Record six UI grad students selected as NSF Fellows

A record six University of Iowa graduate students will receive prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships starting in the 2018-19 academic year. The University of Iowa’s previous high total was five graduate student winners, most recently in 2014-15.

University of Iowa graduate students participate in an NSF GRFP workshop in 2017.This year’s six winners include Rae Corrigan (Biomedical Engineering PhD Program), Amina Grant (Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD Program), Katherine Lazenby (Chemistry PhD Program), Andrea Malek (Teaching and Learning PhD Program), Rachel Smoak (Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD Program), and Mallory Tollefson (Biomedical Engineering PhD Program).

Additional NSF fellows will enter UI graduate programs this fall, including Margaret Carolan and Sania Kamran in the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program and Marco Pipoly in the Neuroscience PhD Program.

Grant and Smoak are graduate students in the Sustainable Water Development Program. Carolan and Kamran will join the program this fall.

“The NSF GRFP is a highly competitive program and fellowship awardees are selected based on their potential to be the scientific leaders and innovators of the future,” says Graduate College Senior Associate Dean Sarah Larsen. “We congratulate our current and incoming graduate students and look forward to your future successes during your graduate career and beyond.”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards fellowships to outstanding graduate students who have the potential to make significant achievements in science and engineering research. This year’s winners were announced on April 3.

The NSF fellowship award provides the graduate student with three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period ($34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution) for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, nationals, or permanent residents, and are selected through the NSF peer review process.

Graduate students Christopher Ball (Biochemistry) and Monica McFadden (Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD Program) received honorable mention recognition for 2018-19. McFadden also is a member of the Sustainable Water Development Program.

Being selected honorable mention is a significant national accomplishment as well and provides Ball and McFadden with access to XSEDE, a single virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise.