The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Talented Graduate Students Win NSF Fellowships

Two very well qualified graduate students in the College of Engineering – Alyssa Schwartz of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department and Angela Berthaume of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department – won ultra-competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships this year. ChE Professor Shelly Peyton is the Ph.D. advisor for Schwartz, and CEE Professor Behrouz Shafei advises Berthaume. These two talented grad students were joined by two recent alumni from the ChE department who received NSF fellowships elsewhere. One was Dana Thornlow, now a graduate student at Cornell University, whose honors thesis advisor at UMass was Neil Forbes. The other is Max Nowak, now a graduate student at the University of California Santa Barbara. His honors thesis advisor at UMass was Peyton. See NSF Graduate Research Fellowships: (

Another CEE graduate student, Cynthia Castro, received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship during her first year here in 2012.

The college also had four honorable mention candidates for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships: Wenye Camilla Kuo-Dahab, Michelle Ly, and Alexandra Corinne Testa of the CEE department; and Lauren Jansen of the ChE department.

Since 1952, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program has provided fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. The program provides three years of support.

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based Master's and Ph.D. degrees in fields within NSF's mission. (April 2014)

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