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News Release 95-49

Outstanding Science Students Awarded NSF Minority Graduate Fellowships

July 18, 1995

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the award of 130 research fellowships to outstanding minority students for graduate study in life sciences, physical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, mathematics, and engineering. Dr. Luther S. Williams, NSF Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources, commented: "The National Science Foundation plays a crucial role in encouraging talented minority students to pursue careers in science and engineering. For the past 17 years this fellowship program has been a major force in this effort."

Examples of the 1995 Minority Graduate Fellows are:

  • Thomas Manuel Ortiz, from Richland, Washington, will complete his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at New Mexico State University this spring and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in engineering systems at Colorado School of Mines. Mr. Ortiz's research interest focuses in the study of Martensitic Phase transformations.
  • Ms. Daphne Magboo Bofetiado is working toward a Ph.D. in physiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Bofetiado is interested in studying apoptosis (naturally occuring cell death), specifically the factors that are involved with the DNA fragmentation of apoptotic cells. She completed a B.S. in biology and a B.S. in music at the University of Michigan
  • Mr. Jorge Alberto Calvo attends the University of California at Santa Barbara where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics. Mr. Calvo's area of research is the study of combinatorial knot theory. He completed a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Ms. Rebecca Fe Shipe, from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, will receive her B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Shipe will seek a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. Her research interest centers on the factors which limit the growth of marine phytoplankton.
  • Mr. Viram Kode Iyengar attends Cornell University where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior. Mr. Iyengar is focusing his research on chemical ecology. He received a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University.

The fellowships provide a stipend of $14,400 per year for full- time graduate study. An annual cost-of-education allowance of $8,600 is also provided by the NSF in lieu of all tuition and required fees at U.S. institutions. In addition, both Fellows and Honorable Mention recipients may request the use of any of four national supercomputer centers supported by NSF for their graduate research work.

NSF Minority Graduate Fellows may attend any appropriate nonprofit U.S. or foreign institution of higher education. Each fellowship is awarded for three years of graduate study. The fellowships may be used over a five-year period to permit students to incorporate teaching or research assistantships into their education during periods in which they are not receiving fellowship stipends. Applications submitted by 1,173 minority students were evaluated by panels of scientists and engineers assembled by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the awards were made by NSF on the basis of merit. In addition to the fellowships awarded, NSF accorded Honorable Mention to 270 applicants in recognition of their outstanding potential for scientific and engineering careers. The Foundation also makes available Mentoring Assistantships for up to three months for Minority Fellows to help them develop mentoring relationships at their new graduate institutions. The summer support will be in addition to their regular fellowships and will provide research participation and other opportunities. The new Fellows represent 29 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Of the 130 awards, 70 were made to women. There were 37 awards in the behavioral and social sciences, 48 in engineering, 21 in life sciences, and 24 in mathematics and physical sciences, including computer science, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences.

Note To Reporters: A List of NSF Graduate Fellowship Awardees and Honorable Mention recipients is available by calling the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at (703) 292-8070.


Media Contacts
Njuguna Kabugi, NSF, (703) 292-8070,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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