UMass Graduate Students Again Among Top Recipients of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

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For the third time in the last four years, UMass Amherst is the third leading institutional producer of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipients among Massachusetts colleges and universities. Nine UMass representatives—including eight graduate students and one undergraduate—have won the fellowships in the 2019 competition, placing the university behind only Harvard and MIT in the statewide rankings. Barbara Krauthamer, dean of the Graduate School, says these are some of the most prestigious and competitive awards available to students.

The Graduate Research Fellowships are three-year awards providing an annual stipend of $34,000 to recipients and a yearly $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to their graduate institutions. They support the master’s and doctoral training of academically talented students pursuing careers in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The NSF Graduate Research Fellows for 2019 are:


  • Evelyn Beaury, graduate student, organismic and evolutionary biology
  • Alison Fowler, graduate student, organismic and evolutionary biology
  • Eli Mattingly, undergraduate student, mechanical engineering
  • Rico Angell, graduate student, computer science
  • Rachel Bell, graduate student, organismic and evolutionary biology
  • Sarah Deckel, graduate student, environmental conservation
  • Mary Elizabeth Lee, graduate student, physics
  • Anissa Neal, graduate student, linguistics
  • Adrian Rivera-Rodriguez, graduate student, psychological and brain sciences

Honorable mention

  • Hazel Davis, graduate student, polymer science and engineering
  • Dipa Desai, graduate student, geosciences – Paleoclimate
  • Mikayla Timm, graduate student, computer science
  • Andrew Villeneuve, graduate student, marine sciences
  • Akanksha Atrey, graduate student, computer science
  • Cynthia Bukowski, graduate student, polymer science and engineering
  • Heather Hamilton, graduate student, polymer science and engineering
  • Brandon Oubre, graduate student, computer science
  • Brandon Whitchurch, graduate student, mechanical engineering

“I am delighted that UMass students have once again done very well in this year’s Graduate Research Fellowship competition,” says Krauthamer. “Our recipients represent diverse backgrounds in race and gender and their continued success reflects the amazing talent of the students on our campus. I congratulate all of our new Graduate Research Fellows on their outstanding work in being chosen for this highly prestigious honor.”  

Krauthamer also says the developing pattern of success for students from UMass Amherst shows the deliberate and focused attention the Graduate School has placed on supporting students and highlighting the university’s strengths in a wide variety of research fields.

“The results of this year’s GRF competition serve as an unequivocal endorsement of the Graduate School’s investment in catalyzing student success through the Office of Professional Development,” Krauthamer said. “Prior to the fall GRF application deadline, Heidi Bauer-Clapp, associate director for grants and fellowships at OPD, offered a wide array of programming—such as information sessions, peer-review application workshops, and one-on-one coaching sessions—designed specifically to ensure that UMass students submitted highly competitive proposals for the award. This strategy clearly paid off.”