Penn State host to 23 new NSF graduate researchers

October 04, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State is hosting 23 new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients in 2012-13. These students join 33 prior recipients continuing in the University's graduate degree programs in the Eberly College of Science and the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Health and Human Development, Information Sciences and Technology, and the Liberal Arts, as well as the Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs.

The NSF program supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, STEM education and learning research, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees. In the 2012 competition, NSF received 12,000 applications and 2,000 awards were granted in the amount of $126,000 per fellowship.

According to the National Science Foundation's website, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is "the oldest graduate fellowship program of its kind with a history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers,” and that “fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, 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.”

The following students make up the 2012 class of new fellows at the University: Seth Berbano, materials science and engineering; Whitney Coyle, acoustics; Elizabeth Denis, geosciences; Claire Ebert, anthropology; Amanda Fidalgo, political science; Alison Grantham, ecology; Russell Hedberg, geography; Nicholas Holschuh, geosciences; Lauren Hughes, sociology; Mitchell Hunter, agronomy; Kathryn Kirsch, mechanical engineering; Gail McCormick, ecology; Elizabeth Michael, materials science and engineering; Mallory Molina, astronomy and astrophysics; Adriana Reyes, sociology; Michael Shreve, environmental engineering; Charles Smith, engineering science and mechanics; Emilia Sola-Gracia, ecology; Charles Spanjers, chemical engineering; Megan Strayer, chemistry; Nella Vargas-Barbarosa, chemistry; Kacee Wilson, industrial engineering; Kelilah Wolkowicz, mechanical engineering.

The NSF GRFP annual program solicitation was released in August and is available online at Applications are accepted via Fastlane (, the NSF's official online information and business transaction center. Application deadlines begin in mid-November and vary depending on the field of study. NSF-supported fields of study include: chemistry, computer and information science and engineering, engineering, geosciences, life sciences, materials research, mathematical sciences, physics and astronomy, psychology, social sciences, and STEM education and learning research.

For additional information on the NSF GRFP, contact Barbara Struble, director of the Graduate School's Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration, at or 814-865-8122.

Last Updated October 09, 2012