Anesia chose the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at UMass Amherst because "it is one of the best departments in the country. In addition, the students, faculty, and staff are all wonderful and everyone is so helpful. This department breeds a cooperative environment where you learn from your peers and everyone around you."
What led Anesia to PSE? Anesia's hometown is West Palm Beach, Florida. She attended the University of Florida for undergraduate studies where her research experience began. Her major was Materials Science and Engineering and she also minored in Business administration and Sales Engineering. She first conducted research with Dr. Simon Phillpot at the University of Florida. She subsequently worked with Dr. Seth Marder at Georgia Institute of Technology. Additionally, she has had the opportunity to work in the labs of DuPont and Kraft Foods. She first began at UMass Amherst as an REU student working with Dr. Ryan Hayward's group on the creasing of hydrogels. This enjoyable experience greatly contributed to her decision to come to PSE.
Based on her outstanding high school record and continued success at the college level, as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, Anesia received a 5 year Florida Medallion Scholarship. She later became a Battelle Collegiate scholar (2008) and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation scholar (LSAMP) (2008). At a LSAMP conference, she presented the work that she accomplished as an REU student at UMass and won Best Engineering and Physics Oral Presentation. In 2009, Anesia was selected as a McNair scholar. In 2010 she was one of a hundred recipients of the GEM fellowship and was also selected to receive a North East Alliance for Graduate Education Professoriate Fellowship (2010) at UMass. Most recently, she was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) in 2011. The NSF GRFP is a fellowship program which supports three years of graduate education and was given to 2000 outstanding graduate students "who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research."
The goal of Anesia's PhD work with Dr. Ryan Hayward will be to study the factors that contribute to surface instabilities in soft polymer materials, and specifically, the transitions between creases, folds, and wrinkles in soft polymer materials.