Five from LSU Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, Six Receive Honorable Mention
BATON ROUGE – Five current students or recent LSU graduates were recognized by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, as 2017 Graduate Research Fellows, and six others received honorable mention.
NSF named 2,000 individuals as this year’s recipients of the graduate fellow awards, which provide three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period – a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in STEM fields, STEM education and social sciences.
“This unique program has nurtured economic innovation and leadership in the U.S. continuously since 1952 – by recruiting and supporting outstanding students with high potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics very early in their graduate training,” said Jim Lewis, NSF acting assistant director for education and human resources. “These talented individuals have gone on to make important discoveries, win Nobel Prizes, train many generations of American scientists and engineers and create inventions that improve our lives.”
Awardees – chosen from more than 13,000 applicants – represent a wide range of scientific disciplines and come from all states, as well as the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and territories. The group of 2,000 awardees is diverse, including 1,158 women, 498 individuals from underrepresented minority groups, 75 persons with disabilities, 26 veterans and 726 undergraduate seniors. The awardees come from 449 baccalaureate institutions.
This year’s fellows from LSU include:
- Daniel Christopher Bourgeois, of Baton Rouge, La., who graduated in December 2016 from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Bourgeois plans to attend Rice University for graduate school and was a member of the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College while at LSU.
- Simon Gabriel Lorenzo, of Baton Rouge, La., who will graduate in May from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a minor in mathematics. Lorenzo plans pursue electrical and electronic engineering in graduate school and is a member of the Ogden Honors College while at LSU.
- Andrew Paul Olivier, of Houma, La., who graduated in May 2016 from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in mathematics. Olivier currently attends graduate school at the University of Rochester. He was a member of the Ogden Honors College and was a LA-STEM Research Scholar while at LSU.
- Christopher Lee Sumner, of Rome, Ga., who graduated from Shorter University in May 2012. Sumner is currently attending LSU for graduate school.
- Randee Elizabeth Young, of Prairieville, La., who graduated from LSU in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Young currently attends the University of Wisconsin for graduate school.
The following students received honorable mention:
- Charles Ethan Byrne, of Walker, La., will graduate in May from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering. Byrne plans to attend LSU for graduate school and pursue research in biomedical engineering in the LSU Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering.
- Amanda Cooper, of Bogalusa, La., who graduated in December 2014 from LSU with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and biology. Cooper currently attends the University of Utah for graduate school and was a member of the Ogden Honors College while at LSU.
- Davis Houston Cowles, of Atlanta, Ga., who graduated in December 2016 from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in coastal and environmental science with a minor in Spanish. While at LSU, he was a member of the Ogden Honors College.
- Allison Snider, of Novi, Mich., who graduated in May 2015 from Central Michigan University. Snider is currently attending LSU for graduate school in life sciences.
- Avery St. Dizier, of Baton Rouge, La., who graduated from LSU in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. St. Dizier currently attends Cornell University for graduate school and was a member of the Ogden Honors College while at LSU.
- Jessie Frances Salter, of Los Angeles, Calif., who received a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in May 2014. Salter currently attends LSU for graduate school.
NSF has posted a complete list of those offered this fellowship for 2017, and general information on GRFP is available on the program’s website.
The rigorous NSF GRFP application includes submission of a research proposal. Many of the LSU fellows honored participated in the annual NSF Graduate Research Fellowship application workshop, hosted by the Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership, or CCELL, and Communication across the Curriculum, or CxC.
This three-part series workshop – led by Cliff and Nancy Spanier Alumni Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Director of CCELL Marybeth Lima, Professor Emeritus in English Sarah Liggett, Cajun Constructors Professor in Construction Management Carol Friedland, CxC Science Coordinator Becky Carmichael, Director of Fellowship Advising Drew Lamonica Arms and Emily Frank, LSU instructional technologies/engineering librarian – has provided comprehensive training on developing exceptional applications.
“LSU is proud of the 11 students who were awarded GRFP Fellowships and Honorable Mentions this year,” Lima said. “These national awards indicate that the honorees are Renaissance scholars who have proposed impactful research and are well-positioned to transform their respective disciplines.”
GRFP is a critical program in NSF's overall strategy to develop a globally engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. Former NSF fellows have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering, become leaders in their chosen careers and been honored as Nobel laureates.
A high priority for NSF and GRFP is increasing the diversity of the science and engineering workforce, including geographic distribution, and the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans.
Fellows have opportunities for international research collaborations through the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide, or GROW, initiative and professional career development with federal internships provided through the Graduate Research Internship Program, or GRIP. GRFP also supports NSF's Career-Life Balance Initiative, NSF 13-099.
NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
For more information on the Graduate Research Fellowship, visit http://www.nsfgrfp.org/.
LSU College of Science
The LSU College of Science is an international leader in scientific research and instruction, elevating LSU to the highest level of excellence among major research universities in the U.S. and abroad. The college consists of five academic departments including biological sciences, chemistry, geology & geophysics, mathematics, and physics & astronomy, and the LSU Museum of Natural Science. Seven major fields of study and more than 20 concentrations are available to LSU students interested in pursuing a science major at LSU. College of Science students make up nearly half of LSU’s top graduates. For more information on LSU’s College of Science, visit science.lsu.edu.
LSU College of Engineering
Founded in 1908, the LSU College of Engineering offers 11 undergraduate degree programs and confers approximately 650 bachelor’s degrees per year, ranking it in the top 10 percent nationally for graduates. Faculty members engage in education, research, and commercialization with a strategic focus on research indigenous to Louisiana: energy, manufacturing, natural & built infrastructure, computation and biotechnology. For more information about LSU's College of Engineering visit www.eng.lsu.edu.
LSU Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College
The Ogden Honors College, established in 1992, is a vibrant, diverse and prestigious community located at the heart of LSU. The Honors College typically admits the top 10 percent of incoming LSU freshmen, and provides students with a curriculum of rigorous seminar classes, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research, culminating in the Honors Thesis. Its focus on community service, study abroad, internships and independent research helps today’s high-achieving students become tomorrow’s leaders.
LA-STEM Research Scholars Program
The Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or LA-STEM, Research Scholars Program is managed by the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives. OSI’s vision is to support the high achievements of LSU students, faculty, and staff through education, mentoring and research. LA-STEM provides comprehensive holistic training to scholars in preparation for doctoral programs.
The LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership promotes learning, student leadership and community engagement through service-learning activities and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.lsu.edu/ccell.
As the first program of its kind in the nation, LSU Communication across the Curriculum works with LSU faculty to train, mentor and recognize students who demonstrate exceptional skills in written, spoken, visual and technological communication. For more information, visit www.cxc.lsu.edu.
Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations