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Three UI Students Earn NSF National Fellowships for Graduate Research

March 27, 2017

Three University of Idaho students have earned prestigious fellowships from the National Science Foundation.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program will provide a three-year stipend of $34,000, as well as $12,000 education allowance for tuition and fees, for the recipients to pursue their graduate degrees.

Benjamin Anzis, a senior from Marshalltown, Iowa, is studying mathematics in the College of Science. Anzis will use his award to pursue his doctorate in algebraic geometry. Anzis is a member of UI Honors Program and a Goldwater Scholar, as well as a recipient of the College of Science’s Hill Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Isaac Curtis is a master’s student studying materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering. Originally from Potlatch, Idaho, Curtis will use his NSF award to pursue his doctorate at UI. He is studying the use of modern computer vision and machine learning tools to unearth hidden trends in complex multidimensional data space on processing-microstructure-property relationship in multiferroic materials.

Emily White is a graduate student pursuing her doctorate in geology in the College of Science. White, of Hawthorne, California, is studying geological sciences.

“We at the University of Idaho are proud of these dedicated undergraduate and graduate researchers for earning this prestigious fellowship,” said Janet Nelson, vice president for research and economic development. “I’m pleased to see how these scholars have embraced challenge and opportunity here, then leveraged their experiences to pursue continuing success in their fields.”

According to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program website, the 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. In the past 10 years, 16 UI students have received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

In addition to the three recipients, six UI graduate students earned honorable mentions from the fellowship program. Among the honorable mentions are:

  • Austin Anderson, Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences, College of Natural Resources

  • Ian Gilman, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science

  • Grahm Johnson, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science

  • Sebastian Mortimer, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science

  • Megan Ruffley, Department of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, College of Science

Since 1952, NSF has funded over 50,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants. Currently, 42 Fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program has a high rate of doctorate degree completion, with more than 70 percent of students completing their doctorates within 11 years.

Media Contacts
Holly LaHann
Distinguished Scholarships Coordinator

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at