The Pitt News

Students and alumni awarded research grants

By Zoë Hannah / Assistant News Editor

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The National Science Foundation awarded 10 Pitt students and eight alumni its Graduate Research Fellowship last week.

On March 29, the foundation, which sponsored $22,510 of Pitt’s research and other sponsored programs in 2016, gave the award to 2,000 students across the country for their outstanding work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The fellowship gives each recipient a $34,000 stipend and a $12,000 cost of education allowance each year for three years, according to the release. All of Pitt’s winners, who study in the schools of arts and sciences, engineering and medicine, are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

According to a Pitt release from Wednesday, the fellowship is “designed to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States,” and has been awarded to many students who went on to successful research and professions.

Pitt spokesperson Joe Miksch said Pitt had so many fellowship recipients because of the University’s prestige.

“Our University is a place that attracts brilliant students and provides them with resources that help them fulfill their potential,” Miksch said in an email. “Pitt students have an excellent track record of netting prestigious awards and fellowships.”

Last year, 15 Pitt students received the fellowship and 10 received an honorable mention.

This year, seniors Emily Crabb, studying physics, astronomy and computer science; Trent Dillon, studying mechanical engineering; and Rachel Johnson, studying geology and anthropology, won the fellowship, along with graduate students Katerina Clemens, studying neurobiology; Taylor Courtney, studying chemistry; Donald Kline, studying electrical engineering; James Loving-Lichtenstein, studying biological sciences; Cristian Morales-Rivera, studying chemistry; Michael Taylor, studying chemical engineering; and Luis Vazquez-Maldonado, studying chemistry.

According to the release, 14 students and 10 alumni received an honorable mention, as well.

As he decides between Carnegie Mellon University and University of Washington for graduate school, Dillon reflected on how much the University Honors College and his mentor, Judy Zang, helped him win the fellowship.

“Without her there’s no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have had the proper guidance to complete this project,” Dillon said.

Dillon, who is interested in studying sustainable energy infrastructure, said the fellowship relieves a lot of the financial stress of higher education.

“[This] gives you an opportunity to earn your own path through merit and hard work,” Dillon said. “Getting to have this opportunity and then having funding through graduate school is great for me.”

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
Students and alumni awarded research grants