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USC NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Winners

 

 

Four current USC students and six USC alumni have been awarded 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF). Current students John Clegg, Brendan Croom, Lewis Rowles, and Rachel Steward, as well as alumni Emily Graczyk, Allison Matzelle, Elizabeth Messman, Christopher Pinion, Nicholas Riley, and Mark Taylor have all been named NSF GRF Fellows. Three others current students, Drew DeLorenzo, Taylor Garrick, and Timothy Workman and four alumnae, Jacqueline Cantwell, Cara Fertitta, Kirstie Hewson, and Erin McParland, were selected for Honorable Mentions in this prestigious graduate fellowship competition.

The National Science Foundation has awarded 2,000 three-year Graduate Research Fellowships of approximately $132,000 each to outstanding college and university students for the year 2014. Since 1952, NSF has provided fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

Fellows

Clegg will graduate in May from the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Biomedical Engineering. A 2013 Goldwater Honorable Mention, he is also the recipient of the Cooper Scholarship, the Pappas Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering, as well as Magellan and SURF funding for his undergraduate research work with Dr. Melissa Moss. Former Vice President of Theta Tau, he is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Tau Beta Pi. He plans to obtain his PhD in Biomedical Engineering and conduct research in translational drug delivery.

Croom will graduate in May from the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Mechanical Engineering. A McNair Scholar, he is also a National Merit Scholarship winner and a Lieber Scholar. His research with Dr. Michael Sutton explored digital image correlation and experimental mechanics, and he was named the SC Society of Professional Engineer's Top Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering. Croom also serves as Project Manager for USC's chapter of Engineers Without Borders project in La Victoria, Ecuador, which was supported by a Magellan grant. He plans to teach and continue research as a professor in mechanical engineering.

Graczyk is a 2013 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. A McNair Scholar, she was a Magellan Scholar and recipient of USC's Outstanding Senior Award, as well as a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society. In addition to research in the USC Aphasia Lab, she previously conducted research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University.

Matzelle is a 2010 graduate of USC, with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at Northeastern University. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a participant in Service Saturdays, and did both outreach and volunteer research with the Biology department. She plans a career pursuing her interests in marine physiological ecology, climate change biology, and sustainability.

Messman is a 2013 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Experimental Psychology, and is currently working on her PhD in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Pinion graduated from USC in 2012, with dual degrees in Chemistry and Physics. A Capstone Scholar, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and was the recipient of a Magellan Award and the Hiram and Lawanda Allen Award for Excellence in Chemistry for research at USC. In 2013, he was an NSF GRFP Honorable Mention. He currently holds the Ernest L. Eliel Graduate Fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he researches methods and applications of semiconductor nanonwire morphological control with Dr. James Cahoon while pursuing his PhD in Chemistry.

Riley is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, with majors in Chemistry and Psychology. At USC, he was a McNair Scholar, and recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the ODK Senior of the Year, and USC Outstanding Senior Award. He was a University Ambassador, a Resident Mentor, and did undergraduate research with Dr. Stephen Morgan, for which he received a Magellan. He is currently working towards his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and plans a career as a professor at a research university in the fields of mass spectrometry and proteomics.

Rowles is a December 2013 graduate of USC, earning his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. A Capstone Scholar, he was a lab volunteer in the Environmental Engineering lab of Dr. Navid Saleh, and he served as Vice President of both the Institute of Transpiration Engineers and the Mountaineering Whitewater Club at USC. He is a member of Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society and ASCE, and was the recipient of the Ed Yaghjian Undergraduate Studio Art Award. Active in the ceramic studio at USC, he will be pursuing his passion for both ceramics and engineering through his research incorporating nano material in ceramic filters for purifying contaminated water in his graduate work at UT Austin, where he will be earning his PhD in Environmental Engineering.

Steward is a 2011 graduate of Tufts University, and a current PhD student in Biology at USC. A Presidential Scholar at USC, she is working in the lab of Carol Boggs, researching a species of butterfly responding to habitat invasion by a nonnative plant. She is a member of GABS (Graduate Association of Biology students), active with the Carolina Butterfly Society (Midlands Chapter), and rows for the Columbia Rowing Club. At Tufts, she won two research scholarships, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Class of 1942 Prize. She plans a career in academia.

