CLEMSON — One of the nation’s top honors for graduate students is going to eight from Clemson University, putting them in the same club as several Nobel Prize winners, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and “Freakonomics” co-author Steven Levitt.

The students are receiving Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation. A fellowship is recognition that the recipient shows high promise in becoming a knowledge expert who can contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovations in science and engineering.

This year's crop of Graduate Research Fellows included, (from left) Jacqueline Rohde, Lauren Pruett, Lauren Gambill and John Sherwood. Four other Clemson recipients who are not pictured are Sarah Donaher, Kylie Gomes, Shyla Kupis and Brandt Ruszkiewicz.

This year’s crop of Graduate Research Fellows included (from left) Jacqueline Rohde, Lauren Pruett, Lauren Gambill and John Sherwood. Four other Clemson recipients who are not pictured are Sarah Donaher, Kylie Gomes, Shyla Kupis and Brandt Ruszkiewicz.

Each Fellow receives a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance. The money supports graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in science and engineering.

The National Science Foundation received more than 13,000 applications for the 2017 competition and made 2,000 award offers.

Clemson’s Fellows had help from two faculty members. Lisa Benson, an assistant professor of engineering and science education, and Julia Frugoli, associate chair of genetics and biochemistry, conducted a series of workshops to help students better understand how to prepare their application packages.

This year’s crop of Graduate Research Fellowships underscore the success of Clemson’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program. Two students who received Fellowships and one student who received an honorable mention are in the inaugural graduating class of Grand Challenge Scholars at Clemson.

Clemson in 2014 became the 19th engineering school in the nation to offer a Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and the first seven scholars graduate this month. The program is aimed at helping students prepare to become world-changing engineers.

This year’s group of Graduate Research Fellows nationwide included 1,158 women, 498 individuals from underrepresented minority groups, 75 persons with disabilities, 26 veterans and 726 undergraduate seniors. The awardees come from 449 baccalaureate institutions, according to the National Science Foundation.

These Clemson students received research fellowships:

  • Sarah Donaher – senior, Environmental Engineering, Grand Challenge Scholar
  • Lauren Gambill – senior, Biochemistry
  • Kylie Gomes – graduate student, Industrial Engineering
  • Shyla Kupis – graduate student, Environmental Engineering
  • Lauren Pruett – senior, Bioengineering
  • Jacqueline Rohde – senior, Bioengineering, Grand Challenge Scholar
  • Brandt Ruszkiewicz – graduate student, Automotive Engineering
  • John Sherwood – graduate student, Environmental Engineering

These students received honorable mentions:

  • Erika Arvay – senior, Chemical Engineering
  • Patrick Dynes – senior, Computer Engineering
  • Robert Emmett – graduate student, Chemical Engineering
  • Aaron Gordon – senior, Civil Engineering, Grand Challenge Scholar
  • Sarah Lowum – senior, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Adam Luthman – senior, Biochemistry
  • Meredith Owen – graduate student, Bioengineering
  • Robert Underwood – graduate student, Computer Science
  • Eric Zhang – graduate student, Materials Science and Engineering

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