University of Massachusetts Amherst

Polymer Science and Engineering

Tew Research Group – People

Graduate Students

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Federica Sgolastra (email)
  • Dr. Tsung-hao "Bob" Fu (email)

Undergraduates & REUs

  • Leah Caffrey, Chem Honors (email)
  • Sam Estabrooks, MCB Honors (email)
  • David Ferreira, ChemEng (email)

RETs (Research Education for Teachers)

  • Angela Ruggeri, Greenfield 8th Grade Academy
  • Monica Freund Kaufman
  • Paralee Patten King, Quabbin Regional H.S.

Former Group Members

Ph.D. Graduates



Past Visiting Scholars

  • Sang Hyuk Seo  

Tew grad student Michael Lis is profiled on the department website:

Tew grad student Melissa Lackey is profiled on the department website:


Melissa Lackey receives her Ph.D., August 3, 2013


l. to r. (back row): Undergrad David Ferreira, Mike Lis,          Melissa shows off her gift from

Cathy Walker, Prof. Tew; (middle row): REU Vanessa Kung            the Tew Group.

REU Ashley Hall, Trouble Mandeson, Dr. Bob Fu; (front row):

Brittany deRonde and Madhura Pawar.           


Tew Group Congratulates Spring 2013 Ph.D. gradutes

l. to r. (back row): Melissa Lackey, Mike Lis, Cathy Walker, Joel Sarapas, Prof. Tew,

Dr. Fede Sgolastra, Coralie Backlund; (front row): Madhura Pawar, Dr. Hitesh Thaker,

Dr. Jun Cui, Dr. Yongping Zha, Brittany de Ronde, Katie Gibney.

Tew Group Spring 2013 Ph.D. graduatesT

l. to r. Dr. Jun Cui, Trouble Mandeson (Tew Office Manager), Dr. Hitesh Thaker,

Dr. Yongping Zha. Not pictured: Dr. Arife Ozgul Tezgel.

The Tew Group enjoys a Tropical-themed Holiday Potluck, Dec 13, 2012

Celebrating Brittany's birthday, Dec 2012

Mike's new bride Vera sneaks birthday cake into the office, Oct 24, 2012

Dr. Ke Zhang (post-doc) and Dr. Yakai Feng (visiting professor)

show off their parting gifts before returning home to China.

Dissertation Defense celebration for Jun Cui, Oct 15, 2012 (with Crosby & Tew)

(Left photo) l. to r. (back rows): Yujie Liu, Yu-Cheng Chen, Yuri Ebata, Minchao Zhang, Sam

Pendergraph, Michael Bartlett, Brittany deRonde, Marcos Reyes Martinez, Melissa Lackey,

Cathy Walker, Jun Cui, Yongping Zha, Prof. Al Crosby, Madhura Pawar, Prof. Tew,

Katie Gibney, Joel Sarapas, Dr. Fede Sgolastra, E. Ilker Ozay, Dr. Ke Zhang, Dan King,

Dr. Yakai Feng. Left to right (front row): Cheol Hee Lee, Jon Pham, Mike Imburgia.

(Right photo): l. to r.: Prof. Al Crosby, Jun Cui, Prof. Tew

The Tew Group bids a fond adieu to Dr. Abhigyan Som (post doc), Oct 2012

Hitesh Thaker's Dissertation Defense, Sept 26, 2012

From left: Dr. Abhi Som, Dr. Bob Fu, Brittany deRonde, Mike Lis, Melissa Lackey,

Hitesh Thaker, Prof. Tew, Katie Gibney, Joel Sarapas, Dr. Fede Sgolastra, Cathy Walker,

Dr. Yakai Feng, Madhura Pawar, Jun Cui, Dr. Ke Zhang

A. Ozgul Tezgel's Dissertation Defense, Sept 21, 2012

From left: Gabriela Gonzalez-Perez (Vet Ani/Sci), Dr. Abhi Som, Dr. Yakai Feng,

Hitesh Thaker, Melissa Lackey, Ozgul Tezgel, E. Ilker Ozay (MCB), Prof. Tew,

Dr. Bob Fu, Dr. Ke Zhang, Mike Lis, Brittany deRonde, Jun Cui, Cathy Walker,

Katie Gibney, Dr. Fede Sgolastra

Yongping Zha's Dissertation Defense, Aug 13, 2012                                  











l to r: Jun Cui, Yongping Zha, A. Ozgul Tezgel, Hitesh Thaker

Tew Group celebrate Fede's wedding to Garnet Smith, July 15, 2012                                                                                        








l to r: (Back row): Dr. Ke Zhang, Dr. Abhi Som, Melissa Lackey, Yongping Zha,

Jun Cui, Mike Lis, A. Ozgul Tezgel, Vera Broekhuysen (Mrs. Lis), Katie

Gibney, Travis (Cathy Walker's partner), Brittany deRonde, Cathy Walker, Trouble

Mandeson. (Front row): Hitesh Thaker, Garnet Smith, Fede Sgolastra, Semra

Colak (maid of honor).

