CUNY Students Reap Record Number Of National Science Foundation Fellowships

April 25, 2013 | The University

The National Science Foundation has awarded 23 of its $126,000 Graduate Research Fellowships to students who chose The City University of New York, which this year has more NSF winners than any other public university system in the Northeast. This breaks CUNY’s previous record of 16 NSF winners, set just last year.

“Supported by our world-class faculty, CUNY students are winning the nation’s most prestigious awards. They continue their research at Columbia, Princeton, Stanford, Yale and, of course, The City University of New York, among other top graduate schools,” said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “Students from leading universities apply to CUNY for their doctoral work, which reflects the quality of our faculty and programs.”

Eighteen of the National Science Foundation winners are pursuing projects in hard sciences, while five are in social sciences. Their award-winning projects range from using material from shrimp shells to disrupt drug-resistant bacteria to finding a safer way to store technetium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear fission; from determining the properties of the soap scum produced in petroleum extraction to creating nanocrystals that could seal ship doors and make soldiers wearing body armor invisible; from exploring the reward circuit in the brain to analyzing speech patterns for signs of autism-spectrum disorders; from looking at whether third-generation Haitian-Americans maintain their Haitian identity to investigating the relationship that people in Lima, Peru, have with archeological sites, which often are the only places they can dispose of garbage.

CUNY’s 2013 NSF winners are:

  • Ru Chen, City College, 2013, heading to University of Delaware.
  • Dane Christie, City College, 2013, heading to Princeton University.
  • Amanda Collado, Hunter College, heading to SUNY Stony Brook University.
  • Nikoleta Despodova, John Jay College, heading to CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Aaron Dolor, Hunter College, 2012, now at University of California-San Francisco.
  • Julius Edson, City College, 2012, now at University of California-Irvine.
  • Vadricka Etienne, University of South Florida B.A., now at CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Jasmine Hatcher, Queens College 2009, now at CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Samuel Hixon, Hunter College, 2012, now at University of Washington.
  • Meryl Horn, Hunter College, 2012, now at University of California-San Francisco.
  • Ekaterina Larina, Brooklyn College, 2012, now pursuing master’s at Brooklyn College.
  • Sarah Levitan, Brooklyn College, 2013, heading to Columbia University.
  • Philip Liu, Macaulay Honors College at City College, now at University of Texas at Austin.
  • Arash Nowhabar, City College, 2012, now at CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Christopher Parisano, Queens College, 2008, now at CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Robert Riggs, John Jay College, now at New York University.
  • Alesksey Ruditskiy, Macaulay Honors College at City College, 2012, now at Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Lukman Solola, Brooklyn College, 2012, now at University of Pennsylvania.
  • Jan Stepinski, Macaulay Honors College at City College, 2013, heading to Stanford University.
  • Maria Louisa Strangas, University of Rochester B.A., 2010, now at CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Tayyaba Toseef, Delaware State University B.S. in Biology, 2011, now at Hunter College.
  • Jake Vanshteyn, City College, 2009, now at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
  • Jamar Whaley, Queens College, 2011, graduate school to be determined.

About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University is comprised of 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 269,000 degree credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.