NSF Research Fellowships Awarded to Students, Alumni

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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:

AlumniResearch Area of StudyGraduate School
Brendan Folie ’11Atomic, Molecular and Optical PhysicsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Elissa Leonard ’12Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at Austin
Benjamin Margolis ’10Electrical and Electronic EngineeringN/A
John Peebles ’13Algorithms and Theoretical
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brian Stock ’09Life Sciences/EcologyUC San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Melissa Strait ’09Applied MathematicsNorth Carolina State University
Edward Jay Wang ’12Human-Computer InteractionUniversity of Washington
NSF Fellowship Recipients

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

AlumniResearch Area of StudyGraduate School
Olivia Beckwith ’13Algebra, Number Theory and CombinatoricsEmory University
Megan Campbell ’10Human-Computer InteractionUniversity of Washington
Alix Chan ’12Chemical BiologyHarvard University
Anne Clark ’13GenomicsUniversity of Washington
Samuel Keene ’11Chemical and Material PhysicsUniversity of California, Irvine
Alice Paul ’12Industrial Engineering and Operations ResearchCornell University
Nicole Peck ’12BioengineeringCalifornia Institute of Technology
Meera Punjiya ’12Electrical and Electronic EngineeringTufts University
Alexandra Schofield ’13Artificial IntelligenceCornell University
Bryan Teague ’10Electrical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Honorable Mentions

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.