Two Tufts Students Receive NSF Graduate Fellowships

Engineering and Sackler students, plus six undergraduate alumni, get three years of financial support for research from the National Science Foundation

Two Tufts graduate students have been awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowship is awarded to outstanding students pursuing research-based master’s degrees or doctorates in science, mathematics, engineering, physics, psychology and some fields of social science.

The recipients are Nicole Pfiester Latham, a student in the School of Engineering’s graduate program in electrical engineering, and Melissa LaBonty, a student in the cell biology program at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

The fellowship recipients are selected through a national competition. The fellowship provides each student with three years of financial support, including a $32,000 annual stipend, international research and professional development opportunities and access to a supercomputer. There is also a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance paid to the university.

In addition, six Tufts alumni received fellowships for graduate research at other institutions. They are Juan Guzman, E08, at Cornell University; Adam Trotta, A12, at Weill Medical College at Cornell; Ryan Morrie, A12, at the University of California, Berkeley; Amanda Fencl, A07, at the University of California, Davis; Lindsay Staples, A11, at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Rachel Steward, A11, at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

The NSF received more than 14,000 applications for the 2014 competition, and made 2,000 fellowship award offers. Since 1952, the NSF has provided fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

A note regarding the above references to the Sackler School: In December 2019, Tufts University announced that it would remove the Sackler name from all programs and facilities—including the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. At that time, the school was renamed the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

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