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May 17, 2011

Students awarded fellowships for graduate research

Twelve students have been named recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowship provides up to three years of graduate study support for students pursing doctoral or research-based master’s degrees. Since the program’s inception in 1952, it has supported nearly 50,000 students conducting research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and selected social science disciplines.

The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 educational allowance to the institution, and international research opportunities.

Danielle Benoit, an assistant professor in biomedical and chemical engineering, says the financial support provides students the flexibility to attend conferences, participate in training programs, and travel to meet with other researchers in their field.

“For young students, earning an NSF fellowship really shows that they have substantial ability in conducting research,” she says. Benoit, who was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship in 2004, says that by going through the application process, students also gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the fiscal side of research.

Belinda Redden, director of fellowships, says the application process is demanding. “It is a significant undertaking, requiring three separate essays on past research, proposed plan of research in graduate school, and a personal statement. I am very proud to see this level of success for Rochester students and alumni in such a prestigious fellowship competition; they are expected to be future leaders in their fields, and this early public affirmation of their potential is tremendously important.”

The following students received fellowships:

Alexander Federation ’11, chemistry;

Francis Ferraro ’11, computer science, mathematics, minor in linguistics;

Benjamin Freedman ’11, biomedical engineering;

Caitlyn Rose Kennedy ’11, chemistry;

Adam Kozak ’11, biomedical engineering, minor in optics;

Victoria Massie ’11, anthropology, African and African-American Studies;

Christina Rossi ’11, mechanical engineering;

Hannah Watkins ’11, biomedical engineering, minors in chemical engineering, biology;

Laura Ackerman, doctoral degree candidate in chemistry;

Cory Bonn, ’10E, ’06E, doctoral degree candidate in brain and cognitive sciences;

David Kleinschmidt, doctoral degree candidate in brain and cognitive sciences;

Randy Sabatini, doctoral degree candidate in chemistry.

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