University of Rochester

Three University of Rochester Students Earn National Science Award

April 23, 2007

University of Rochester senior Robert Penna and doctoral students Ryan Cowley and Brooke Chuzles have been awarded the 2007 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are awarded to outstanding college and university students in the natural sciences, selected social sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The award provides support for three years of graduate study leading to a research-based master's or doctoral degree. Selection is based on academic record, previous research experience, and proposed plan of research. The three recipients from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering are among 1,000 NSF Fellows named each year.

Penna, of Eden, N.Y., is pursuing a bachelor of arts with honors in mathematics as well as a bachelor of science degree in physics. He was named a Churchill Scholar earlier this year and also won the Goldwater Scholarship in 2005 as a sophomore. As a Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University, Penna will pursue the Certificate of Advanced Study in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Upon completion of the master's program, Penna plans to pursue his doctorate in astrophysics at Harvard University.

Cowley, of Albuquerque, N.M., received his bachelor of science in chemistry in 2006 from New Mexico State University and is currently a Sherman-Clarke Fellow in the University's Department of Chemistry where he is studying inorganic chemistry with Patrick Holland, associate professor of chemistry. He is a member of several honorary societies and is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Chuzles, of Appleton, Wis., graduated in 2005 with a bachelor of science in math and physics with an emphasis in optics from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. Chuzles is a Sproull Fellow studying bio-medical spectroscopy with Andrew Berger, associate professor in the Institute of Optics. She is a member of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society. As an undergraduate, Chuzles dedicated time to youth outreach and continues to pursue that passion through work with Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Seniors Stephen Privitera and Saad Shaik also earned honorable mentions in the 2007 NSF competition.