NSF Research Fellowships Awarded to Students, Alumni

April 4, 2014

Four Harvey Mudd College seniors—Sam Gutekunst, Miranda Parker, Sheena Patel and Jeremy Usatine—are recipients of this year’s National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, which recognize outstanding students pursuing advanced degrees in the STEM disciplines. Seven recent Harvey Mudd graduates also received the prestigious fellowships.

One current senior and 10 alumni received honorable mentions.

The fellowship supports graduate students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Recipients are awarded three years of research support, including an annual $32,000 stipend, $12,000 cost-of-education allowance, research opportunities abroad and access to the XSEDE Supercomputer. For meritorious applicants who do not receive fellowship awards, the NSF awards honorable mention, considered a significant academic achievement.

Gutekunst (mathematics) will pursue operations research or combinatorics, Parker (computer science) will be a PhD candidate at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing, Patel (physics) will study experimental condensed matter physics at either MIT or UCSD, and Usatine (mathematics) will enter Yale’s PhD program in mathematics.

The following Harvey Mudd alumni also received NSF fellowships:

Alumni Research Area of Study Graduate School
Brendan Folie ’11 Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics University of California, Berkeley
Elissa Leonard ’12 Biomedical Engineering University of Texas at Austin
Benjamin Margolis ’10 Electrical and Electronic Engineering N/A
John Peebles ’13 Algorithms and Theoretical
Foundations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brian Stock ’09 Life Sciences/Ecology UC San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Melissa Strait ’09 Applied Mathematics North Carolina State University
Edward Jay Wang ’12 Human-Computer Interaction University of Washington

Harvey Mudd senior Matthew McDermott (mathematics) received an honorable mention, along with several alumni:

Alumni Research Area of Study Graduate School
Olivia Beckwith ’13 Algebra, Number Theory and Combinatorics Emory University
Megan Campbell ’10 Human-Computer Interaction University of Washington
Alix Chan ’12 Chemical Biology Harvard University
Anne Clark ’13 Genomics University of Washington
Samuel Keene ’11 Chemical and Material Physics University of California, Irvine
Alice Paul ’12 Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Cornell University
Nicole Peck ’12 Bioengineering California Institute of Technology
Meera Punjiya ’12 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Tufts University
Alexandra Schofield ’13 Artificial Intelligence Cornell University
Bryan Teague ’10 Electrical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the nation’s base of science and engineering candidates. Fellows are seen as crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well being of society at large.

Program participants are expected to become experts who contribute significantly to research, education and innovation in the STEM fields. Past fellows include Google founder Sergey Brin, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and numerous Nobel Prize winners.