Two new Hluchyj Fellows have been named for the 2009-2010 academic year, and they couldn't present more of a contrast. He (Jack) Ze, an incoming doctoral student in electrical engineering, is from the exotic and historical city of Hangzhou, China, which Marco Polo referred to as "the City of Heaven" during his 13th-century visit there. Meanwhile, doctoral nursing student Shoshana Gladstone comes from the nearby home town of Pelham, Massachusetts, former stomping grounds of Daniel Shay and his anti-establishment rebels in 1786-87.
What brings Ze and Gladstone together at this time and place is the Hluchyj Fellowship, which supports two graduate students in the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing so they can do collaborative research in the area of clinical health care. Dr. Michael Hluchyj ('76 B.S. Electrical Engineering) and Mrs. Theresa Hluchyj (B.S. School of Nursing) are supporting annual stipends of $25,000 each for one graduate student in the College of Engineering and one graduate student in the School of Nursing.
"Fellows will work on research projects from both disciplines," the fellowship stipulates, "seeking solutions to real problems in the clinical setting using engineering-based approaches."
Dr. and Mrs. Hluchyj, who live in Wellesley, Massachusetts, funded the fellowships with key healthcare issues in mind. "We are excited to be funding these new fellowships to support cross-disciplinary research in clinical healthcare," says Theresa Hluchyj. "Quality healthcare ranks among the most important issues our society faces, and the collaborative research initiatives between nursing and engineering at UMass Amherst can make a real difference."
Ze, who graduated from the prestigious Zhejiang University in China, plans to work with Dr. Jenna Marquard of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department on a project related to health informatics and wireless communications.
"My name came from the quote of an ancient Chinese philosopher, Zhuangzi," explains Ze. "‘Disseminate boons to people just as the river irrigates the fields."
Ze plans to live up to his name by disseminating a boon related to health informatics, an area which deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine.
Among many other accomplishments, Ze qualified for a Roundtable on Entrepreneurship Education Fellows Program funded by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (40 participants selected from thousands of applicants), and a Youth Development Competition hosted by Said Business School of Oxford University, where his group won sixth place internationally.
Gladstone earned her B.S. from the UMass Amherst School of Nursing in May and is already working on the research she will be doing with the aid of her Hluchyj Fellowship. She is helping to lay the groundwork for a "smart home" to help community dwelling older adults lead independent lives with the help of technological tools.
"This population needs extra consideration regarding their health and safety when choosing to live independently," says Gladstone. "I want to focus my career on improving function and safety of the people I serve."
Gladstone has been working with Dr. Cynthia Jacelon from the School of Nursing on this research, and she plans to work with Dr. Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department to explore RFIDs as another technology to enhance function in elders.