Miranda Ludovice, a Ph.D. student in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering based at NC State University, has been awarded a prestigious Goodnight Doctoral Fellowship for her research focus in rehabilitative technologies for cerebral palsy patients, as well as her service contributions as a graduate student. Ludovice, who works with Derek Kamper, Associate Director of the Closed-Loop Engineering for Advanced Rehabilitation (CLEAR) Core, is experienced with hand biomechanics and assistive hand devices.
The Goodnight Doctoral Fellowship, established by North Carolina State University in partnership with Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight and the Goodnight Educational Foundation, recognizes and supports Ph.D. students in STEM to help close the funding gap for graduate education. Providing funding for graduate student support has become an increasing priority for the university, which will allow for competitive recruitment and retention within graduate programming.
Ludovice was able to kickstart her academic career through a Provost Fellowship at NC State. Through that fellowship, Ludovice started her research working with stroke patients but soon realized her passion for helping children with cerebral palsy. “Disabilities resulting from stroke are well-researched, but there is less focus on cerebral palsy. CP is more complicated in some ways because kids grow up with lesions (on their brain) and must learn to adapt, rather than relearning what they already know” said Ludovice.
In addition to her research contributions, Ludovice has been an advocate for both extracurricular and diversity programming in the department. She has served in the Joint BME’s Graduate Student Association, assisted with organizing the student seminar selections for the Coulter Seminar Series, and contributed to diversity and equity goals through outreach programming that assists undergraduates in getting into research.
“This fellowship came at a good time in the last year of my Ph.D. program,” Ludovice said. “It was validating to see my research and extracurricular programming efforts that I put in earlier in my academic career being recognized at a time when I could use some motivation in the home stretch towards graduation.”
Ludovice was also the recipient of an F31 Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health in 2022, which was granted by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Her fellowship awards and recognition are a testament to her hard work, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of pediatric cerebral palsy patients through research.
The Goodnight Doctoral Fellowship is a new fellowship opportunity through NC State University. For more information on the program, please visit this article.