Brandeisians Receive 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

NSF Graduate Research FellowshipFive Brandeisians (past and present) have received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships for 2018. Also, one current graduate student received an honorable mention.

This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based advanced degrees at U.S. institutions. In 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) received over 12,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers. This fellowship provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period ($34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution).

Alyssa Garcia, a Brandeis Physics graduate student, received a fellowship. Marcelle Soares-Santos, Assistant Professor of Physics, is Alyssa’s advisor. Marcelle said “Alyssa will work on obtaining a sample of neutron star collisions with the goal of using them as standard sirens to determine the rate of expansion of the Universe.  This is very timely after the discovery of the groundbreaking neutron star collision GW170817 as the gravitational wave detectors are now being upgraded and when they come back later this year, they are expected to yield almost 10 times more detection’s per year. That wealth of data, is a very exciting prospect for a student starting their PhD career!”

Christopher Konow, a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry, received an honorable mention. He works in the Irving Epstein lab analyzing the Turing Pattern formation in Growing Domains using the CDIMA (chlorine dioxide-iodine-malonic acid) chemical reaction.  For the NSF GRF, he proposed developing a novel self-oscillating hydrogel that could have uses in drug delivery.  He plans to start this project in late summer/early fall of 2018.

The Brandeis undergraduate alumni receiving 2018 NSF GR fellowships are:

  • Caroline Cappello graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Theater Arts. She is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington.
  • Emma Chad-Friedman received a BA in Psychology and Anthropology in 2014 and is in the PhD. Psychology program at the University of Maryland at College Park.
  • Jung Park also graduated in 2014 with a degree in Neuroscience and Psychology. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University.
  • Stanislav Popov received his B.S. degree in Mathematics and Chemistry only 2 years ago (2016). While at Brandeis, Stanislav worked in Isaac Krauss’ lab. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at UCLA.

Alumni Achievement Award for Green Chemist

Paul Anastas (PhD, Chemistry ’90), Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment at Yale, will receive the 2012 Brandeis Alumni Achievement Award  in a ceremony at 11:15 a.m. on June 9 in Levin Ballroom.

For more information, see story at Brandeis NOW.

Green chemistry guru

Yesterday’s online has a story on Brandeis Chemistry alum Paul Anastas (PhD ’90), currently Assistant Administrator of the U.S. EPA’s Office of Research and Development, describing him as a “‘Green Chemistry’ Guru Charting [a] New Course for EPA Science”, who advocates that companies can make money while making chemicals using environmentally safer approaches throughout the lifecycle

Low-energy physics

Emeritus Professor of Physics Bob Lange will be on campus today at 2:30 pm and on Nov. 30 at the “Maasai hut” outside Usdan to discuss his work in Tanzania. Lange has been investigating ways to reduce carbon emissions and bring technology to remote communities in collaboration with the local population. For more, see the stories at BrandeisNOW and in The Justice

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