Six from LSU Awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, Three Receive Honorable Mention


04/16/2018
BATON ROUGE – Six current students or recent LSU graduates are recipients of the 2018 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, or GRFP, and three others received honorable mention. This fellowship from the National Science Foundation helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the U.S. and reinforces its diversity.

The fellows were selected from more than 12,000 applicants and come from all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Honorable mention recognition went to 1,459 individuals. The group of 2,000 awardees is diverse, including 1,156 women; 461 individuals from underrepresented minority groups; 75 persons with disabilities; 27 veterans; and 780 who have not yet enrolled in graduate school. These awardees did their undergraduate studies at more than 443 institutions.

“To support U.S. leadership and innovation in science and engineering, we must recognize and nurture talent from all of our nation’s communities,” said Jim Lewis, NSF acting assistant director for education and human resources. “I am pleased that again this year, the competition has selected talented students from all economic backgrounds and all demographic categories.”

GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period —a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM field.

This year’s fellows from LSU include:

·        Michael Hayes of Fairhope, Ala., is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental chemical systems with faculty adviser Robert Cook in the LSU Department of Chemistry. He received his bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College in May 2016.

·        Anna Hiller of Davis, Calif., is pursuing a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology with faculty advisers Brant Faircloth and Robb Brumfield in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences and the LSU Museum of Natural Science. She received her bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley.

·        Teisha King is pursuing a Ph.D. in physiology with faculty advisers Karen Maruska and Jeremy Brown in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

·        Kyle Sirovy of Fullerton, Calif., is pursuing a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology with faculty adviser Morgan Kelly in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree from California State University-Fullerton.

·        David Fertitta of Gulfport, Miss., graduated from LSU in May 2016 with a degree in physical oceanography and is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Washington.

·        Colleen Robicheaux of Houma, La., graduated from LSU in May 2016 with a degree in mathematical sciences and is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The following students received honorable mention:

·         Mark DiTusa of Baton Rouge graduated from LSU in May 2016 with a degree in physics and astronomy and is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.

·        Gerald Knapp of Baton Rouge graduated from LSU in 2016 with a degree in mechanical engineering and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Penn State University.

·        Shelby Johnston of Ann Arbor, Mich., graduated from LSU in 2015 with a degree in geology/Earth sciences and is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Houston.

GRFP was developed by the National Science Foundation to create a highly motivated and capable workforce dedicated to ensuring the nation’s leadership in advancing STEM-related innovations. The selected fellows are expected to become respected thought leaders and knowledge experts in their given fields. These graduate students also benefit from opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

NSF has posted a complete list of those offered this fellowship for 2018.

The rigorous NSF GRFP application includes submission of a research proposal. Many of the LSU fellows honored participated in the annual NSF Graduate Research Fellowship application workshop hosted by the Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership, or CCELL, and Communication across the Curriculum, or CxC.

This three-part series workshop – led by the Cliff and Nancy Spanier Alumni Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Director of CCELL Marybeth Lima; Professor Emeritus in English Sarah Liggett; Cajun Constructors Professor in Construction Management Carol Friedland; CxC Science Coordinator Becky Carmichael; Director of Fellowship Advising Drew Lamonica Arms; Emily Frank, LSU instructional technologies/engineering librarian; and Jennifer Baumgartner, CxC faculty chair and associate professor in the School of Education  – has provided comprehensive training on developing exceptional applications.


About GRFP

GRFP is a critical program in NSF’s overall strategy to develop a globally engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. Former NSF fellows make transformative breakthroughs in STEM, are leaders in their chosen careers, and have been honored as Nobel laureates. A hallmark of GRFP is its contribution to increasing the diversity of the STEM workforce, including geographic distribution, as well as the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans.

GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period —$34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM field.

Fellows have opportunities for international research collaborations through the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide, or GROW, initiative and professional career development with federal internships provided through the Graduate Research Internship Program, or GRIP. GRFP also supports NSF’s Career-Life Balance Initiative, NSF 13-099.

For more information on the Graduate Research Fellowship Program, visit http://www.nsfgrfp.org/.

CCELL

The LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership promotes learning, student leadership and community engagement through service-learning activities and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.lsu.edu/ccell.

CxC

As the first program of its kind in the nation, LSU Communication across the Curriculum works with LSU faculty to train, mentor and recognize students who demonstrate exceptional skills in written, spoken, visual and technological communication. For more information, visit www.cxc.lsu.edu.

           

Additional Link:

2017 NSF Fellow and LSU Ph.D. Student Felix Santiago-Collazo Featured: https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_images.jsp?cntn_id=245024&org=NSF

 

 

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Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations
225-578-3870
asatake@lsu.edu