Mike Lis weds Vera Broekhuysen, June 17, 2012                   









A visit to Tregellys Fiber Farm in Hawley, MA, June 2012













(l to r): Back Row-Kathy Williams (Coughlin Group), Katie Gibney, Trouble Mandeson

Cathy Walker, Joel Sarapas, Connor Evans (Coughlin Group), Dr. Bob Fu; Front Row:

Brittany deRonde, Madhura Pawar

2011 PSE Holiday Party

(l to r): Back Row-Melissa Lackey, Yongping Zha, Alper Canyaka*, Greta Becker*,

Cathy Walker, Prof. Greg Tew; Front Row-Joel Sarapas, Jun Cui, Madhura Pawar,

Katie Gibney, Brittany deRonde, Hitesh Thaker (*Mainz University, Germany).

2011-2012 Semra Colak's Dissertation Defense

(l to r): Back Row-Abhi Som, Raj Maddikeri, Yongping Zha, Trouble Erin Mandeson,

Mike Lis, Ke Zhang, Melissa Lackey, Yan Li, Cathy Walker, Prof. Greg Tew; Front Row-

Fede Sgolastra, Hitesh Thaker, Semra Colak, Brittany deRonde, Jun Cui, Ozgul Tezgel,

Katie Gibney.

Tew Group Members enjoy a summer picnic (2010)

(l to r): Back Row-Hitesh Thaker, Abhi Som, Ke Zhang, Jun Cui, Cathy Walker, Melissa

Lackey, Semra Colak, Yan Li; Front Row-Yongping Zha, Nidhi Kumar, Jing Jiang, Prof.

Tew, Fede Sgolastra, Katie Gibney, Dr. Min "Crystal" Chen

2010-2011 Group Members celebrate Jeremy Rathfon's Dissertation Defense

(l to r): Semra Colak, Dr. Jing Jiang, Hitesh Thaker, Michael Lis, Trouble Mandeson,

Raj Maddikeri, Dr. Jeremy Rathfon, Yongping Zha, Dr. Abhigyan Som, Cathy Walker,

Jun Cui, Melissa Lackey, Katie Gibney, Dr. Ke Zhang, Ozgul Tezgel, Dr. Yan Li, Prof. Tew

2008-2009 Group Members

Back row (l to r): Dr. Ke Zhang, Dr. Jing Jiang, Michael Lis, Yongping Zha, Dr. Ahmad

"Mack" Madkour, Jeremy Rathfon, Melissa Lackey, Dr. Abhigyan Som, Prof. Tew;

Middle row: Hitesh Thaker, Josh Grolman, Jun Cui, Anika Reuter, Arife Ozgul Tezgel,

Desiree Weller, Nidhi Kumar; Seated: Semra Colak, Raghevendra "Raj" Maddikeri,

Dr. Karen Lienkamp, Office Mgr. Trouble Erin Mandeson


Naomi Sanabria-DeLong passes her Dissertation Defense, May 2008

Back row (l to r): Arife Ozgul Tezgel, Dr. Jing Jiang, Jun Cui, Yongping Zha, Dr. Zoha

AL-Badri, Raghavendra "Raj" Maddikeri, Josh Grolman, Hitesh Thaker, Dr. Ahmad

"Mack" Madkour, Semra Colak, Casey Kimball; Seated (l to r): Jeremy Rathfon, Naomi

Sanabria-DeLong, Dr. Raja Shunmugam, Dr. Gregory "Gee" Gabriel


Tew Group Celebrates Sterling Alfred's Dissertation Defense, January 2008

Group Photo














Back row (l to r): Christoph Kins, Henning Schaefer, Yongping Zha, Casey Kimball,

Jeff Dabkowski, Prof. Tew; Middle row: Dr. Greg "Gee" Gabriel, Ozgul Tezgel, Jun Cui,

Erin Mandeson, Dr. Sterling Alfred, Josh Grolman, Hitesh Thaker, Dr. Morris Slutsky; Front

row: Dr. Karen Lienkamp, Jeremy Rathfon, Naomi Sanabria-DeLong, Raghavendra

"Raj" Maddikeri, Semra Colak.

TewGroup Toasts Ticora Jones after a successful Dissertation Defense, June 2006

Back row (l to r): Chris Nelson, Jason Rennie, Dr. Morris Slutsky, Jason Philips, Prof. Tew, Dr. Ahmad "Mack" Madkour,  Dr. Jing Jiang; Middle row: Sterling Alfred, Yoen Choi, Dr. Abhigyan Som, Yamalia Roberts, Louis Perez, Dr. Khaled Aamer, Katelyn Spillane, Dr. Raja Shunmugam, Jeremy Rathfon; Front row: Sarah Lyons, Ticora Jones, Naomi Sanabria-DeLong, Dr. Greg "Gee" Gabriel.