The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded scholarships to 22 University of Notre Dame students and alumni as part of the 2021 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), with an additional 10 students and alumni singled out for honorable mention for the award.
Inaugurated in 1952, the NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding students in the NSF-supported STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. It is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind.
Twenty-two GRFP fellows is the second-most ever for Notre Dame. Combined with the honorable mentions, it is the third-most ever for the University in terms of the total number of students recognized.
The program offers three years of financial support in the form of a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance, in addition to professional development and international research opportunities.
The application process for the NSF GRFP is extensive. Applicants work in conjunction with their advisers to create compelling personal statements and research plans. In addition, applicants from Notre Dame have the opportunity to receive strategic expert advice. Notre Dame’s undergraduate students and alumni work with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), and its graduate students work with the fellowship advising team at the Graduate School’s Office of Grants and Fellowships, one of the only full-time fellowship advising offices in the country dedicated exclusively to graduate students.
“I’d like to congratulate all of those who were recognized by the NSF GRFP this year,” said Jeffrey Thibert, the Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director of CUSE. “This year we’ve had a record number of undergraduates and undergraduate alumni receive the fellowship, and so I’d like to give special thanks both to CUSE’s NSF GRFP adviser, Emily Hunt, and to all of the faculty mentors and advisers who assisted students with their applications.
“A successful application for the NSF GRFP is usually a team effort, and I encourage any undergraduate interested in applying — which should include any undergraduate applying to graduate programs in science, engineering, mathematics, social science and STEM education — to visit cuse.nd.edu/nsf to learn more about how to get advice from CUSE on the process,” Thibert said.
Laura Carlson, vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School, was equally enthusiastic.
“Students worked tirelessly to prepare their applications and it really shows in the NSF GRFP results,” Carlson said. “Notre Dame believes wholeheartedly that the research our students are engaged in matters. I’m delighted to see the National Science Foundation recognizes this, too.”
The 22 NSF GRFP winners are:
Jeffrey Berning, engineering
Alexandra Bodnar, chemistry
Amanda Brown, engineering
Cecelia Chisdock, social sciences
Kiera Dwyer, engineering
Maggie Fink, life sciences
Lauren Fritz, life sciences
Annelise Gill-Wiehl, social sciences
Mia Hoffman, engineering
Kenya Lee, social sciences
Ethan LoCicero, engineering
Theodore MacMillan, engineering
Siena Mantooth, engineering
Teresa McDonald, life sciences
McKenze Moss, chemistry
Amaryst Parks, social sciences
Rebecca Radomsky, materials research
Cara Ravasio, engineering
Virginia Rodriguez, geosciences
Catalina Vajiac, computational science and engineering
Manuel Vejar, geosciences
Alyssa Wilson, life sciences
The honorable mentions are:
Therese Bonomo, social sciences
Eleanor Clark, life sciences
Patrick Cunniff, life sciences
Lauren Davancaze, life sciences
Yoo Jin Jung, life sciences
Helena Kleiner, life sciences
Anne Knorr, psychology
Jonathan Ouimet, engineering
Phoenix Pedro, social sciences
Timothy Seida, social sciences
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