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Ten Students Receive Prestigious Federal Graduate Research Awards

Ten Students Receive Prestigious Federal Graduate Research Awards
Six graduate students and four undergraduates have received prestigious federal graduate research awards. Pictured are Stephanie Valenzuela, Thao Thanh Thi Nguyen, Logan Pearce, Caitlyn McCafferty, Taha Dawoodbhoy, Ian Rambo, Hadiqa Zafar, Zoe Boundy-Singer, Griffin Glenn, and Ariel Barr.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have awarded prestigious graduate research awards to 48 University of Texas at Austin students, including ten from the College of Natural Sciences.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) has offered fellowship awards to five graduate students and four undergraduates from CNS.

The GRFP supports exceptional students with high potential that are pursuing advanced degrees in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 for research, in addition to a $12,000 annual cost-of-education allowance given to each recipient's graduate school. The nine new awardees from Natural Sciences were chosen along with 36 other UT Austin students from more than 12,000 applicants, hailing from across the country.

CNS also had a high number of outstanding students receive the fellowship last year, with four graduate students and four undergraduates earning the honor.

This year's NSF Graduate Research Fellows are:

Graduate Students:

  • Zoe Boundy-Singer (Neuroscience)
  • Taha Dawoodbhoy (Astronomy)
  • Caitlyn McCafferty (Cell and Molecular Biology)
  • Thao Thanh Thi Nguyen (Human Development and Family Sciences)
  • Stephanie Valenzuela (Chemistry)

Undergraduate Students:

  • Ariel Rebekah Barr (Mathematics)
  • Griffin Glenn (Physics)
  • Logan Pearce (Astronomy)
  • Hadiqa Zafar (Chemistry)

Eleven CNS students also received honorable mentions. They are:

  • Briana Anne Betke (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior)
  • Molly Samantha Blevins (Chemistry)
  • Emma Taylor Brockway (Neuroscience)
  • Jenelle Estrada (Marine Science)
  • James Russell Howard (Chemistry)
  • Mackenzie Marie Johnson (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior)
  • David Treviño Ledesma (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior)
  • Justin Mateen Mirazee (Biochemistry)
  • Tyler William Nelson (Astronomy)
  • Isabella Mary Pagano (Physics)
  • Jonathan Thompson (Chemistry)

Additionally, the DOE's Office of Science has selected three UT Austin graduate students for its Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program, including Ian Rambo from the Department of Marine Science. The program provides supplemental funds for awardees to conduct part of their thesis research in collaboration with a DOE scientist at a host DOE laboratory.

Rambo will work out of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where he will conduct biological and environmental research in computational biology and bioinformatics.

Awardees were chosen from a diverse pool of university-based graduate applicants, based on merit peer review by outside scientific experts.

"These graduate student awards prepare young scientists for STEM careers critically important to the DOE mission," said U.S. Secretary of Energy and former Texas governor Rick Perry. "We are proud of the accomplishments these outstanding awardees have already made, and look forward to following their achievements in years to come. They represent the future leadership and innovation that will allow American science and engineering to excel in the 21st century."

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Friday, 03 February 2023

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