Creating The Future of Network Science

The Network Science Fellowship is an international program that provides students and junior scholars the opportunity to work with one of the world’s largest inter-organizational datasets, with a focus on translating network data to practice.

The program starts with an introduction to network science, the PARTNER Tool, data management, and social network analysis and ends with a 3-day network analysis workshop in Denver, CO. By the end of the Network Science Fellowship program, fellows will be able to apply network science concepts to practice, be proficient with network data management and analysis, and have formed a community of network scholars who are positioned to advance the field of network science. Visit the Learning Lab for more VNL Learning programs.

The Network Science Fellowship

Meet our Network Science Fellowship Fellows

The 2018 cohort of Network Science Fellows included 10 scholars from four countries, six states, seven universities, and seven disciplines of study. These outstanding fellows are emerging network scholars dedicated to applying network science to practice. 

Danielle Varda

Danielle Varda, PhD

CEO & Founder
Danielle is a scientist turned start-up founder, leading the VNL team as CEO. Her combination of 20 years as a network scientist studying social connectedness and health, 3 years as a Policy Scientist at the RAND Corporation, 11 years as a tenured professor at the University of CO Denver, and her successful launch and scaling of the Center on Network Science came together in one big idea to start VNL. She is the inventor of the PARTNER Platform and the author of dozens of papers on social networks. Danielle spends much of her time building partnerships, managing resources, finding opportunities, and staying on top of the latest science and findings that lead the company to new products and services. She is lead fundraiser, a regular keynote speaker, and the mother of three spirited girls.

Stephanie Bultema

Program Director
Stephanie is a researcher at University of Colorado Denver’s Center on Network Science. Her research focuses on community development and designing interventions for system improvement through the study of inter-organizational networks. Stephanie has worked with dozens of public, health care, and community-based organizations on a wide range of community assessment, planning, evaluation, and capacity-building projects.Stephanie is currently a Ph.D. student in Public Affairs at University of Colorado Denver. She earned a B.A. in English Writing and an M.A. in Administrative Leadership from Whitworth University.

Eve Bohnett

Network Science Fellow
Eve is working on her PhD in Conservation Planning at University of Florida, with a special interest in network science, connectivity, and spatial analysis of wildlife populations. She is interested in applying network science to understand how geospatial and environmental research serve as decision making criteria at the science-policy interface. This network science approach is applicable to understanding multi-scale governance at different scales like international, national, regional and local, as well as between sectors like urban planning and how these social networks facilitate effective regulatory processes.

M. Aaron Guest

Network Science Fellow
Aaron is a socio-environmental gerontologist whose research interests lie at the nexus of health, identity, and the social and built environments. His research centers on how marginalized, particularly LGBT, rural older adults’ social networks affect their health and quality of life. He applies his interdisciplinary background as a community-based scholar to address health inequities, advance health equity, and improve health outcomes through decreasing disparities among rural older adults, especially in Appalachia. Aaron is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Gerontology within the Graduate Center for Gerontology at the University of Kentucky. He holds a Master of Public Health, a Master of Social Work, Graduate Certificates in gerontology and health communication, and a Bachelors in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina.

Ly Dinh

Network Science Fellow
Ly is a doctoral student at the School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, working under the advisement of Professor Jana Diesner. Her current interests as well as research topic areas lie at the intersection of computational social science, network theories and applications, and organizational communication. More specifically, Ly aims to examine how research methods such as network analysis and social simulation models can be used to advance our understanding of various social and organizational systems. Her current projects place network science at the core to understand and explain a number of social/organizational phenomena ranging from egocentric networks to interagency emergency response networks. Ly is thrilled to be joining Visible Networks Lab as a Network Science Fellow.

Natalie DelRocco

Network Science Fellow
Natalie is originally from Clearwater, Florida and attended the University of Florida where she graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics. Her degree specialization was in public health communication and epidemiology. She uncovered an interest in network science early on through research projects in agricultural education and neuroscience. Natalie is currently a Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine. Natalie has a passion for data analysis and enjoys spending time doing yoga, paddle boarding, and playing with her rescue puppy, Pippin.

Alex Kulick

Network Science Fellow
Alex is working on his PhD in the department of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Alex's dissertation project bridges tools developed for the computational analysis of networked data with sociological and interdisciplinary theories of social change, power, and collective action. He also works on collaborative projects focusing on the dynamics and consequences of inequality, as well as interventions to transform systems through research, policy, and practice. Findings from these projects focused on topics including sexuality, gender, discrimination, violence, education, and health can be found in the Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Homosexuality, American Journal of Community Psychology, Children and Youth Services Review, and more.

Luke Klifman

Network Science Fellow
Luke was initially drawn to network science while in graduate school at the University of Colorado Denver, where he focused his capstone project on mapping the system of behavioral health service delivery in Colorado. Luke has worked as a two-time AmeriCorps member, bourbon distiller, and budget and policy analyst for the Governor of Colorado focusing primarily on human services and public safety. He is very excited to take part in the 2018 Network Science Fellowship, and looks forward to pursuing his passions for mapping systems, analyzing groups, and understanding how to improve collaborative action. Additional areas of interest include using network science to evaluate international trade partnerships, assist in disaster planning efforts, and promote equitable health service delivery in areas with unmet need. Luke plans to return to school and pursue a PhD in public policy with a concentration on applying network science to both international relations and domestic policy.

Nazia Hasan

Network Science Fellow
Nazia is a first-year doctoral student at the University of Colorado's School of Public Affairs (SPA), with research interests in offender re-entry in community, social injustice, and inequality in education. Prior to admission, she \worked in multiple local, state, and federal government agencies in various capacities including: juvenile probation, workforce development, criminal defense investigation, and law enforcement. Nazia is an alumna of SPA; she holds a masters degree in criminal justice and a bachelors degree in Human Development from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her career goal is to examine complex research on essential matters which influence the lives of returning citizens in the community.

Xunyu (Fred) Xiang

Network Science Fellow
Xunyu is a final year PhD Candidate in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at The University of Hong Kong. His research interests focus on organizational learning, nonprofit collaboration, cross-sector collaboration, and social network analysis. He conducts research on Chinese nonprofit learning networks, Nonprofit Support Organizations, and nonprofit collaborations. His publication has appeared at Taiwan Research, Journal of Social work (in Chinese).

Chris Santucci

Network Science Fellow
Chris is a United States Navy veteran from Seattle, Washington USA and is currently in a doctoral program at Washington State University, Department of Sociology. His research is focused primarily in applied criminology, public policy, law, and technology. He is incredibly honored to participate in this fellowship because he believes Network Science will have a significant impact on applied criminological research and public policy analysis, and will allow him the tools to enhance his own research.

Namrata Ray

Network Science Fellow
Born in the city of Calcutta, India, Namrata holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Calcutta and holds her MS degree in Population Studies from International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. Her diverse background shapes her interest in a multitude of topics related to aging, health and well-being, poverty and mortality. She is currently a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Washington State University where her current research lies at the intersection of public health and sociology, specifically studying the role of the neighborhood in determining differences in infant and child mortality across the country.