Jonsson School Researcher, Student-Athletes Earn Accolades

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of The University of Texas at Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager. 

Biomedical Engineering Senior Accepted into NSF Research Academy

Alikhan Fidai, a biomedical engineering senior in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been accepted into the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Summer Research Academy (SRA) Abroad. He is studying in London this summer.

Alikhan Fidai

The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, gives students the opportunity to participate in STEM summer research programs, either locally at UT System institutions or globally at a lab of the fellow’s choosing.

“I have been extremely fortunate to have participated in both of these programs and have gained valuable research skills as well as mentorship from professors here at UT Dallas,” Fidai said.

Fidai has evaluated bacterial adhesion on dental biomaterials in Dr. Danieli Rodrigues’ Biomaterial for Osseointegration and Novel Engineering (BONE) lab. He was also mentored by Dr. Juan González, director of the LSAMP program at UT Dallas, dean of graduate education and Francis S. Johnson Chair for Graduate Education; and biomedical engineering graduate student Danyal Siddiqui.

“I had never conducted research before and was incredibly nervous, but through their mentorship I have gained the confidence and competence to conduct research and present our findings,” Fidai said.

Fidai is working with Dr. Rylie Green at Imperial College London to research living bioelectronics, focusing on differentiation mechanisms that can be used to guide the growth of cells from within devices and create functional synapses to target tissues.  

Comet Athletes Honored for Achievements, Academics, Service

For the first time, a UT Dallas student-athlete has been recognized as the American Southwest Conference Female Athlete of the Year.

Melissa Livermore BS’19

Melissa Livermore BS’19, a four-time All-American softball player who graduated with a degree in healthcare studies in May, was named the 2018-19 recipient of the honor earlier this month. The award is the latest in a long list of accolades for the most-decorated student-athlete in UT Dallas history.

This spring, Livermore and golfer Brice Cooper BS’17, MS’19 received the 2018-19 ASC Scholar-Athlete Medals of Honor. They were among 26 student-athletes from the 13 ASC institutions honored for compiling the most outstanding records in academics, athletics and leadership over their careers.  

Cooper, who earned degrees in finance and in healthcare leadership and management, was a two-time All-ASC selection during his career, earning first-team honors during his final season. Cooper also was named an All-America Scholar, along with teammate Jacob Rockefeller, by the Golf Coaches Association of America this spring.

Also this spring, women’s basketball player Shannon Mathis received the ASC Community Service Female Athlete of the Year award. Mathis, a biochemistry senior, was crucial to helping the women’s basketball team amass more than 600 hours of community service during the academic year.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].