Twenty-five University of Arizona graduates were recently awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, one of the most prestigious graduate fellowships in the nation. Five of them are alumni of the College of Engineering.
Maggie Kautz received her bachelor's degree in optical sciences and engineering, with minors in government and public policy and mathematics, in 2019. During her time as a Wildcat, she helped with the optomechanical alignment of the MagAO-X astronomical coronagraph, which will be used to directly image exoplanets. Her future goals include pursuing a PhD in optical sciences at the UA.
2019 graduate Adriana Macieira Mitchell plans to use her NSF award to fund her research studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in pursuit of dual master's and doctoral degrees in aerospace and astronautical engineering. During her undergraduate work at the UA, she majored in optical sciences and engineering, with minors in mathematics and planetary sciences. At MIT, she hopes to design aerospace engineering applications to solve planetary science questions.
Other engineering recipients are Gisselle Gonzalez, who graduated with her biomedical engineering degree in 2019; Christopher Tang, who graduated with his materials science and engineering degree in 2017, with minors in math and Spanish; and Caitlin Howard, who graduated with her biomedical engineering degree in 2016.
Outstanding Support for Outstanding Scholars
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, or NSF GRFP, recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.
Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees to be paid to the institution. They also gain opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.
"This is an extremely competitive fellowship, and we are proud to see so many of our students receive the support of the National Science Foundation,” said Andrew Carnie, dean of the UA Graduate College. "Receiving the award is a recognition of these students' intellect, their dedication to their discipline and their commitment to the well-being of society at large."