Three University of Rochester students studying how the brain masters something as complex as language, or struggles to simply move an arm after a stroke, have earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships to help them pursue their research and education.
Rachel Hawe, a biomedical engineering senior, Celeste Kidd, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Kristen Skovbroten, also a doctoral candidate in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences were awarded the fellowships.
The fellowship provides students with three years of funding, up to $121,500, for research-focused master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Hawe, from Alexandria, Virginia, will pursue her doctorate in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University, focusing on neuromuscular biomechanics, specifically impaired movement caused by stroke and spinal chord injury. Hawe, is a Rush Rhees Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa as well as Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Eta Mu Beta engineering honor societies. In the summer of 2006, she was a Graduate Education in Biomedical Sciences scholar, which provided a supervised research experience with a mentor at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Kidd is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences studying language processing and acquisition. In the summer of 2007, she was awarded the Linguistics Society of America's President's Fellowship. Kidd earned her Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Skovbroten is also a first-year graduate student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where she studies language processing. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in linguistics and cognitive science from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. In 2006, Skovbroten received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship honorable mention.
The University is also gaining an award recipient from MIT. Meridith Brown will be joining the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in the fall.
In addition to the fellowship winners, four University of Rochester seniors received honorable mentions in the competition: Daniel Allan, earning his Bachelor of Science in physics and Bachelor of Arts in music, Kathryn Knowles, earning her Bachelor of Science in chemistry and Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, Stephanie Mason, earning her Bachelor of Science in geology, and Peter McCarthy, earning his Bachelor of Science in optics. Sarah Davis, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, also received an honorable mention.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are awarded to outstanding college and university students for graduate study in the natural sciences, selected social sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Selection is based on academic record, previous research experience, and proposed plan of research. Approximately 1,000 NSF Graduate Research Fellows are named each year.