Student-Led Evaluations & Development (SLED)

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Student-Led Evaluations & Development (SLED) is a student-led group that represents the academic interests of graduate students at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science. The primary focus of SLED is evaluating the state of mentorship on the Rosenstiel School campus and developing tools and resources for the administration to use in order to effect broad and long-lasting impacts on the programmatic success of student-mentor relationships. This committee is also charged with having a role in facilitating the professional and academic development of the Rosenstiel School graduate student body. Click here to view or download the official SLED committee charter (pdf).

Current SLED committee representatives:

paul wojtal

Paul Wojtal (OCE)
Committee Co-Chair

I am a 5th year PhD student working with Dr. Hilary Close using geochemical and stable isotope techniques to investigate transformation and degradation mechanisms in particulate organic matter in the upper water column. I grew up in Oberlin, Ohio and then received my Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

will downs

William Downs (ATM)
Committee Co-Chair

I'm a 3rd year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Sharan Majumdar. My research focuses on how tropical cyclones form and begin to intensify. I grew up in New Orleans and received my B.A. in Computer Science and Geosciences from Williams College.

Samantha Sierra-Martinez

Samantha Sierra-Martinez (MBE)

I am a 4th year PhD student in Dr. Oleksiaks and Dr. Crawfords lab. My current research focuses on the evolution of mitochondrial and nuclear genomic variations on metabolic processes. I am from Miami and received my BS in Biotechnology from Miami Dade College.

Morgan Chakraborty

Morgan Chakraborty (MGS)

I am a 1st year PhD student from the MGS department working with Dr. Sam Purkis. My research uses deep sea bine pools to study extremophile microbes, and records of seismicity, tsunamis, and paleoclimate. I’m from Tucson, Arizona and I received my BS in biology with a minor in marine science from the University of Arizona.

steve akin

Steven Akin (MPO)

I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student working under Nick Shay. My research interests are in how air-sea interactions contribute to the rapid intensification of tropical cyclones. Essentially, I explore why some hurricanes intensify very quickly and how ocean heat content contributes to that intensification. I earned bachelor's degrees in math and physics, as well as a minor in philosophy, from Angelo State University in San Angelo, TX. In my free time, I enjoy taking walks with my wife and daughter, playing chess, and going to the gym.

The Rosenstiel School Outstanding Mentor Award:

Effective mentoring is one of the cornerstones of a fruitful graduate student education. The annual Rosenstiel School Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes a Rosenstiel School faculty or staff member who displays excellent mentoring qualities. The awardee receives a certificate at a school-wide reception and their name is engraved on a plaque and displayed on campus. For current and previous recipients, contact the MSGSO.

The Student - Mentor Relationship Survey:

This survey is administered to the students in order to gather data on the status of student-mentor relationships. This survey has 2 primary goals:

1) Gather data as a means of tracking historical trends in student-mentor interaction at the Rosenstiel School

2) Provide analysis that will inform the current administration on how to improve the Rosenstiel School graduate mentorship.