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Twenty-four Illinois Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Alma Mater viewed closely.

Sixteen graduate students, seven undergraduates, and one alum from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been offered Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). An additional twenty-two students have been accorded Honorable Mention.

Launched in 1952 shortly after Congress established NSF, the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program represents the nation's oldest continuous investment in the U.S. scientific workforce. The program recruits high-potential, early-career researchers and supports their graduate training in science, technology, social science, engineering, mathematics, and STEM education.

Awardees receive three years of support. Support includes a $37,000 annual stipend, a $16,000 cost-of-education allowance that covers tuition and fees, and access to the INTERN program, which supports research internships in any sector of the U.S. economy. Fellows also have access to NSF’s Career-Life Balance initiative.

Dana Johnson, Director of External Fellowships in the Graduate College says, “Graduate Research Fellowships are awarded to students who are not only innovating in their fields, but are also improving society through their research, creating opportunities for others, increasing public scientific literacy, and more. I congratulate each of them and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Listed below are the awardees and Honorable Mention designees from the University of Illinois. A nationwide list of recipients is available on the NSF-GRF FastLane website.


  • Emily Anne Dillingham (Physics)
  • Jonah Scott Dominguez (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)
  • Maxwell Y. Fan (Computer Science and Philosophy)
  • Brian A. Graves (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)
  • Laura Maria Hernandez (Psychology)
  • Elyse Jones (Aerospace Engineering)
  • Priyanka Kargupta (Computer Science)
  • Healey Kogan (Physics)
  • Alexandra Nicole Leeming (Aerospace Engineering)
  • Lilian C. Lucas (Earth Science and Environmental Change)
  • Kira J. Martin (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Kristin A. Martin (Chemistry)
  • Braden T. Moore (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • Maria G. Muñoz (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)
  • Kartik Nagpal (Aerospace Engineering)
  • Liam James Nolan (Astronomy)
  • Nataly Rose Panczyk (Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering)
  • Yao-Tian Pao-Huang (Computer Science)
  • Yug Rao (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Pedro E. Rivera Cardona (Physics)
  • Chamika Ishan Sudusinghe (Computer Science)
  • Jason Wu (Chemistry)
  • Ananya Yammanuru (Computer Science)
  • Megan M. Zhou (Bioengineering)


  • Rana J. Abbed (Bioengineering)
  • Amrinder Singh Bhuller (Chemistry)
  • Jasper Bradford (Physics)
  • Eunice C. Chan (Computer Science)
  • Daniel Martin Cudzich (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Rachel Irene Hammond (Chemistry)
  • Abraham T. Holtermann (Physics)
  • Brandon Jeong (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • Imani Jones (Chemistry)
  • Lydia Keller (Integrative Biology)
  • Dong Ok Kim (Chemistry)
  • Conrad Milton (Chemistry)
  • Haille M. Perkins (Astronomy)
  • Abigail Price (Mathematics)
  • Lauren Regina Schissler (Civil Engineering)
  • Arjun Shah (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Emma Simmons (Chemistry)
  • James Tallman (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Margaret Verrico (Astronomy)
  • Apurva Virkud (Computer Science)
  • Shashwat S. Viswanath (Chemistry and Physics)
  • Ethan James Walker (Chemistry)

For additional details, visit the NSF-GRF webpage. Students applying this fall should consult the NSF-GRF listing in the Graduate College's Fellowship Finder database and are invited to take advantage of the NSF-GRF Summer Writing Lab, one-on-one proposal advising, and other services offered by the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships.