Meet the Fellows

2020-2021 Fellows

Christpher Hammerly HeadshotDaphne Chan HeadshotWu Yarn Daphne Chan

Chemistry (CSE)

Daphne Chan received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2019. Her research interests are in polymer science and sustainable materials. During graduate school, she developed engineering plastics from underutilized protein feedstock, and explored methods to devulcanize and recycle used tire rubber. At the University of Minnesota, she is developing nanoporous block polymer ultrafiltration membranes, with a particular focus on anti-fouling and functional membranes for challenging separation processes.



Christpher Hammerly HeadshotChristpher Hammerly HeadshotChristopher Hammerly 

Linguistics (CLA)

Christopher Hammerly is a descendent of the White Earth Nation. He earned his Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2020, where he was funded by the National Science Foundation, and his B.S. in Psychology and B.A, in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota in 2014. His research explores how grammar is represented in the mind and deployed by speakers and listeners in real-time. He especially works with speakers of his ancestral language Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe). In this work, he combines traditional documentation methods with experimental techniques to understand how speakers of Ojibwe use the language’s complex verb marking system to understand actions and events.


A. Kelly LaneA. Kelly Lane

Biology Teaching and Learning (CBS)

Kelly Lane earned her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Georgia in 2018 and previously worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Now a member of the Department of Biology Teaching and Learning, Kelly researches the impacts of social interaction such as mentorship, discussions with peers, and instructors’ classroom narratives on both undergraduate and graduate students’ skill development and sense of belonging in science. Her current projects include 1) identifying the gender narratives biology instructors imply through their teaching and the impact these narratives have on trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students 2) the explicit and implicit expectations for degree completion experienced by biology graduate students, and 3) the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the mentorship experiences of biology graduate students. 


Jessica Horvath Williams HeadshotJessica Horvath Williams

Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (CLA)

Jessica Horvath Williams earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from UCLA in 2020, and is the co-chair of the Critical Disability Studies Collective at the University of Minnesota. She researches at the intersection of feminist disability studies and nineteenth-century U.S. history and literature, with particular emphasis on domestic and slave labor and early eugenicist discourse. Her current project investigates how female ideality served as a precursor for the development of three ideologies commonly critiqued by critical disability studies: the individual responsibility for health, the absence of futurity for disabled people, and the role of wage labor in the construction of (dis)ability.

Ron Martin Wilson HeadshotRon Martin Wilson

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (CLA)

Ron Martin Wilson was born in New Orleans and, following a Henry Luce Fellowship year in Japan, taught high school in Los Angeles and Tokyo. After completing a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at New York University, he went on to start and finish his doctoral studies in Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where he focused on modern Japanese literature and film. As a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Wilson intends to write a series of articles and to further develop a book entitled Meiji, Media, and Modernity: The Politics of Optical Mimesis in Nineteenth-Century Japan. While nervous about the long Minnesota winter, he is certain that the forward-looking academic ethos at the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at U of M will offer the ideal climate for his academic work.


2019-2020 Continuing Fellows 

Mexi Ng HeadshotMeixi Ng

Global and Trans Indigenous Research (CLA)

Meixi Ng is a Hokkien/Hokchiu teacher-scholar-sister-daughter-auntie-learning scientist who grew up across the lands and waters of Singapore and northern Thailand. In her Ph.D. with Dr. Megan Bang at the University of Washington, Meixi explores the intersections and connections within home and school and how through community and participatory design research, schools can be partners in community resurgence of Indigenous knowledges, educational justice, and the living of socioecological flourishing futures in Thailand and Mexico. At the U of M, she will be the American Indian Studies department with Dr. Vince Diaz, and is excited to continue working within global & trans-Indigenous research, and felt desires for educational designs that restore our relations and our responsibilities in ways that perpetuate all life.

Andrew Proctor HeadshotAndrew Proctor

Identity Politics in American Political Parties (CLA)

Andrew Proctor earned his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2019. His research explores questions about identity politics and American political parties with an emphasis on how political institutions shape the mobilization of political constituencies. He is especially interested in understanding how constituencies are constructed through representation and how these dynamics intersect with the politics of sexuality, gender, race, and class. As a fellow, he will be working on a book manuscript about the political mobilization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States.

Mingzi Xu HeadshotMingzi Xu

Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics (CBS)

Mingzi Xu received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Oklahoma in 2014. She has been a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University since 2015. Her research focuses on the evolution and genetic basis of mating recognition and preference traits. During her Ph.D., she studied the selective forces driving the evolution of mate recognition from a behavioral ecological perspective. During her previous postdoctoral studies, she extended her research to evolutionary genetics and genomics of sexual signals and mating preferences. At the University of Minnesota, she will combine behavioral ecology and evolutionary genetics approaches to understand the evolution of choosiness in female mate choice.