Research News

NSF research grant goes to 16 Vanderbilt graduate students

The National Science Foundation named 16 Vanderbilt graduate researchers to be recipients of Graduate Research Fellowships. The program is aimed at aiding individuals who have demonstrated notable potential early in their research career. An additional goal is increasing the diversity of the science and engineering workforce, including geographic distribution and the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans.

“Increasing diversity in science ensures the full inclusion of equally qualified individuals across the social spectrum,” said grant recipient and environmental engineer Kofi Christie. “Joining these different perspectives can lead to more creative solutions to today’s most pressing concerns.” Christie’s research, under the supervision of Shihong Lin, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, looks at the water-energy-environment nexus and currently focuses on an electromagnetic method for ion-removal, one that could potentially be used to desalinate water.

The fellowship provides three years of support within a five-year fellowship period. With a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance, the fellowship supports 2,000 graduate students in science and engineering nationwide.

“Having this fellowship is a distinguished honor and confirms financial support throughout my graduate career, allowing me to conduct my research in directions I find interesting or most promising,” explained Taylor Kavanaugh, a biomedical engineer researching drug delivery systems for post-injury osteoarthritis.

The fellowship confers other benefits beyond financial. Cyberinfrastructure may be made available to fellows, and the fellowship creates connections with other past and present fellows, many of whom have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering.

“It provides a great network of resources both during your graduate career and afterwards, which I foresee being a great resource for career opportunities,” Kavanaugh said.

The 16 Vanderbilt recipients of the fellowship come from a range of academic backgrounds with studies ranging from mechanical engineering to developmental psychology:

Young, Eric Michael
Engineering – Mechanical

Share, Keith
Engineering – Materials

Sandberg, Anna Elisabeth
Materials Research – Physics of materials

Reinemann, Dana Nicole
Engineering – Chemical Engineering

Noel, Jean-Paul
Psychology – Cognitive Neuroscience

Kavanaugh, Taylor Elizabeth
Engineering – Biomedical

Jimenez, Sofia Renee
Psychology – Developmental

Heaster, Tiffany Marie
Engineering – Biomedical

Geanes, Alexander
Chemistry – Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods

Garrison, Sarah M.
Psychology – Personality and Individual Differences

Flores, Israel
Psychology – Developmental

Flint, Katelyn Maureen
Engineering – Biomedical

Cohn, Adam Paul
Engineering – Mechanical

Christie, Kofi Shomari Shakir

Bing, Jade Adriana
Chemistry – Chemical Synthesis

Bailey, Danielle Marie
Life Sciences – Biophysics

By Ben Streeter