CUNY Students Add 10 More NSF Graduate Fellowships

CUNY students this month captured 10 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, bringing to 80 the number of students and alumni who have won the nation’s most prestigious federal grant for graduate research in the sciences over the past five years.

The $138,000 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships provide three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period – a $34,000 annual stipend to the student, or $102,000, plus an annual $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. CUNY’s NSF-winning students and alumni are:

Halley Christopher Aycock-Rizzo (City College ’15), now at the CUNY Graduate Center, works at the University’s Advanced Science Research Center, seeking to measure new qualities in the interaction of visible light with individual atoms.

Emilie Bouda (Hostos Community College ’13, Hunter College ’15), now studying at SUNY Stony Brook Medical School’s pharmacology department, works on enzymes’ role in molecular bonding, which could lead to better drugs. Her particular interest is improving

Stephen Braren (Hunter College ’16) will pursue a doctorate in cognitive psychology and explore the impact of stress on learning at New York University.

Andrea Michelle De Renzis, a doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center in biological anthropology, studies plesiadapiformes, 65 million-year-old squirrel-like mammals that may be primates’ closest relatives.

Stephen K. Formel (Hunter College ’15), now seeking a doctorate in ecology at Tulane University, studies the bacterial and fungal microbiome in a wetland grass, Spartina alterniflora, which is as important to it as gut bacteria are to humans.

Jamel Love (John Jay College of Criminal Justice ’15) is pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University in political science, concentrating on the intersection of American politics and psychology across racial and ethnic groups as a way of understanding voter behavior and decision-making.

Amanda Nicole Mancini (Hunter College, M.A. in anthropology ’16) this fall will pursue her Ph.D. in biological anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She studies the genetics and behavior of Madagascar’s endangered black and white ruffed lemur.

Solomon Mensah (City College ’14) is working on a doctorate in bioengineering at Northeastern University, looking into the mechanical properties of biological cell coatings to better understand cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Andoni (Antonios P.) Mourdoukoutas (City College, B.E. ’16) is deciding among top-notch universities that have accepted him to doctoral programs in neural engineering, specifically spinal cord stimulation to treat illness. He won a Goldwater Scholarship in 2015.

Angelina G. Volkova (Kingsborough Community College ’13, Hunter College ’16) joins New York University’s bioinformatics Ph.D. program; she will be cataloging microorganisms that can biodegrade plastics and their genes that do the work.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 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 275,000 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 and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree.