Campus News

UB students, alumnus win prestigious NSF fellowships

Group shot of NSF fellowship recipients and honorable mentions.

NSF fellowship recipients and honorable mentions (from left) Michael Randle, Walker Gosrich, Javier Yu, Alexander D’Arpino, Anne Fortman, Andrew Stewart, Maria Camila Lopez Ruiz, Tyler Barrett and Matthew Falcone. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published April 26, 2018

“This new class of fellows is proof of the world-class education and abundant resources that are available to University at Buffalo students.”
Graham Hammill, vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the Graduate School

Attending graduate school just got a lot more affordable for six UB students and one recent graduate.

The scholars have been accepted into the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Launched in 1952, the GRFP represents the oldest continuous investment in the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. As one of the most competitive scholastic programs in the U.S., it recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers, and supports their graduate research training.

Fellows will receive a $34,000 annual stipend for three years, plus $12,000 annually for three years to defray tuition costs. All told, each scholar will receive up to $138,000. They’re also eligible to participate in international research and career development programs offered by NSF.

Past fellows include some of the nation’s most outstanding scientists, such as Google co-founder Sergey Brin and former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, as well as dozens of Nobel laureates and hundreds of members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

UB’s seven fellowship winners were among 2,000 chosen nationwide from more than 12,000 applicants in 2018. The UB students represent nearly half of the 18 SUNY scholars to receive the honor this year, and are an example of how a growing number of UB students are successfully competing for prestigious awards among the nation’s top universities.

An additional five students and alumni received honorable mentions from NSF.

“I want to congratulate each of these outstanding scholars — the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program is one of the finest and most respected fellowship programs in the United States,” says Graham Hammill, vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “This new class of fellows is proof of the world-class education and abundant resources that are available to University at Buffalo students.”

The seven fellowship winners are:

  • Tyler Barrett, West Henrietta, New York, who studies theoretical physics.
  • Alexander D’Arpino, Rochester, New York, chemistry.
  • Anne Fortman, Lancaster, New York, particle physics.
  • Walker Gosrich, Plattsburgh, New York, mechanical engineering.
  • Daniel Matera, Albany, New York, an alumnus studying biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan.
  • Andrew Stewart, Niskayuna, New York, neuroscience.
  • Javier Yu, Plattsburgh, New York, robotics and computer vision.

The UB students and two recent graduates who received honorable mentions are:

  • Matthew Falcone, Cheektowaga, New York, environmental engineering.
  • Patrick Krohl, Syracuse, New York, an alumnus studying chemical engineering at John Hopkins University.
  • Zachary Manzer, Phoenix, New York, an alumnus studying chemical engineering at Cornell University.
  • Michael Randle, Tonawanda, New York, electrical engineering.
  • Maria Camila Lopez Ruiz, Medellin, Columbia and New Rochelle, New York, civil engineering.

In recent years, UB has increased the number of students applying for national and international scholarships. The UB Office of Fellowships and Scholarships has played a key role in that effort.

For example, the office offers a development program designed to help juniors and graduate students apply for the GRFP. During four sessions in February and March, students learn about the fellowship program, including criteria and how to write application essays.

The office also collaborates with UB’s Center for Excellence in Writing, which provides a consultant to aid applicants in the writing process.

“The program prepares students to submit strong applications in October. In fact, most of our winners participated in the NSF GRFP development program,” says Elizabeth Colucci, director of UB’s Office of Fellowships and Scholarships.

“The number of applicants this year reflects the high caliber of students at UB, as well as their scholarly accomplishments and the key role that faculty and staff play in guiding and mentoring them as they advance their education and become leaders in STEM fields,” she adds.