Taylor is a 2013 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, with degrees in Biological Sciences and History. He was the Kit and James T. Pearce, Sr. Carolina Scholar, as well as a recipient of a Magellan, SURF, and Passport Grant. He was the library assistant to Dr. Patrick Scott of the Special Collections Library, and an undergraduate researcher in the Stratmann Lab. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Plant Biology at UC Davis.

Honorable Mentions

Cantwell is a 2012 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, where she majored in Chemistry and minored in French. A McNair Scholar, she was also the recipient of the Lieber Scholarship and the National Merit Scholarship, as well as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key, NSCS, Sigma Alpha Lamda, and Alpha Lamda Delta. In 2012, she received a Fulbright to pursue research in France, and is now a PhD student in Chemistry at Northwestern University, where she conducts research in inorganic solid state chemistry and plans to be a university professor and research scientist.

DeLorenzo will graduate in May from the South Carolina Honors College with dual degrees in Marine Science and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and a minor in Business Administration. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, his past accolades include a 2012 Hollings Scholarship, 2013 Goldwater Scholarship, 2013 MASNA Undergraduate Scholar award, 2013 USC Outstanding Marine Science Rising Senior and 2014 Fulbright finalist. His undergraduate research in Dr. Jerry Hilbish's lab has been supported by Magellan and Voyager grants. He will attend Washington University in St. Louis for a PhD in Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering focusing on biofuels.

Fertitta is a 2010 graduate of USC with a BS in Biology. She is currently a PhD candidate in Plant Ecology at UC Riverside.

Garrick is a 2013 magna cum laude graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Chemical Engineering, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering at USC. Past president and current advisor for Tau Beta Pi, he was the recipient of the Dean's Scholarship, the Henry M. Rothberg Bicentennial Scholarship. He did undergraduate research with Dr. John Weidner, and completed research supported by Magellan, SURF, and Magellan Mini Grants. He is currently a Presidential Scholar, and plans a career in industrial research or research in a national lab in electrochemistry and alternative energy.

Hewson is a 2013 summa cum laude graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Experimental Psychology. The Ralph David Neuman Carolina Scholar, she also graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and was a member of the USC University Choir. She was a research assistant for Dr. Mark Weist, and completed an independent study with Dr. Nicole Zarrett on Project P.L.A.Y. She is currently working towards her PhD in Education, with a specialization in Learning, Cognition, and Development, at UC - Irvine, and plans to work as a research professor upon completion of her degree.

McParland graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2013 from USC, with a major in Marine Science. A Capstone Scholar and a 2011 Hollings Scholar, she received a Magellan for her research with Dr. Benitez-Nelson's biogeochemical lab, and was VP of Epsilon Sigma Alpha and president of Best Buddies. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Ocean Sciences at the University of Southern California, and plans a career in academia researching global ocean change due to climate change.

Workman is a 2012 graduate of USC, with a major in Electrical Engineering. A Capstone Scholar, he also received the Palmetto Fellows scholarship and received the 2012 Outstanding Senior in Electrical Engineering award. He was a math tutor for the Academic Center for Excellence and a research assistant in the Power Electronics department. He is currently pursuing his MS in Electrical Engineering at USC, where he was recognized as an outstanding teaching assistant in 2013, and plans to pursue his interest in Signal Integrity and go on to earn his PhD and teach at the college level.

The USC NSF Committee, co-chaired by Erin Connelly (Biology) and Michael Matthews (Chemical Engineering), and comprised of Brian Habing (Statistics), Melayne McInnes (Economics), and Ken Shimizu (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is to be commended for their work with these students.

The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs identifies and recruits student to apply for nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships, www.sc.edu/ofsp. Since 1994 when the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs was established, 78 University of South Carolina students and recent graduates have won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.


Click here for the entire list of NSF Fellows and Honorable Mentions.

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