Alumni, Students Honored with National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Recognition

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The National Science Foundation has announced the 2015 recipients of Graduate Research Fellowships.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Four UNCW graduates were awarded fellowships this year: Derek Grimes ’14, Matthew Birk ’13, Cynthia Bennett ’11 and Luisa Aebersold ’12. In addition, current UNCW students Alexa Sterling and Brooke Weigel were recognized with an Honorable Mention.

Grimes earned a bachelor of science (physics) and is currently enrolled at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California.

Birk earned a bachelor of science (marine biology) and is pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island.

Bennett, who earned a bachelor of arts (psychology), is presently studying at the University of Washington.

Aebersold, who earned a bachelor of arts (anthropology), is a graduate student at the University of Texas-Austin.

Sterling is slated to graduate next month with a bachelor’s degree in marine biology. Weigel is pursuing a master's in marine biology.

This year, NSF received more than 16,500 applications and made 2,000 fellowship award offers. The fellowships provide three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in science or engineering.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents and are selected through the NSF peer-review process.