Four SBS Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

The UA Graduate College is providing summer support for students interested in applying for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program in the fall. Details can be found here.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced this year’s recipients of Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF). Students at the University of Arizona received 15 of the 2000 new fellowships, four from the social sciences.

"The Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a vital part of our efforts to foster and promote excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics by recognizing talent broadly from across the nation," the NSF said in a statement. The NSF also noted that more than half of the recipients were women.

The NSF provides these fellowships to students early in their graduate careers based on their potential for significant achievements in STEM fields.

Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $34,000 for three years (with additional support for international research if applicable.) Their institutions get an annual $12,000 in tuition and fees.

The four new fellows in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences are Laura Diakiw (School of Anthropology), Brianna Herdon (School of Anthropology), Adam King (Department of Linguistics), and Christina Newhall (Department of Linguistics).

Laura Oksana Diakiw
Ph.D. anthropology student Laura Oksana Diakiw focuses on biological anthropology, and she has completed fieldwork and research with multiple non-human primate species.

Laura will use her fellowship to study the gut microbiome, diet, and behavior of olive baboons in East Africa, as well as continue to establish a field site in Akagera National Park, Rwanda. Laura is grateful for funding from the Cacioppo Foundation Mentored Research Experiences for Success program, which supported her training in microbiome and molecular analyses in 2015.

Brianna Elise Herndon
Brianna Herdon, currently a senior in the School of Anthropology, was awarded a GRF for her project “Testing phenotypic plasticity in the femoral intercondylar notch.”  Brainna’s research involves the evolutionary history of the knee joint but mostly focuses on the capacity for developmental plasticity in this joint and how its morphology across populations and physiographic regions can help predict the risk of a non-contact ACL injury.

“I am beyond excited to have received this fellowship,” Brianna said. “I am loathe to use the word "lucky" because I know how much time and effort I put into my application, but many days I can't help but wake up and think about how lucky I am.  Not only is it an honor to receive something as prestigious as funding from the NSF, but it will allow me to focus on my research and classes during the first three years of graduate school.”

Adam King
With his NSF funding, Linguistics graduate student Adam King is planning on conducting fieldwork on K'iche', a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala. He wants to work with native speakers to build a corpus of recorded spoken K'iche' with attention paid to the various dialects of the language.

Christina Newhall
Christina Newhall is a first year master’s student in the Department of Linguistics studying Native American languages and linguistics.

“I was pretty shocked I got the NSF GFRP my first time applying,” Christiana said. “This funding will help me in my research regarding identity construction and indigenous language maintenance. I am an enrolled member of the Native Village of Unga, and I hope to study Unangam Tunuu language revitalization.”

Published Date: 

05/06/2016 - 9:56am