory instrumentation, respected leaders in the field, and partnerships with influential organizations, enable me to tackle complex environmental concerns and discover creative solutions."

photo of BEAM lab

I received my B.S. in Chemistry at The College of William and Mary with minors in Theatre and Mathematics. In my time there, I conducted single-molecule spectroscopy laser research on the photodegradation of red dyes, which is applicable to historic painting restoration. I also completed an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, performed Chemistry Club magic shows, participated in science education outreach for local community middle schools and cap-stoned my senior year as Morticia in the musical production of The Addams Family!

I’m a PhD student in Environmental Engineering with a strong focus in applied analytical chemistry. I’m passionate about understanding how the environmental contamination of soils, sediments and solidified wastes can leach harmful chemicals into surrounding waterways, move into drinking water supplies and result in downstream effects on human health. I work with Professors David Kosson and Andrew Garrabrants (Civil and Environmental Engineering) in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the development of Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework methods for semi-volatile organic compounds, using a brand new gas chromatography mass spectrometer.   


Life at Vandy

I’ve come to find comfort in my corner of campus, bouncing around between the CEE laboratory and the chemistry and chemical engineering departments. I am currently a Teaching Affiliate at the Center for Teaching, and in that role I facilitated a 3-day, hybrid synchronous/asynchronous online section of Teaching Assistant Orientation 2020 for a cohort of graduate students in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering. In addition to the knowledge and friendships I gained through this program, I also developed a teaching philosophy statement, created a unit (re)design in Environmental Chemistry, prepared a microteaching demonstration and taught a lesson on open channel flow for an undergraduate course on water resources engineering. I am now eligible to take and complete specializations in Online Teaching and STEM Teaching with the hope of one day applying these skills as a professor.

Roza BayrakFor fun

I’m an artsy scientist! I combine my passions for theater, music, voice acting, science education and social activism in the form of a podcast: Seasoned & STEAMed. The podcast uncovers the science of everyday life and explores the contributions of female and minority scientists by interviewing real people to discover how they embody Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Education (STEAMed) in their own unique seasoning blend. When I’m not in the lab or podcasting, I am running or hiking with Ruby, my copper-colored, rescue, pocket-Pitbull! 

Selected Publications 

Research and publishing considerations are different while working with a government body. At the completion of my ongoing experiments, I will produce a handful of publications in a relatively short time frame. Additionally, my project will conclude with publication through the EPA of interlaboratory-validated LEAF methods for semi-volatile organic compounds. It’s important to remember that not all research timelines and resulting publications look the same!

Learn more about our Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. programs.