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Record number of Florida State students win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

A record number of Florida State University students have been selected to receive highly competitive and valuable National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. At present, Florida State has two such students. This year, another seven have been offered — five to graduate students and two to undergraduates.

"The Graduate Research Fellowship is an immensely prestigious award," said Nancy Marcus, dean of The Graduate School. "For as long as I have been dean, we have only had maybe one or two students enrolled at any one time as Graduate Research Fellows."

Over a three-year period, each fellow will receive a $30,000 annual stipend, a $10,500 cost-of-education allowance and $1,000 for international travel.

In general, the number of Florida State graduate and undergraduate students receiving external academic awards has never been greater, and their academic achievements raise the stature of the university's national standing.

By establishing the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards for graduate students and the Office of National Fellowships for undergraduate students, Florida State has been successfully matching top students with nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships and assisting with the always extensive application processes.

"The Graduate Research Fellowship Program is renowned for recognizing future leaders in the science, technology, engineering and math fields," said Anne Marie West, director of the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards. "In the application, students have to explain their previous research experience as well as future research plans. By receiving this impressive award, they have clearly demonstrated outstanding scholarship, leadership and enthusiasm for their research areas."

"The fact that two of our graduating seniors have been awarded the NSF Graduate Fellowship speaks to the high caliber of undergraduate research being done by Florida State University students," said Craig Filar, director of the Office of National Fellowships. "Their research provides valuable experience that makes them competitive for this honor. This shows FSU's continued commitment to comprehensive research training for all of our students, undergraduate and graduate."

The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program 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 in the United States and abroad.

The graduate students who were named Graduate Research Fellows and their area of specialization are:

  • Lisa Nicole Barrow: Life Sciences — Evolutionary Biology. Barrow also is a 2010-2011 University Fellow.
  • Megan Anlis Jones: Life Sciences — Animal Behavior.
  • Kimberly Renae Smith: Psychology — Perception and Psychophysics.
  • Alyse Michelle Taylor: Engineering — Electrical and Electronic (FAMU/FSU)
  • Alexa Rosemary Warwick: Life Sciences — Evolutionary Biology. Warwick is currently a Presidential Fellow.

The undergraduates who were named fellows and will be continuing their graduate education elsewhere are:

  • Evan Anthony Kalina: Geosciences — Physical Meteorology.
  • Ashley Anne Thomson: Engineering — Environmental. Thomson also is a Udall Scholarship winner.

By Bayard Stern