Carleton selects fifth class of Paglia Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellows

The Paglia Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellowship enables members of Carleton’s graduating class to embark on research careers.

Erica Helgerud ’20 16 April 2024 Posted In:
Collage of three student headshots.

Carleton seniors Liam Kennedy ’24, Tosh Le ’24, and Phoebe Sinner ’24 have been selected as this year’s class of Paglia Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellows.

These seniors, soon to embark on their post-Carleton journeys, have been equipped with a fellowship that will help them thrive as they experience working life in a lab or research group at a U.S. Research One (R1) institution for the next two years. The fellows will work closely with accomplished scientists to gain skills and fuel their passion for pursuing a research-based profession. In this environment, they will be primed to craft stellar PhD program applications to further continue their careers in research.

This fellowship is made possible by Carleton alum Cathy James Paglia ’74 and her husband Louis Paglia, who established it together in 2020.

Meet the Class of 2024 Paglia Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellows:

Liam Kennedy ’24

Headshot of Liam Kennedy.
Liam Kennedy ’24

Liam Kennedy, a psychology major with minors in cognitive science and philosophy, will join Dr. Lori Zoellner’s group in the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress at the University of Washington. Under the mentorship of Zoellner, Kennedy will work on multiple research projects addressing the overall question, “How do people process trauma?” Kennedy’s previous research experience took place with Dr. Ken Abrams and Dr. Julie Neiworth at Carleton, and he has also served as the captain of Carleton’s varsity men’s track and field team. Two years at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress will offer Kennedy the experience of working at the forefront of trauma and prepare him for top-ranked PhD programs in psychology.

Tosh Le ’24

Headshot of Tosh Le.
Tosh Le ’24

Tosh Le, a double major in physics and theater arts, will join the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics under the mentorship of Professor Richard Majeski. Le’s previous research experience took place at Michigan State University and with Dr. Barry Costanzi at Carleton. Le has also participated in multiple theatrical productions and served as a student departmental adviser (SDA) for physics at Carleton. Under the mentorship of Majeski, Le will explore the implications of plasma physics interactions related to nuclear fusion — a passionate interest in which Le hopes to eventually pursue a PhD. Two years with Princeton’s Plasma Physics group will prepare him to enter a top program in the field.

Phoebe Sinner ’24

Headshot of Phoebe Sinner.
Phoebe Sinner ’24

Phoebe Sinner, a biology major, will join Dr. Gitta Coaker’s research group in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California–Davis. Sinner’s previous research has included work with Novoclade, a start-up in Saint Paul, as well as at the Veterans Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Under the mentorship of Coaker, Sinner will analyze bacterial plant pathogens and their hosts to provide insight into disease transmission and potential mechanisms of resistance. Her two years of post-baccalaureate research will prepare Sinner for a top PhD program in plant biology.


The James-Paglia family has a long history of supporting Carleton initiatives, including construction of Carleton’s integrated science facility, Evelyn M. Anderson Hall. Cathy, Louis, and the Robert and Ardis James Foundation established a $20 million matching fund to make the project possible.


Erica Helgerud ’20 is the news and social media manager for Carleton College.