24 Penn State students receive offers from the National Science Foundation

April 16, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A total of 24 Penn State students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees earned fellowship offers from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

The program aims to support “outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or in STEM education,” according to the website at nsf.gov.

Students receive three years of support within a five-year fellowship period during their graduate education by proving they have “potential for significant research achievements.” The NSF estimates that 1,500 awards are made each year, with anticipated funding of $138,000 per award.

Any students interested in learning more about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, or those who would like feedback on application materials, are encouraged to contact the University Fellowships Office.

The following students received NSF offers and honorable mentions.


  • Claire Rodman, Engineer, Mechanical Engineering
  • Eric Pauley, Computer and Information Sciences & Engineering, Computer Security and Privacy
  • Shawn Murdzek, Geosciences, Physical and Dynamic Meteorology
  • Katherin Marak, Chemistry, Environmental Chemical Systems
  • Sarah Lowum, Materials Research, Ceramics
  • Scott Leighow, Engineering, Bioengineering
  • Laura Kaminsky, Life Sciences, Biology
  • Victoria Jones, Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Kelley Gunther, Psychology, Developmental Psychology
  • Sylvia Bintrim, Chemistry; Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods
  • Michael Bichnevicius, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Taylor Baum, Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
  • Kelsee Baranowski, Life Sciences, Ecology
  • Ara’L Yarber, Geosciences, Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Emily Taverna, Psychology, Social Psychology
  • James Sutjianto, Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Julia Stewart, Life Sciences, Organismal Biology
  • Megan Steves, Chemistry; Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanism
  • Molly Smallcomb, Engineering, Acoustics
  • Andrew Shaughnessy, Geosciences, Geochemistry
  • Everett Zofchak, Materials Research, Polymers
  • Katy Gerace, Materials Research, 2D materials
  • Timothy Bowen, Materials Research, Electronic Materials
  • Riccardo Torsi, Materials Research, Electronic Materials

Honorable Mentions

  • Mariam Taleb, Life Sciences, Environmental Biology
  • Adriana Rizzo, Geosciences, Geobiology
  • Catalina Mejia, Geosciences, Biogeochemistry
  • Ian Laga, Mathematical Sciences, Statistics
  • Kyle Husmann, Psychology, Developmental Psychology
  • Albanie Hendrickson-Stives, Chemistry; Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry
  • Courtney Gray, Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Christian Gilbertson, Physics and Astronomy, Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Tyler Grimm, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (Penn State Erie, The Behrend College)
  • Josephine Frasca, Psychology, Social Psychology
  • Alexander Eichfeld, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Catherine Douds, Life Sciences, Biochemistry
  • Philip Clauer, Engineering, Bioengineering
  • Staci Cibotti, Life Sciences, Ecology
  • Juan Cerda, Life Sciences, Evolutionary Biology
  • Kallan Berglund, Physics and Astronomy, Theoretical Physics
  • Nina Camillone, Life Sciences, Environmental Biology

In addition, the following Penn State alumni — now at other institutions — received NSF offers and honorable mentions.


  • Zachary Berquist, Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Nicole Bienert, Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Alexander Chan, Engineering, Bioengineering
  • Jordan Chapman, Social Sciences, Archaeology
  • Erika Exton, Psychology, Psycholinguistics
  • Richard Gardner, Social Sciences, Sociology
  • Brady Goulden, Life Sciences, Cell Biology
  • Elsa Koninckx, Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Kathleen Lauser, Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Christopher Miller, Computer and Information Sciences & Engineering, Robotics and Computer Vision
  • Luke Nigro, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Grace Noel, Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Kaitlyn Peterson, Social Sciences, Geography
  • Timothy Sullivan, Psychology, Social Psychology

Honorable Mentions

  • Laura Beebe, Life Sciences, Neurosciences
  • Kevin Cassidy, Life Sciences, Biophysics
  • Edward Chen, Computer and Information Sciences & Engineering, Robotics and Computer Vision
  • Audrey Dunham, Geosciences, Geophysics
  • Maya Evanitsky, Life Sciences, Developmental Biology
  • Sruthi Kakuturu, Engineering, Environmental Engineering
  • Kathryn Sautter, Materials Research, Electronic Materials
  • Michael Spencer, Materials Research, Energy Storage Materials

Last Updated April 16, 2019