Holtz Center provides support to 13 additional graduate students engaged in STS

Each spring, the Holtz Center offers a variety of funding opportunities for its membership, members of the campus STS community and graduate students engaged in the field of science and technology studies. The 2020-21 award process was updated, due to limited travel opportunities and disruptions to student research and teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirteen UW-Madison graduate students were awarded a variety of funding opportunities from the Holtz Center during the spring award cycle. The center awarded seven STS Mini Fellowships in the spring, after awarding sixteen during the fall award cycle. The summer scholars program was again offered this spring to two STS PhD minor students and several top-up fellowships were granted to four continuing STS graduate students. Top-up fellowships were also offered to UW-Madison departments across campus, to help recruit new graduate students in the field. During this time of virtual programming and continuing education, the center also offered reimbursement grants for registration fees to attend a variety of virtual conferences.

2021 STS Mini Fellowship Winners


Ayodeji Adegbite (Medical History and Bioethics)

Ayodeji is a PhD student in History of Science, Medicine and Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses generally on the history of health, infectious diseases, and environmental and social change in Africa. Ayodeji has researched on the history of yellow fever and Ebola in Africa. He received his BA in history from University of Ilorin, Nigeria, where he also acquired a degree in Peace and Development Studies at the university’s Center for Peace and Strategic Studies. He teaches Global Environmental Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Vipulya Chari (Communication Arts)

Vipulya is a PhD Candidate in Rhetoric, Politics and Culture at the Department of Communication Arts. She studies postcolonial digital cultures and policy with specific attention to the intersections of rhetorics of technology, development and nationalism. Her dissertation project looks at digital infrastructure-building and discourses of development in contemporary India.


Allyson Gross (Communication Arts)

Allyson is a PhD student in Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture in the department of Communication Arts. Her research explores speech across time and constructions of audience in future-focused rhetoric. She is currently working on a project at the intersection of STS and material rhetoric which focuses on time capsules constructed for deep futures.


John Koban (English)

John is a dissertator in the Composition and Rhetoric Program in the English Department. He takes an ecological approach to rhetoric to study controversies about Indigenous sovereignty, particularly when those controversies materialize in public debates about fisheries management and river restoration projects. His orientation is grounded in settler colonial critique – one that prioritizes and promotes Indigenous sovereignty and traditional knowledge while unsettling state knowledge and management practices that aim to erase Indigenous sovereignties. John’s interests are informed by previous inquiry into political religious movements, especially with the politics of the apocalyptic Protestant right and its effect on public policy (including environmental policy), and informed by research into the environmental conditions of racism in urban settings.


Cecilia Kyalo (Curriculum and Instruction)

Cecilia and her research focus on health education. She explores the relationship between HIV/AIDS education and intervention strategies. In Cecilia’s dissertation, she examines how the notion of the “girl child” has come to be regarded as an exceptional subject of intervention in HIV/AIDS education in Africa. She seeks to identify the limits of the category “girl child” by examining how knowledge production and relations of power in HIV/AIDS education overlook the complexity of the manifestation of the pandemic in society.


Noah Terrell (English)

Noah is a PhD student in Literary Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Noah has a broad set of research interests which traverse 20th century literature, film, and theory in the Anglo-American, French, and Japanese traditions. His work is strongly indebted to and informed by modernist studies, environmental studies, and queer theory. His current research project looks at the role the typewriter played in the activity of literary production for author William Burroughs. By centering Burroughs’ essayistic writings on the typewriter as a technology of literary production, Noah contends that we might be able to rethink some of Burroughs’ literary and personal idiosyncrasies. Noah takes a special interest in Burroughs’ obsession with “bugs” and “viruses” — and how the typewriter might constellate the possible associations these two Burroughsian figures have with language, queerness, and computers.


Not pictured: Sarah Stefanos (International Division)


2021-23 Top-Up Fellowships


Cynthia Baeza (Curriculum and Instruction)

Cynthia is a PhD student from the Curriculum and Instruction Department. She is a WCER, Ed-GRS, and a Top Up Fellow. Her primary research interest is in the intersection between Bilingual and Science education for Latinx emergent bilingual students. She is in the process of completing a minor in the Science and Technology Studies (STS) field to promote cross-disciplinary integration, civic engagement, and critical thinking in bilingual and science education. Cynthia joins the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a 7-year teaching experience. Her experience in teaching and leadership has led her to plan and facilitate professional development for educators and educational leaders at the local, state, and international levels. Cynthia hopes her research will enhance high-quality science education in bilingual programs for emergent bilingual students.


Joshua Doyle-Raso (Medical History and Bioethics)

Joshua started at UW-Madison in 2018, after completing his BA History at McGill University in Montreal and earning an MA in History and International Development Studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Josh is beginning his PhD dissertation work in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, examining how the health and healing strategies of migrant agricultural workers have historically undergirded international labor and food supply chains in North America. Specifically, his work examines how central Mexican laborers who travel to work on Ontarian fruit and vegetable farms have navigated their health both at home in Mexico and at work in Canada. His work examines the ways in which health, disease, injury, and community creativity and resilience have shaped our present world.


Patrick Walsh (History)

Patrick investigates the cross-talk between bacteriology, immunology and endocrinology in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries in America in his dissertation. As a historian of biology and medicine, he cares about how biology becomes therapy, and how therapy becomes biology. He is grappling especially with the notion of “pasteurization,” and what this meant for the physiological sciences, the life sciences, and for therapeutic industries. Walsh takes seriously the provocation that the twenty-first century is the “century of the microbe,” and he thinks that the advent of germ theory is a rich place to begin re-evaluating histories of self, the organism and biological practice.


Not pictured: Aida Arosoaie (Anthroplogy)


2021 Summer Scholars

Erin Gangstad (Communication Arts)

Erin is a PhD student in the Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture track of the Communication Arts department at UW. She studies historical discourses, images, and places of disease and healing. Her current dissertation project considers the historical phenomenon of climate medicine, analyzing three prominent case studies of curative places in American between 1880 and 1950. This summer, with generous funding from the Holtz Center, Erin will conduct archival research for her chapter on Saranac Lake, New York. She plans to investigate how historical discourses framed the town’s ‘alpine air’ as a curative climate and to explore how various stakeholders conceptualized the relationship between air, consumption, and the sick patient’s body.


Siddharth Menon (Geography)

Siddharth is a Doctoral Candidate in Geography, with a PhD Minor in STS, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests lie at the intersection of International Development, Urban Studies, Political Ecology, and Science & Technology Studies (STS). He is currently conducting ethnographic research about the building construction industry in Kerala, India.