campus news

UB continues NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program success


Published May 17, 2023


Five UB students and four alumni have received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) scholarships, along with three honorable mentions recognizing current students and alumni.

The latest awards continue UB’s success in placing its students as winners in the GRFP scholarship program. Launched in 1952, the GRFP represents the oldest continuous investment in the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. As one of the most competitive scholastic programs in the U.S., it recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers, and supports their graduate research training.

Fellows receive a $34,000 annual stipend for three years, plus $12,000 annually for three years to defray tuition costs. All told, each scholar will receive up to $138,000. They’re also eligible to participate in international research and career development programs offered by NSF.

Past fellows include some of the nation’s most outstanding scientists, among them Google co-founder Sergey Brin and former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, as well as dozens of Nobel laureates and hundreds of members of the U.S. National Academies.

“The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is a great recognition of the recipients' accomplishments and their potential for further impacts in their fields of research,” says Ashlee N. Ford Versypt, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and faculty fellow for NSF GRFP at UB.

“Additionally, the number of awardees and honorable mentions is a reflection of the outstanding research environment at UB.”

The UB students and recent graduates who received the GRFP are:

Adan DeHollander.

Adam DeHollander

DeHollander is a PhD student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, specializing in operations research. A skilled tournament chess player, he focuses his research on adapting AI algorithms from chess to enhance decision-making processes in hospital emergency departments, with the ultimate aim to decrease crowding. DeHollander also collaborates with the NFL, performing data analysis and developing algorithms to improve the league’s season schedule. Beyond his academic pursuits, he enjoys outdoor activities such as pickleball, disc golf and hiking.

Paul Dewan Jr.

Paul Dewan Jr.

Dewan is a graduating senior in physics and biological sciences. He worked with Priya Banerjee, assistant professor of physics, as an undergraduate researcher studying phase separation in biology. In the fall, he will pursue a PhD in biophysics at Harvard University.

Jaqueline Hannan.

Jacqueline Hannan

A PhD student at the University of Michigan studying industrial and operations engineering, Hannan earned a BS in biomedical engineering with a minor in human factors from UB. Her research interests lie at the intersection of human factors and health care.

Nayem Haque.

Nayem Haque

Haque graduated from UB with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences in 2020 and is now a graduate student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. His research is focused on transcription, a fundamental process that regulates gene expression and plays a vital role in the function of all living organisms.

Jordan Johnson

A first-generation college student from the Tuscarora Nation in Western New York, Johnson received a BS in psychology, with a minor in neuroscience, from UB in 2022. To prepare for doctoral studies, she is completing the one-year, Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (NIH-PREP) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Adam Krathaus.

Adam Krathaus

Krathaus recently completed his master’s degree in civil engineering at UB, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in the same major from the university. In the fall, he will begin work on a PhD in transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, concentrating his research on the intersection of transportation and social networks to better understand the role transportation systems have in enabling healthy social network maintenance. He hopes this work will lead to more equitable transportation systems that will enable and encourage sufficient social activity participation for all travelers. 

Isabelle Linares.

Isabelle Linares

Linares is a second-year PhD student studying biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester. She graduated from UB with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2021. While at UB, she was a Presidential Scholar and Ronald E. McNair Scholar.

Clayton Markham.

Clayton Markham

Clayton graduated from UB in spring 2022 with a BS in environmental engineering. He was a Presidential Scholar in the Honors College and received the 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. He is pursuing his PhD in environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, where his research focuses on combating the spread of antimicrobial resistance in the environment.

Megan Sullivan.

Meghan Sullivan

Sullivan graduates from UB this spring with a BS in chemistry and will pursue a PhD in inorganic chemistry at Harvard University. She conducted inorganic chemistry research in the lab of chemistry professor Timothy Cook, where she produced two first-author publications and contributed to other publications as co-author over the past three years. She has presented her work on zirconium-based systems and porous materials at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium and several other conferences. Sullivan was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in 2022, and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the CAS Outstanding Senior Award this year. 

Two current UB students received honorable mentions: Polly “Baoshan” Liang, who received a BS in mechanical engineering from UB in 2021 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the discipline at UB, and Tyler Rolland a PhD student in physiology. Alumna Cassondra Lyman, who received a BA in statistics and a BS in psychology from UB in 2021 and is now pursing a graduate degree in psychology at the University of South Florida, also received honorable mention.