Lorenzo and Olivier Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation, or NSF has recognized Simón Gabriel Lorenzo, of Baton Rouge, La. and Andrew Paul Olivier, of Houma, La., as 2017 Graduate Research Fellows.

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.

SimonGraduating in May from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a minor in mathematics, Lorenzo will attend Stanford University in the Department of Electrical Engineering/Applied Physics for his doctoral studies in quantum optics and photonics.

“Simón is an extraordinarily bright young student who is already functioning at the graduate level as a senior,” said Dr. Jonathan Dowling, Hearne Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics, LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy. “He picks up new ideas quickly, has exceptional analytical skills, and has developed excellent numerical skills in just the past few semesters. His work promises to contribute intellectually to the global STEM fields, and he has already demonstrated an interest in positively impacting his community during his studies.”

Lorenzo has been awarded the 2017 Stanford Graduate Research Fellowship, and the 2017 Stanford Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Doctoral Fellowship. He was also president of the LSU Chapter of the Society of Physics Students and a member of the Ogden Honors College while at LSU.

AndrewOlivier, who graduated in May 2016 from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in mathematics, worked with LSU Associate Professor Martin Tzanov in experimental high-energy particle physics projects to characterize a new kind of neutrino detector.

“Since he joined my group as a freshman, Andrew was set on becoming a neutrino physicist,” said Associate Professor Dr. Martin Tzanov. “This fellowship is a recognition of his hard work and the quality of the physics program at LSU.”

Olivier currently attends graduate school at the University of Rochester. He was a member of the LSU Chapter of the Society of Physics Students, Ogden Honors College and was a LA-STEM Research Scholar while at LSU.

“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, and 75 persons with disabilities, 26 veterans and 726 undergraduate seniors. The awardees come from 449 baccalaureate institutions.

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.

About GRFP
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/.

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