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Students and Alumni Receive 2017 NSF Graduate Fellowships

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced its Graduate Fellowship recipients for 2017. Several current students and recent alumni of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have received fellowships that will allow them to pursue graduate studies in the biomedical field.

New fellows include current graduate student Alex Khang, a first-year doctoral student working in the Center for Cardiovascular Simulation with Professor Michael Sacks, and four graduating seniors in the undergraduate program: Kristen Hagan, who works in Andrew Dunn’s Functional Optical Imaging Laboratory, Rebecca Ho who works with electrical engineering professor Deji Akinwande, Marjan Majid, who works in Aaron Baker's Laboratory for Cardiovascular Engineering and Therapeutics, and Jason Zhang who conducts research in James Tunnell's Biophotonics Laboratory.

Additionally four recent alumni were awarded fellowships: Aaron Blanchard, a 2015 alumnus who is studying at the Emory University; Jacob George, a 2016 alumnus attending graduate school at the University of Utah; Tess Hellebrekers, a 2016 alumnus attending graduat school at Carnegie Mellon; and Brian Li, a 2016 alumnus pursuing graduate studies at the University of California Berkeley.

The NSF graduate fellowship program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are pursuing research-based master's degrees and doctorates at accredited institutions in the United States. Since the program's inception in 1952, NSF has provided fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their academic achievements and potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

For the 2017 competition, NSF received over 13,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers.

Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.