Skip to main content

Twenty-two Illinois Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Champaign, IL – Twenty-two students currently enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been offered Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation.  Seventeen of those are graduate students; five are undergraduates.  An additional 40 students were accorded Honorable Mention.

Created in 1952, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious of fellowship programs.  Supporting students pursuing research-oriented master’s and PhD degrees in science, technology, social science, engineering, and mathematics fields, the program aims to strengthen the nation’s scientific workforce. 

As with all of NSF’s grant and fellowship programs, applications are evaluated according to two criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.  To fulfill both criteria, applicants must demonstrate potential for becoming not only exemplary researchers but exemplary publicly engaged researchers who will use their knowledge and skills to benefit society. 

Awardees receive three years of support for their graduate educations.  Support includes a $34,000 annual stipend along with a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance that covers tuition and fees. Awardees also have access to two professional development programs: the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) program, which supports students conducting research in overseas labs, and the Graduate Research Internship (GRIP) program, which provides on-site experience in federal agencies.  Fellows also enjoy access to supercomputing resources through XSEDE, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. 

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, dean of the Graduate College commends the awardees, “What a remarkable honor our students have earned.  I applaud their achievement, and I applaud the National Science Foundation for its continuing investment in this tremendously valuable program.  The outstanding graduate students of today will become the science leaders of tomorrow, but their training costs money, and NSF is doing a great service by helping students and universities meet those costs.”

Ken Vickery, Director of Fellowships in the Graduate College adds, “These students have certainly distinguished themselves, and I salute all of them for the years of hard work that factored into their success.  For graduate level applicants, this year’s results are particularly important given that NSF revised its rules and reduced the number of graduate students who could apply.  It’s therefore heartening to see that so many of our students have achieved this high honor.”

Listed below are the currently enrolled students from the University of Illinois who were offered awards and accorded Honorable Mention.  A complete list of winners nationwide is available on the NSF-GRFP FastLane website (to see U. of I. recipients, click the “Current Institution” column, then advance to pages 36-38).  For additional details on the NSF-GRFP, visit the GRFP homepage.


  • Jason Shelby Adams (Chemical Engineering)
  • Matthew Cheng (Materials Science & Engineering)
  • Julia Cisneros (Geology)
  • Sudharsan Dwaraknath (Chemistry)
  • Ryan William Grady (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Lucas William Hernandez (Chemistry)
  • Daniel Allen Inafuku (Physics)
  • Richard Liu (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Lindsey Kieu-Linh Ly (Nutritional Sciences)
  • Jason Madinya (Chemical Engineering)
  • Widianto Putra Moestopo (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
  • Erin J. Nissen (Chemistry)
  • Alexander Michael Pane (Integrative Biology)
  • Lucas Pena (Computer Science)
  • Amalia Reyes (Linguistics)
  • TeKisha M. Rice (Human Development & Family Studies)
  • Yusef Abdurraheem Shari’ati (Chemistry)
  • Dorothy Leah Silverman (Materials Science & Engineering)
  • Raul Sun Han Chang (Chemical Engineering)
  • Aleczandria Tiffany (Chemical Engineering)
  • Zikang Tong (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Katherine Wood (Psychology)

Honorable Mention:

  • Celeste Alexander (Nutritional Sciences)
  • Robert Gregory Andrews (Mathematics)
  • Emil Jonathan Annevelink (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
  • Thomas Bearrood (Chemistry)
  • Joseph Chapman (Physics)
  • Eli Chertkov (Physics)
  • Sang Hyun Choi (Physics)
  • Edward Joe Chou (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Connor Ian Daly (Chemistry)
  • Sada Egenriether (Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology)
  • Joseph Franklin Ellis (Chemistry)
  • Mary Elizabeth Foltz (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
  • Brittney M. Graham (Natural Resources & Environmental Science)
  • Lauren Grant (Bioengineering)
  • Mathew Scott Halm (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Everett B. Hildenbrandt (Computer Science)
  • Kenneth Alexander Hoffmann (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
  • Stephanie Ann Houser (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
  • Jennifer Huang (Materials Science & Engineering)
  • Spencer Scott Igram (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
  • Blanka Janicek (Materials Science & Engineering)
  • Kenan Jijakli (Bioengineering)
  • Davneet Kaur (Physics)
  • Thomas Kirsh (Physics)
  • Hailey Jane Knox (Chemistry)
  • Wing Ching Lam (Computer Science)
  • Addie Rose Lederman (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
  • Gina McGovern (Human Development & Family Studies)
  • Janice Ng (Psychology)
  • Uzoma Nwabara (Chemical Engineering)
  • Andrew Paul Patterson (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
  • Joshua Andrew Perozek (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Zachary Stokes Quicksall (Bioengineering)
  • Nathan William Reed (Chemistry)
  • Christopher John Reinhardt (Chemistry)
  • Corey Allan Richards (Materials Science & Engineering)
  • Kathryn Elizabeth Schafer (Psychology)
  • Peter Shyu (Mechanical Science & Engineering)
  • Vinh Hoang Vu (Biochemistry)
  • Jonathon Michael Young (Chemistry)