This year, EHE students Lauren Altenburger and Bradley Cotten have been named Presidential Fellows, Ohio State’s most prestigious award for graduate students. The fellowship provides financial support students need to complete their groundbreaking dissertation research.
Altenburger, a doctoral student in human development and family science, is studying how fathers’ parenting influences children’s cognitive and social adjustment. “The majority of research has focused on associations between mothers’ parenting and children’s adjustment,” said Altenburger, of Troy, Ohio, “despite fathers’ increasing involvement in their children’s lives.”
She has found that children’s ability to adapt to elementary school depends largely on their interactions, including those with their fathers, during their first two years of life.
Cotten’s dissertation research is testing dietary compounds that might help cancer patients maintain muscle mass. Cancer cachexia — which causes weakness and loss of body weight, fat and muscle — is responsible for up to 30 percent of cancer deaths. It’s currently untreatable, but Cotten, a student in Ohio State’s Interdisciplinary Nutrition PhD program, is working to change that. “The broad goal of my dissertation is to investigate the impact of dietary flavonoids — a specific class of plant-derived compounds – to prevent muscle wasting,” said Cotten, of Covington, Indiana.