NatSci home to seven 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients

  • Apr 3, 2017
  • Research, Students, Award
  • Faculty & Staff, Research, Students, Integrative Biology, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics & Astronomy

Seven MSU College of Natural Science (NatSci) students and alumni were among 15 undergraduate students, graduate students and recent alumni selected for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

The program is the country’s oldest graduate fellowship program that directly supports graduate students in various science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

NSF Graduate Research Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

“Successful awards are the product of the work of both talented students and the dedicated faculty mentors who guide their research,” said Judith Stoddart, interim dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education at MSU. “These graduate students will be the future leaders in their fields, and we look forward to seeing how their research advances innovations in STEM and STEM education.”

The seven individuals affiliated with NatSci who were selected as NSF Graduate Research Fellows are:

  • Lauren Koenig, a doctoral student studying the underlying mechanisms of animal behavior and predator-prey interactions in the Department of Integrative Biology. Faculty advisor: Ashlee Rowe.
  • Alexander Lalejini, a doctoral student pursuing a dual degree in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Behavior Program in NatSci and computer science in the College of Engineering.
  • Irene Li, a NatSci alumna in genomics and molecular genetics, and a College of Social Science and Honors College alumna, now studying cell biology at Stanford University, Department of Cancer Biology.
  • Jessica Micallef, a doctoral student studying high energy physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Faculty advisor: Tyce DeYoung.
  • Connie Rojas, a doctoral student pursuing a dual degree in zoology (mammalian field biology) in the Department of Integrative Biology and in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program. Faculty advisor: Kay Holekamp.
  • Matthew Suandi, an Honors College senior double majoring in mathematics in NatSci and economics in the College of Social Science. NatSci faculty advisor: Tsveta Sendova.
  • Allison Young, a doctoral student pursuing a dual degree in zoology (studying social bee foraging behavior) in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program. Faculty advisor: Fred Dyer.

“The success of these very talented young scientists in achieving recognition of their potential through the award of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships will help build a solid foundation for their future careers,” said Richard Schwartz, NatSci associate dean of graduate studies. “We are so fortunate and proud to have them as a part of our scientific community. Their success helps to sustain the vitality of our educational mission.”

For a complete list of 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients, visit  http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/15-undergraduate-graduate-students-and-alumni-named-nsf-graduate-research-fellows/.