NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

2021 Fellows from the University of Nevada, Reno

Bethany Calvert, Mechanical Engineering graduate student

Bethany CalvertBethany Calvert is a senior in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno and will graduate with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2021. During her undergraduate degree, Bethany researched hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic actuators (HASEL) in Dr. Zhang's smart robotics lab at the University of Nevada, Reno. Bethany will continue on to work toward her PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall of 2021 with a research focus in robotics, dynamics, and controls.

Elijah John Holschbach, Biochemistry PhD student

Elija HolschbachElijah Holschbach is a second year Biochemistry PhD student at the University of Nevada-Reno. In the winter of 2017, Elijah earned a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an undergraduate Elijah researched the fermentation of corn into biofuels. After graduation he studied a viral pathogen which infects wheat, and he published one paper on this topic. His current research, carried out in the Kosma and Santos labs at the University, focuses on plant-microbe interactions with an emphasis on reducing food waste and spoilage.

Kelly Loria, Ecology PhD student

Kelly LoriaKelly is a PhD student in the Natural Resources and Environmental Science Program advised by Dr. Joanna Blaszczak. Prior to joining the NRES department, Kelly received a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she researched alpine lake ecology with the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research Program. She is broadly interested in how headwater catchments will be impacted by climate change in areas that are experiencing rapid signals of winter warming like the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She is currently investigating patterns of mountain stream metabolism and nutrient uptake by algal communities and the sensitivity of these trends to expected winter disturbances in Lake Tahoe Basin.

William Fredrick Roser, Civil Engineering PhD student

William RoserWilliam is a PhD student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program working under Professor Keri Ryan to study interactions between structural and nonstructural building systems. His research will help prevent seismic damage to windows and walls, which will help communities recover more quickly after earthquakes.

His advice to future GRFP applicants: "If you are applying for the NSF GRFP, don’t be shy when selling yourself. I hadn’t been strongly involved in structural engineering or research as an undergraduate, but I was able to convince the reviewers that my experiences in programming, language learning, and teaching would help me be a better researcher. Highlight what makes you unique — you will be rewarded for it!"

2021 Fellows who recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno

Pamela Maninang Hong, Sociology MS graduate

Pam HongPamela M. Hong is a second-year Sociology Ph.D. student at Indiana University-Bloomington. She is a University of Nevada, Reno Honors Program graduate and completed her B.A. in Psychology at UNR in 2018. She does research on race/ethnicity, immigration, and social movements. Her UNR Honors Thesis research was published in the Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy in 2020. She is currently working on her NSF project and MA thesis, which illustrates how media depictions of immigrants’ and activists’ efforts for social change can affect the general public’s perceptions of immigration and the legitimacy of the social movements they undertake. This project explores how print media frames immigrants in a victim narrative when in the context of immigration social movements, and how media framing (threat, victim, and hero narratives) is differentially used depending on the racial category of the immigrant group.

Natasha Wesely, Ecology graduate

Natasha WeselyNatasha will join Kiona Ogle’s lab at Northern Arizona University in the fall of 2021. She will start the T3 option in NSF’s INF program in ecological and environmental informatics. She is broadly interested in abiotic drivers of landscape scale changes, especially those associated with climate change and anthropogenic disturbances. While she completed her undergraduate degree at UNR, she was heavily involved in Dr. Peter Weisberg’s Great Basin Landscape Ecology Lab, where she studied small watershed disturbances, invasive species expansion, and road network impacts on natural vegetation.