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Four School of Science Seniors Awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships


Clockwise: Tanya Townsend – Chemistry, Em Schnorr – Physics, Shirley Wang – Psychology, Rebecca Santorella – Mathematics

Four School of Science Seniors Awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

Three School of Science seniors have been awarded highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The awardees and the fields that each will study in graduate schools are:

     Tanya Townsend, Chemistry major (Chemistry – Chemical Catalysis) Attending: Yale University

     Em Schnorr, Physics major  (Geosciences – Glacial Seismology) Attending: University of California, Santa Cruz

     Rebecca Santorella, Mathematics major  (Mathematical Sciences – Applied Mathematics)  Attending: Brown University

     Shirley Bao Wang, Psychology major and Statistics minor (Psychology – Clinical Science)  Attending: Harvard University

In addition to these four science students, Chemistry alumnus William McDermott (now in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) received an honorable mention.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program supports the graduate study of U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents attaining research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education at institutions located in the United States. 

The 2017 Fellowship selection was intensely competitive.  Over 13,000 applications were submitted, and 2,000 individuals were selected for awards through a national competition. Fellowship awardees were selected through the NSF peer review process.

Awardees represent a wide range of scientific disciplines and come from all states, as well as the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and territories.  The group of 2,000 awardees is diverse, including 1,158 women, 498 individuals from underrepresented minority groups, 75 persons with disabilities, 26 veterans, and 726 undergraduate seniors.  The awardees come from 449 baccalaureate institutions.


About the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a critical program in NSF’s overall strategy to develop a globally engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation’s leadership in advancing science & engineering research and innovation. Former NSF fellows have made transformative breakthroughs in science & engineering, become leaders in their chosen careers, and been honored as Nobel laureates.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides 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). That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in science & engineering.


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