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Graduate Student of the Week: Stephanie Wiltman

Undergraduate Degree and Background

I went to Virginia Tech for my undergraduate degree, and completed a dual degree in Materials Science and Psychology there! I loved VT and the community. I was a resident adviser for 3 years for an all female hall we affectionately called the "Lady Lair." I was also heavily involved in the Engineering Dean's Team, which was a group of students who gave tours of the Engineering School to prospective students.

I did undergraduate research in both biomaterials and in psychology. We studied the effects of gamma radiation (used for cancer therapy) on polyurethane in vitro. We studied how crystalline vs. amorphous polyurethane reacted to the radiation. This was inspired by some case studies in which polyurethane catheter leads have fractured in vivo when patients get cancer therapy radiation. My psychology research was on the implications of game theory and altruism/competitiveness on blood oxygenation levels (BOLD) signals in the prefrontal cortex.

I also worked at Corning, Inc. in New York over a summer. I worked on a project that makes Gorilla Glass (shatter proof glass on phones). I got to spend a summer working with molten glass in furnaces that could burn your ears off!

Graduate Program, Research, and Projects

I completing my PhD in biomechanics and am halfway through my fourth year. I study how prolonged standing affects various musculoskeletal systems--including cartilage compression, general muscle fatigue, and blood pooling in the lower extremities. My advisor is Dr. April Chambers in the Human Movement and Balance Laboratory. I am also working with Dr. William Anderst in the Biodynamics Lab, and Dr. Ted Huppert in radiology.

Fun Facts

I love to run! My favorite movie is Lion King. I also have a dog named Skipper.

Would you be willing to respond to emails from curious undergrads about any of the above topics?

Yes! My email is

Who in your lab would be the best person to contact to set up a small lab tour for undergrads?

You can contact me (or any graduate student on our web page), or our lab manager (Jenna Trout,

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