USC celebrates 2014 NSF Graduate Fellowship winners

April 16, 2014
By Jennifer C. Bess

Four current USC students and six recent USC alumni have been awarded 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF). Current students John Clegg, Brendan Croom, Lewis Rowles, and Rachel Steward, as well as alumni Emily Graczyk, Allison Matzelle, Elizabeth Messman, Christopher Pinion, Nicholas Riley, and Mark Taylor have all been named NSF GRF Fellows. Three others current students, Drew DeLorenzo, Taylor Garrick, and Timothy Workman and four alumnae, Jacqueline Cantwell, Cara Fertitta, Kirstie Hewson, and Erin McParland, were selected for Honorable Mentions in this prestigious graduate fellowship competition.

The National Science Foundation has awarded 2,000 three-year Graduate Research Fellowships of approximately $132,000 each to outstanding college and university students for the year 2014. Since 1952, NSF has provided fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

Three current graduate students at the University of South Carolina were recognized by the National Science Foundation this year:  


Steward is a 2011 graduate of Tufts University, and a current PhD student in Biology at USC.  A Presidential Scholar at USC, she is working in the lab of Carol Boggs, researching a species of butterfly responding to habitat invasion by a nonnative plant.  She is a member of GABS (Graduate Association of Biology students), active with the Carolina Butterfly Society (Midlands Chapter), and rows for the Columbia Rowing Club.  At Tufts, she won two research scholarships, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Class of 1942 Prize.  She plans a career in academia.

Honorable Mention

Garrick is a 2013 magna cum laude graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Chemical Engineering, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering at USC.  Past president and current advisor for Tau Beta Pi, he was the recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship, the Henry M. Rothberg Bicentennial Scholarship.  He did undergraduate research with Dr. John Weidner, and completed research supported by Magellan, SURF, and Magellan Mini Grants.  He is currently a Presidential Scholar, and plans a career in industrial research or research in a national lab in electrochemistry and alternative energy.

Workman is a 2012 graduate of USC, with a major in Electrical Engineering.  A Capstone Scholar, he also received the Palmetto Fellows scholarship and received the 2012 Outstanding Senior in Electrical Engineering award.  He was a math tutor for the Academic Center for Excellence and a research assistant in the Power Electronics department.    He is currently pursuing his MS in Electrical Engineering at USC, where he was recognized as an outstanding teaching assistant in 2013, and plans to pursue his interest in Signal Integrity and go on to earn his PhD and teach at the college level.

The USC NSF Committee, co-chaired by Erin Connelly (Biology) and Michael Matthews (Chemical Engineering), and comprised of Brian Habing (Statistics), Melayne McInnes (Economics), and Ken Shimizu (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is to be commended for their work with these students. 

The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs identifies and recruits student to apply for nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships. Since 1994 when the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs was established, 78 University of South Carolina students and recent graduates have won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.