These prestigious fellowships recognize outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields
This story was updated on April 17, 2018, to include a 10th CMNS awardee.
Ten current students and recent alumni of the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, which recognize outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“We are very proud of the students who received these prestigious national awards, which foster the creativity and innovation of young researchers to advance knowledge in their disciplines,” said CMNS Dean Amitabh Varshney. “We can’t wait to see what exciting things they accomplish in their careers.”
Twenty-five UMD undergraduates and recent alumni were among the 2,000 fellowship winners announced by the NSF. As a result, UMD ranks 12th in the nation and first in the Big Ten for the number of fellowship awardees who received their bachelor's degrees at the university. In addition, seven current graduate students at UMD received NSF awards.
The 10 awardees that hail from CMNS include three current graduate students, two current undergraduate students and five recent alumni who received bachelor’s degrees in CMNS majors.
CMNS graduate student fellowship recipients:
- Zackery Benson, physics, undergraduate institution: Iowa State University
- Jacqueline Nelligan, computer science and linguistics, undergraduate institution: Washington University in St. Louis
- Patricia Razafindrambinina, chemistry, undergraduate institution: California State University, Fullerton
CMNS undergraduate student fellowship recipients:
CMNS alumni fellowship recipients:
- Tomas Breach (B.S. ’15, mathematics; B.A. ’15, economics), graduate institution: TBD
- Justus Jobe (B.S. ’17, biological sciences), graduate institution: TBD
- Orion McCarthy (B.S. ’15, biological sciences), graduate institution: TBD
- Luke Skala (B.S. ’15, chemistry), graduate institution: Northwestern University
- Prayaag Venkat (B.S. ’17, computer science; B.S. ’17, mathematics), graduate institution: TBD
NSF fellows receive three years of support from the agency, including a $34,000 annual stipend, a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate degree-granting institution, international research and professional development opportunities, and access to a supercomputer.
The NSF received more than 12,000 applications for the 2018 competition and made 2,000 fellowship award offers. The students awarded graduate research fellowships are a diverse group of individuals. Among the awardees, 1,156 are women, 461 are individuals from underrepresented minority groups, 75 are persons with disabilities and 27 are veterans.
"To support U.S. leadership and innovation in science and engineering, we must recognize and nurture talent from all of our nation's communities," said Jim Lewis, NSF acting assistant director for education and human resources. "I am pleased that again this year, the competition has selected talented students from all economic backgrounds and all demographic categories.”
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About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 9,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college’s 10 departments and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $175 million.