Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya has been appointed interim associate dean for research and graduate studies in University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s College of Arts, Letters and Sciences.
She has been a professor of applied science, and since 2014, she has served as the graduate coordinator for the Department of Biology, mentoring master and doctoral degree candidates through their academic careers.
“What I like about working with graduate students is the magnitude of the impact we have on their lives,” she said. “When a student comes to your graduate program, they finish a different person. The work is a total transformation which we can observe.”
Khodakovskaya will serve the college on matters of research and graduate study; including planning, programs, curriculum, facilities, and grant funding. Additionally, she will be the liaison for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Graduate School.
Khodakovskaya received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biology from Far Eastern Federal University, specializing in plant physiology in 1992. In 1997, she received her Ph.D. from Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.
“All my life I have studied plants and have been interested in the improvement of plants through genetic engineering,” she said. “Then, when the technology came along, I became interested in understanding how nanomaterials would affect plants, and what kind of applications that would have. That’s how my research program developed here at UA Little Rock.”
She also co-edited a book, “Plant Nanotechnology: An Overview on Concepts, Strategies, and Tools,” sharing her and other academics’ discoveries in this pioneering interdisciplinary research field.