A record number of University of Georgia students and alumni have been offered National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships this year—and one third of them are associated with the Odum School. These highly competitive awards recognize and support outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
Eighteen UGA students and alumni were among the 2,000 fellows selected from nearly 17,000 applicants nationwide for the 2016 competition.
The Odum School’s recipients include current doctoral students Michelle Evans, who is pursuing a doctorate in Integrative Conservation and Ecology, and Paige Miller, pursuing a doctorate in ecology, both under the direction of Professor John Drake, and incoming doctoral student Kelly Petersen who will study with Assistant Professor Jill Anderson. Also receiving a fellowship was alumnus Grover Brown, BS ’12, currently a graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi.
In addition, two students in the College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases who study with Odum School faculty members—Jennifer Cyr, who works with Associate Professor Vanessa Ezenwa, and Kerri Miazgowicz, who works with Assistant Professor Courtney Murdock—were among the recipients, and Odum School master’s student Julie Tierney received an honorable mention.
“I am pleased that UGA students and alumni once again have achieved a record level of success in this prestigious national competition,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Research is an essential part of graduate education; the research projects our students engage in through their graduate programs address some of the world’s most significant problems while preparing our students to be leaders in their fields.”
Odum School students received two of six NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants awarded to University of Georgia students in 2016, also a record number. These grants allow doctoral candidates in selected areas of the biological sciences to expand their existing body of research, participate in scientific meetings, and gain access to specialized facilities or field settings. This year 117 grants were awarded nationwide.
Odum School recipients were Daniel Becker, who works with Associate Dean and UGA Athletic Association Professor Sonia Altizer, and Carly Phillips, who works with Assistant Professor Nina Wurzburger. 117 were awarded nationally.
UGA’s 2016 NSF fellows and their fields of study are:
“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our institution,” said Suzanne Barbour, dean of the UGA Graduate School. “The NSF views Graduate Research Fellowships Program awards as ‘investments that will help propel this country’s future innovations and economic growth.’ That 18 GRFPs were awarded to UGA graduate students and alumni is a tremendous vote of confidence in our students and our graduate programs.”