It is among the most prestigious graduate fellowship programs in the world, and this year 13 undergraduate or graduate students affiliated with the University of Nevada, Reno received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program award.
Of the 13, seven will be NSF fellows on the University campus, pursuing graduate degrees. Six additional students who earned their bachelor’s degrees at the University were awarded NSF fellowships in 2022 and will pursue their graduate education at other prestigious universities.
The University’s Graduate School projects that, in total, at least 23 active NSF Graduate Research Fellows will be on campus in Fall 2022, marking an all-time high.
The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is described by the NSF as having a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. Since its creation in 1952, more than 60,000 fellowships have been awarded out of more than 500,000 applicants. Forty-two have gone on to become Nobel laureates and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides three years of funding at an annual rate of $46,000 (annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 education allowance for tuition and fees) for a total award of $138,000 per student.
“This is a significant achievement for each of these students, and it speaks volumes about the high quality, graduate education at this University and the commitment and mentorship by our faculty in these programs,” said University President Brian Sandoval. “These talented, creative students will be prepared to go on to contribute scientific innovation, understanding and concepts toward global challenges and opportunities.”
Meet the seven NSF fellows on campus (and more information about each is available on the Graduate School website):
- Elijah Boardman is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences and pursuing a research interest in mountain hydrology, to include analysis and modeling pertaining to the Sierra Nevada, under the advisement of Adrian Harpold, associate professor of mountain ecohydrology in the College of Agricultural, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR).
- Jessica Buelow is a Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology graduate program where, under the advisement of Ann Leonard, associate professor in the College of Science, Buelow is studying the ecology and behavior of native bees.
- Otis Clyne is a Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology graduate program where, under the advisement of Robert Shriver, assistant professor in CABNR, Clyne is pursuing an interest plant population dynamics and ecological forecasting.
- Ryan Pierce Coulter is a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, College of Engineering, pursuing research in the field of additive manufacturing, including new methods for 3D printing, under the advisement of Yifei Jin, assistant professor.
- Elena Cox is a Ph.D. student in CABNR’s Natural Resources and Environmental Science program, where, under the advisement of Erin Hanan, assistant professor in CABNR, Cox is studying how fire effects soil microbial activity and biogeochemical cycling.
- Lily Raymond completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering through the University’s College of Engineering, and will pursue a Ph.D. also in mechanical engineering at the University and pursue research into new methods to shape memory polymers under the advisement of Yifei Jin, assistant professor.
- Jordan Zabrecky is a Ph.D. student in CABNR’s Natural Resources and Environmental Science program, where, under the advisement of Joanna Blaszczak, assistant professor in CABNR, Zabrecky is studying water quality issues from a biogeochemistry perspective.
Congratulations to the six who received bachelor’s degrees at the University and are going on to graduate programs at other universities:
- David Paul Bombara, College of Engineering alumnus, field of interest/study in mechanical engineering and robotics
- Quinn Richard Campbell, College of Science alumnus, field of interest/study in life sciences-evolutionary biology
- Anjana Nethsara Dissanayaka, College of Engineering alumnus, field of interest/study in biomedical engineering
- Jacob Matthew Molina, College of Science alumnus, field of interest/study in physics and plasma physics
- Alexis Antonio Palma, College of Science alumnus, field of interest/study in materials research-metallic materials
- Mary Angela Quiroga, Colleges of Business and Science alumnus, field of interest/study in social sciences-economics
The University’s Graduate School provides more information online about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and the Graduate School joins with Research & Innovation at the University to provide application workshops and reviews.
Several of the students who received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships conducted research and scholarly activities on campus with the support of programs through Undergraduate Research, part of Research & Innovation. Molina, Palma, Dissanayaka and Quiroga are also alumni of the University’s McNair Scholars Program.