Three graduate students have been awarded the Quad Fellowship to connect with the next generation of scientists and technologists.
Courtesy of Masashi Kaneda (left), Emma Louden (center) and Maya Foster (right)
Three Yale graduate students were recently awarded the Quad Fellowship, an international collaboration to create a network of scientists and technologists dedicated to advancing innovation and collaboration.
Emma Louden GRD ’26, Maya Foster GRD ’27, and Masashi Kaneda GRD ’26 will each receive a $50,000 award to be used for academic expenses, as well as in-person and virtual opportunities for scholars to gain a deeper understanding of the intersection between STEM and society. The Quad Fellowship is a partnership between four nations: Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
“Everything I do is driven by a deep belief that science will make the world a better place,” Louden said.
Louden is a third-year doctoral student in Yale’s Astronomy Department, studying the geometry of exoplanet systems. Categorizing obliquities, tidal effects, evolutions, and other features of solar systems both similar and unlike our own helps Louden better understand “Earth’s precarious position in the universe.”
As a Quad Fellow, Louden is excited to better understand how a career in science can intersect with public policy. Through the Quad Fellowship Core Program, Fellows will learn how to best use their research for the collective benefit of the world.
“I am passionate about the Quad Fellowship’s mission to bring together the brightest minds in STEM for the greater good,” Louden said. “I not only want to do the best science I can, but do it for the benefit of the world.”
Foster is a second-year doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering at Yale. She develops methods for analyzing neuroimaging data to characterize the brain networks and dynamics that underlie the development of psychotic spectrum disorders such as schizophrenia. Her research, she said, connects her experience with neuroscience and computer science research to provide very useful quantitative interpretations of brain dynamics.
“The Quad Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to enhance my understanding of politics and how science and public policy intersect to impact society,” Foster said.
Foster added that she is excited to work with leaders who have experience translating scientific jargon into the language of policy makers, learning to advocate for policies that benefit the populations she wishes to support through her research. . Being part of the Quad community, she said, will give her the unique experience of acquiring one ofunderstanding of how laws and culture influence scientific research, development and progress.
Additionally, Foster is dedicated to applying her research to the populations it affects, including them in the process of defining her key research questions and goals rather than limiting her scientific training to her area alone. She explains that she ventured out to gain clinical insights and observe how data related to psychiatric care and research is traditionally processed – as well as what physicians pay attention to – in order to build a reliable analytics pipeline. .
“It’s common in academia to stick to science and numbers,” Foster said. “There is less thought about the patients and the populations that the research ultimately affects.”
As a third-year doctoral student in chemical and environmental engineering at Yale, Kaneda develops innovative technologies to solve the global problem of water security. His motivation to study water treatment technology stems from his previous volunteer experience in Indonesia, where he observed poorly maintained local water and sanitation systems.
Kaneda aims to solve the global problem of water scarcity by helping to make safe and affordable drinking water available to everyone who needs it, especially people living in rural areas. In his work as a chemical-environmental engineer, Kaneda says, he collaborates with scientists from all disciplines to create more robust water supply networks.
“I aspire to work with policymakers to develop and deploy effective water treatment technologies that consider local needs and meet country-specific public acceptance,” Kaneda said.
The Quad Fellowship is an educational initiative of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation.