Clare Boothe Luce Graduate Fellowship Winner Profiles


Sadie Allen

School of Study: College of Engineering

Program of Study: PhD in Computer Engineering Engineering

Sadie participated in the Dual Degree Program at BU and graduated in May of 2021 with a BS in Computer Engineering and a BA in Mathematics. She engaged in machine learning research and a cappella during undergrad, and now hopes to combine her passions for music and engineering during her graduate studies. She is honored to have received the Claire Boothe Luce Fellowship and cannot wait to continue her studies in the fall!

Gabrielle Grifno

School of Study: College of Engineering

Program of Study: PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Gabrielle Grifno graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins in 2020. During her undergraduate studies, she generated 3D chip models of the human blood-brain barrier using induced pluripotent stem cells, for understanding brain vascular function in health and in neurodegenerative disease. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering under Professor Hadi Nia, and her current research focuses on lung mechanobiology, and functions of the lung vasculature and lymphatic network within a mouse model under static and dynamic conditions, and in disease conditions such as metastatic cancer. With the support of the Clare Boothe Luce fellowship, Gabrielle aims to investigate cell-scale phenomena within the lung in dynamic conditions in order to characterize how lung mechanics, gas exchange function, and behavior of resident immune cells are disrupted during cancer.


Alanna Haslam

School of Study: Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Program of Study: PhD Program in Mathematics

Alanna Haslam graduated from Bowdoin College (’20) with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. Since high school, Alanna has been fascinated by the ways that mathematics can aid in solving problems in various other fields of science and beyond. Both her interest in the application of mathematics and the joy she finds in pure mathematics has led her to the field of applied dynamical systems. As her senior undergraduate thesis, Alanna worked with flow-kick dynamical systems which model periodically managed ecosystems. In particular, she aimed to develop analytic techniques for classifying the stability of the flow-kick equilibrium which would allow for a greater ability to quantify the resilience of important ecosystems to environmental disturbances. During the summer of 2020, Alanna participated in a national summer school sponsored by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) and organized by the Mathematics and Climate Research Network (MCRN) on dynamics and data in the COVID-19 pandemic. During her time at BU, with the support of the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship, Alanna will continue to study dynamical systems and pursue research with applications to disease and climate.

Jillian Rix

School of Study: College of Engineering

Program of Study: PhD Program in Materials Science and Engineering

Jillian Rix graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Physics. Growing up in Oregon, she was inspired to pursue a career in energy science to contribute to environmental efforts to mitigate climate change, and joined the BU Division of Materials Science and Engineering in 2019 as a Ph.D. student. She is currently a student of Professor Soumendra Basu, and studies the microstructure and electrochemical performance of solid oxide fuel cells, which produce electricity from hydrogen and air without harmful byproducts. Jillian is also an Advocacy and Outreach Co-chair for the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) student organization, and is involved in the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Student Association (MSE GSA). She is very honored to study under the Clare Boothe Luce fellowship, which has allowed her to broaden the scope and impact of her graduate research.