2023-2024 Senior Fellows

Polly Chesnokova

Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine

Project title: 32-33: Transposing the Oral Memory of the Ukrainian Holodomor into a Film Installation

Project description: The project aims to transpose the oral history accounts of the Ukrainian Holodomor (artificial famine of 1932-33) into an emotionally relatable experience of film installation. It aims to demonstrate how immersive media experiences, film in particular, can transpose dry historical accounts into potent emotional narratives that become integral to the audience's core memory. During the fellowship, I will combine my training in filmmaking with historical archival research, genocide and post-colonial studies, and creative curation. The final exhibition will engage with the audience's immersive and active memory through emotive filmmaking and historical contextualization of the genocide through memorabilia. Bringing international attention to the previously censored Holodomor is especially important in light of Russia's present attempts to erase Ukrainian historical and cultural heritage. 

Extracurricular activities: When on campus, I organize with the Dartmouth Student Alliance for Ukraine and the Student Worker Collective. Since my freshman year, I've been interning with the Media Production Group where I work on full-cycle video commissions. Sometimes I get in front of the camera lens and dance for the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble or book musicians with my friends from Friday Night Rock. 

Future plans: I plan to apply for MFA programs in Cinematography and continue developing my visual storytelling skills. While doing that, I plan to continue thinking about the film's role in cultural preservation (Ukrainian culture and heritage in particular) and work on projects emphasizing the subjects' socio-cultural roles. 

Arshdeep Dhanoa

Hometown and state: Phoenix, AZ

Project title: Role of the heme protein cytochrome c5 in respiration of Pseudomonas bacteria

Project description: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infections are challenging to treat because of Pa versatility and proclivity towards antibiotic resistance. The bacterium thrives in a variety of environments due to its highly branched respiratory chain. Cytochrome c5, a previously overlooked component of the Pa electron-transport chain, was recently found as a part of a higher-order redox supercomplex with quinol:cytochrome c oxidoreductase (cyt bc1), a terminal oxidase (cyt cbb3), and cytochrome c4. However, the functional role of this protein in the supercomplex and the Pa respiration network in general was not clear. The goal of this project lies in the characterization of the structure, redox properties, and in vivo interactions of c5. Pseudomonas stutzeri will be utilized as a model bacterium due to similarity of its c5 and other redox components to those of Pa as well as access to purified cbb3 oxidases, which will allow for testing c5 function through enzymatic assays. Multiple biophysical techniques, including circular dichroism, spectroelectrochemistry, and mass-spectrometry, as well as polarographic assays, will be employed to define electron-transfer properties and interactions of c5. More broadly, this project will inform on common protein components of bacterial respiratory chains to assess their potential as targets for antibiotic development.

Extracurricular activities: Besides research, I am an organic chemistry lab TA and a member of the Dartmouth Japan Society. I have also been involved with Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, Primary Care Progress, and South Asian Student Association. Off campus, I work as a medical assistant and scribe at a cardiac electrophysiology clinic, volunteer in the surgical department at a local hospital, and volunteer translating documents into my native language Punjabi. When free, I enjoy listening to music and learning foreign languages. 

Future plans: Following graduation, I plan on taking a gap year while applying to medical schools to pursue either an MD or MD/PhD. Ultimately, I hope to become an academic physician—continuing my interest in teaching and conducting research in my chosen specialty.