Three Arts and Sciences graduate students have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships and six have received honorable mentions. Gideon Caplovitz and Anne Krendl, both in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Brandon Smith in Chemistry will receive the three-year awards offered by the NSF to support the nation's most promising young scholars in the early stages of their graduate study. The program is also designed to ensure the growth of mathematics, the sciences and engineering research in the U.S. and to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to continue their studies.
Honorable mentions went to Craig Bennett in Psychological and Brain Sciences, Laura Burkle, Erik Stange and Elizabeth Wolkovich in Biological Sciences and Jean Dixon and Samantha Saalfied in Earth Sciences.
"This is excellent news and a wonderful reflection of the high caliber of our graduate student community," said Charles Barlowe, Dean of Graduate Studies at Dartmouth and Professor of Biochemistry. Barlowe also acknowledged all of the graduate students who put their efforts into the NSF fellowship applications and thanked faculty mentors for their support.
Dartmouth graduate students are highly competitive for these awards and in an effort to encourage more students to apply for fellowships, the Graduate Studies office holds workshops designed to help students specifically with the NSF application. The workshops were initiated in 2003 by Carol Folt, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences, who was then serving as Dean of Graduate Studies. Since then, participation has steadily increased as students learn more about the process and faculty provide feedback on their application essays.
Barlowe and Kerry Landers, Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Affairs, presented the workshop last fall. "It's a two-part process," Landers said. "In the first part, we present an overview of the NSF application. Then, in the second session, students bring their own application essays and get feedback from faculty and from previous Dartmouth NSF fellowship recipients."
Barlowe and Landers were joined by faculty reviewers Joe Belbruno, Professor of Chemistry, Kathryn Cottingham, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Russell Hughes, the Frank R. Mori Professor of Chemistry. Three previous Dartmouth graduate student NSF winners, William O'Neal, LeeAnn Tzeng and Leah Somerville were also on hand to share their experiences in the application process.
Caplovitz, one of this year's NSF Fellows, participated in the 2003 workshop. "As an incoming student who knew very little about the grant process in general and nothing at all about this specific and specially-formatted grant, the insights provided by the workshop were essential to my application process," he said.
"This year's NSF Fellows and honorable mention recipients represent some of the nation's most promising young scientists," said Barlowe. "With a strong incoming class for September 2005, the Graduate Studies office looks forward to offering the workshops again next fall and to even greater success in competition for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awards."
By KERRY LANDERS
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Last Updated: 12/17/08