NSF awards 38 Graduate Research Fellowships to Rice students

NSF Fellowship winners Take the Cake

The National Science Foundation has awarded 38 Graduate Research Fellowships to Rice University students. 

Twenty-four are current or incoming graduate students, including three current Rice undergraduates, and a further 14 are undergraduates or alumni.

The prestigious fellowships are intended to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers through support of their graduate educations. Fellows are provided three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period, including 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.

Another six graduate students and six undergraduate students or alumni earned honorable mentions in this year’s awards. 

“Rice congratulates our fellows and honorable mentions,” said Seiichi Matsuda, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies (GPS). “The 50 students recognized in this competition have worked hard and have achieved at the highest levels. It is a joy and a privilege to work with them.”

All graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who have won external fellowships will be honored at GPS’ annual Take the Cake event in the fall, where they will receive a cake to share with their research groups. Students can report fellowship wins at https://graduate.rice.edu/resources/take-the-cake.

Current undergraduates and alumni:

Lucrecia Aguilar -- life sciences, ecology

Leslie Arrazolo -- chemical engineering

Joshua Holder -- engineering 

Minjung Kim -- chemical engineering 

Amy Kuritzky -- social sciences

Dhilan Lahoti -- mathematics

Lilith Liang -- biomedical engineering

Arielle Liu -- biological anthropology

Ella Segal -- life sciences, ecology

Jordan Sims -- life sciences, biology

Yingxuan Tan -- life sciences, artificial intelligence

Martin Torres -- civil engineering

Alisa Webb -- mechanical engineering

Jim Zhang -- life sciences, structural biology


Current undergraduate/incoming graduate students:

Jaanita Mehrani -- physics and astronomy

Amelia Peeples -- environmental engineering

Allison Price -- environmental engineering


Current and incoming graduate students:

Madelyn Castro -- psychological sciences

Ellie Chen -- electrical and computer engineering

Jeremy Daum -- materials science and nanoengineering

Nyah Davis -- mathematics

Gabriela Franco -- bioengineering

Daniel Haller -- systems, synthetic and physical biology 

Zina Helal -- bioengineering

Esther Jimenez – biochemistry and cell biology

Devon Kulhanek -- chemical and biomolecular engineering

Jee Sun Lee – sociology 

Julieanne Montaquila -- ecology and evolutionary biology

Rubyann Olmos -- physics and astronomy

Jessica Persaud -- chemical and biomolecular engineering

Neethu Pottackal -- materials science and nanoengineering

William Schmid -- electrical and computer engineering

Elisabeth Silver -- psychological sciences

Sanjna Sukumaran -- materials science and nanoengineering

Joseph Swain -- chemistry

Hailey Szadowski -- systems, synthetic and physical biology

Catherine Tuppen -- electrical and computer engineering 

Andrew Walters -- bioengineering


Honorable mention:

Graduate students:

Sarah Buzsaki -- chemistry

Ray Hagimoto -- physics and astronomy

Alianna Maguire -- materials science and nanoengineering

Austin Moser -- chemistry

Sherina Malkani -- bioengineering

Alexa Ornstein -- applied physics



Jacob Bhoi -- bioscience                           

John Tianci Li -- materials science and nanoengineering      

Maia Helterbrand -- chemistry                 

Jared Nirenberg -- geosciences                 

Hallie Trial -- chemistry                           

Joycelyn Yiu -- bioengineering