Rice has 32 new NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Editor’s note: Three more recipients accepted a fellowship at Rice after this article was originally published, so the total number is now 32.

Thirty-two recipients of the 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships are Rice students and/or alumni. Only 2,000 students of the more than 12,000 applicants across the country were offered this fellowship award. Seventeen of the 1,459 applicants who received an honorable mention have a Rice affiliation.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program logoThe NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recruits high-potential, early career scientists and engineers and supports their graduate research training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. It is part of NSF’s overall strategy to develop a globally engaged workforce to ensure the nation’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation.

GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period — a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. The funds are intended for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM field.

“To support U.S. leadership and innovation in science and engineering, we must recognize and nurture talent from all of our nation’s communities,” said Jim Lewis, NSF acting assistant director for education and human resources. “I am pleased that again this year, the competition has selected talented students from all economic backgrounds and all demographic categories.”

Of the 32 Rice-affiliated fellows, 18 are Rice current or incoming graduate students, four are seniors at Rice and 10 are Rice alumni who will conduct their fellowship at other schools.

Seiichi Matsuda, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, said that recruiting and developing more NSF Fellows and other nationally recognized students is central to the Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade (V2C2) goal to build renowned graduate programs.

2018 NSF Graduate Student Fellowship recipients with a Rice affiliation
and their area of research

Rice graduate students:

  • Drecey Albin (incoming), chemistry – chemistry of life processes.
  • Quinton Anderson, life sciences – cell biology.
  • Logan Bishop, chemistry – chemical theory, models and computational methods.
  • Grant Boggess, engineering – mechanical engineering.
  • Eliot Bongiovanni (incoming), mathematical sciences – geometric analysis.
  • Joshua Chen, engineering – biomedical engineering.
  • Weitong Chen, engineering – chemical engineering.
  • Madeline Galbraith (incoming), physics and astronomy – condensed matter physics.
  • Sarah Hewes, engineering – bioengineering.
  • Rachael Kress, chemistry – macromolecular, supramolecular and nanochemistry.
  • Oscar Leong, mathematical sciences – applied mathematics.
  • Lorenzo Luzi, engineering – electrical and electronic engineering.
  • Quan Nguyen, engineering – chemical engineering.
  • Jadelys Tonos Luciano, life sciences – ecology.
  • Allison Traylor, psychology – industrial/organizational psychology.
  • Kathleen Ulrich, social sciences – cultural anthropology.
  • MacKenzie Warrens, physics and astronomy – atomic, molecular and optical physics.
  • Zane Zook (incoming), engineering – mechanical engineering.

Rice seniors:

  • Elena Busch, physics and astronomy – particle physics.
  • Lucy Lai, life sciences – neurosciences.
  • Ethan Perez, computer/information science/engineering – machine learning.
  • Gia Rivera Longsworth, life sciences – developmental biology.

Rice alumni at other schools who received NSF fellowships:

  • Yamin Arefeen ’17 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, engineering – biomedical engineering.
  • Kathleen Abadie ’14 at University of Washington, engineering — biomedical engineering.
  • Rachel Ragnhild Carlson ’10 and ’11, current institution not listed on the NSF site, life sciences – ecology.
  • Elisa Clark ’15 at University of Washington, engineering – bioengineering.
  • Justin Dong ’14 at Brown University, mathematical sciences – applied mathematics.
  • Matthew Johnson ’13 at University of Washington, computer/information science/engineering – computer networks.
  • Michelle Muth ’15 at University of Oregon, geosciences – petrology.
  • Sarah Nyquist ’16 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, life sciences – bioinformatics and computational biology.
  • Aaron Velasquez-Mao ’17 at University of California, Berkeley, engineering – bioengineering.
  • Lilly Yu ’14 at Harvard University, social sciences – sociology and social policy.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program accords honorable mention to meritorious applicants who do not receive fellowship awards. Thirteen Rice graduate students received an honorable mention: Jonas Actor, Michelle Ai-Lien Chen ’16, Jackson Coole (incoming), Nathan Dunkelberger, Carlynn Fagnant, Emily Fulk, Jessica Gayle (incoming), Rachael Kress, Sai Paul, Christian Schreib (incoming), Manuela Sushnitha, Jadelys Tonos Luciano and Amadeus Zhu. Four Rice alumni at other schools also received an honorable mention: Emmaline Drew ’16, Rivkah Gardner-Frolick ’17, Jessica Griffiths ’17 and Madeleine Hewitt ’16.

For more info on the NSF GRFP, click here.


About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.