Three USC students and five USC alumni were awarded 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships this week, giving them the opportunity to conduct research at the accredited U.S. graduate institution of their choice.
Current students De’Aira Bryant, Brock Fletcher, and Dylan Madisetti were named fellows, as well as alumni Laquita Grissett, Mackenzie Meece-Rayle, Michele Repetto, Paris Smalls and Elizabeth Yankovsky.
Additionally, graduate student Alicia Lamarche and alumni Joseph Andrews, Alexandra Hooks, Kelly McCabe, Drew Patterson and Sydney Pullen were awarded honorable mentions.
The USC fellows represent the vitality and diversity the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program hopes to foster in the scientific community. They come from a broad range of STEM fields including geophysics, marine science, biomedical engineering and computer science.
The GRFP isn’t the first prestigious award for many of these fellows, either. Their accolades include membership in the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, SURF Grant awards and National Merit Scholarships, as well as numerous on-campus recognitions by the university.
This year, the NSF awarded 2,000 three-year fellowships to outstanding students from around the country. The fellows receive an annual stipend and a cost of education allowance, as well as opportunities for domestic and international research and professional development.
The NSF GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship in the U.S. that directly supports graduate students in STEM fields. Since 1952, the NSF has given over 50,000 Graduate Research Fellowships. Previous recipients include "Freakonomics" co-author Steven Levitt, U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu and over 40 Nobel laureates.
Students looking to apply for similar fellowships and grants can turn to the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs at USC for help identifying and applying to programs. The OFSP provides hands on assistance to students by conducting mock interviews, reviewing application essays and attaining letters of recommendation.