Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

Elias M. Klemperer, Ph.D., G’19
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program

Eli grew up in a small town in northeast Ohio and attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. As an undergraduate student, Eli received training in research by working in laboratories specializing in behavior and health as well as human computer interaction. After graduating, he began work as a research assistant at Oregon Health and Science University researching treatments for opioid use disorder. Eli’s work with addiction and behavioral research inspired his goals for graduate school.

At the University of Vermont, Eli was a clinical psychology PhD student with a focus on the treatment of addiction. Eli was mentored by John Hughes, MD in the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health. His research focused primarily on tobacco treatment and regulatory policy. In addition, Eli examined treatments for opioid use disorder with a specific focus on people who are incarcerated.

Eli completed his clinical internship year in community health and forensic drug diversion clinics at Yale University. Currently Eli is a postdoctoral fellow in the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health at the University of Vermont under the mentorship of Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH and Richard Rawson, PhD. He continues to focus his research on addiction with the goal of improving treatment and reducing harm for people who use tobacco.

The Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes exceptional work on behalf of a doctoral student, as demonstrated by their dissertation, including significant contributions to their field of study.

Outstanding Master's Thesis Award

Mauricio Pereira, M.S., G’19
Mechanical Engineering Master’s Program

Mauricio earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sao Paulo, in his home country, Brazil. He first came to UVM as an exchange student fully funded by a scholarship through the Brazilian government’s Science without Borders program, and enjoyed the academic environment provided by UVM, leading to his decision to further pursue a graduate degree there.

At UVM he was co-advised by Dr. Dryver Huston and Dr. Tian Xia, and with the support of a great laboratory team, he worked on innovative approaches for smart infrastructure. During his graduate studies, Mauricio developed advanced radar imaging algorithms, and integrated smartphones and ground penetrating radar systems to leverage advanced vision-based tracking now available on edge devices. His work contributed to improved localization, visualization, and mapping of underground infrastructure, and has been presented at multiple smart infrastructure conferences in the US and abroad, and led to a published journal article.

Mauricio is now pursuing graduate studies at Princeton University, where he is studying the application of physics-based machine learning methods in structural health monitoring.

The Outstanding Master's Thesis Award recognizes exceptional work on behalf of a Master’s student, as demonstrated by their thesis, including significant contributions to their field of study.