Penn State welcomes new NSF graduate researchers

September 16, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. — The Graduate School at Penn State welcomes 14 new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients for the 2016-17 academic year. These 14 students join 55 prior recipients continuing in the University’s graduate degree programs in the Eberly College of Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Education, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Health and Human Development, College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the  College of the Liberal Arts, as well as the Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs.

The NSF program supports outstanding graduate students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines; those in STEM education and learning research; and those in social and behavioral sciences, who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees.

The 2016-17 class of new fellows at the University are:

  • Robert Ashley, learning, design, and technology;
  • Allan Brooks, chemical engineering;
  • Claire Cleveland, geosciences;
  • Nicole Famularo, chemistry;
  • Sergio Gallucci, aerospace engineering;
  • Nathan Hepler, plant biology;
  • Jacob Luhn, astronomy and astrophysics;
  • Andrew Morris, soil science;
  • Damie Pak, biology;
  • Lila Rieber, integrative biosciences;
  • Talia Shirazi, anthropology;
  • Alexis Sullivan, biology;
  • David Villalta, ecology; and
  • Travis Young, geography.

According to the NSF website, “as the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers.” The website states that, “fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), 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 GRFP annual program solicitation was released in July and is available on the NSF website. Applications are accepted via Fastlane, the NSF's official online information and business transaction center. Application deadlines begin in late October 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 GRFP, contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration at or 814-865-2514.

Last Updated September 27, 2016