Record number of UTSA students earn NSF fellowships
(April 10, 2017) -- Five students from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will receive the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, the largest number of UTSA students ever to receive the honor in one year.
The distinguished fellowship is awarded to outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Three of the five UTSA students received the award while completing their undergraduate degrees at UTSA.
One of UTSA's recipients is Jasmine King, who graduates from UTSA in May with her bachelor's in biomedical engineering. The San Antonio native transferred to UTSA for the academic opportunities.
"Transferring to UTSA was the best career move I've made," said King. "The MARC-U*STAR program changed my life by introducing me to biomedical research. This has given me the most competitive edge for other research experiences while sharpening my professional skills."
King is developing a silk-based scaffold system to support pancreatic acinar, which could help fight pancreatitis. She'll build on her UTSA education this fall when she attends the joint UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco Graduate Program in Bioengineering.
"The NSF Fellowship is a huge honor and it's highly competitive," said Gail Taylor, assistant director of UTSA's Maximizing Access to Research Careers - Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs. "It's a sign that UTSA is developing more and more as a top-tier research institution."
NSF Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 while their universities receive a $12,000 cost of education allowance to cover tuition and fees. They also receive international research opportunities, professional development opportunities and the freedom to conduct research on a topic of their choosing at the accredited U.S. institutions where they enroll.
Biology senior and MARC participant Madeline Cortez is another UTSA NSF Fellow.
"As a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my biology degree," said Cortez. "As soon as I joined a lab, I knew it was the place for me. I received both technical and professional training at UTSA."
Cortez is working alongside Floyd L. Wormley Jr. to create an anti-fungal vaccine that can protect healthy individuals and those who do not have fully functioning immune systems. After she graduates in May, the San Antonio native will pursue her doctoral degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in the Molecular Virology and Microbiology program.
Jason Giuliani is pursuing his Ph.D. in physics at UTSA after graduating with his bachelor's in 2016. MARC and RISE helped Giuliani develop his research in Carlos Monton's laboratory. He will continue that work, which consists of using electrochemistry and physical methods to create arrays of magnetic, multi-compositional nanowires and nanostructures, with help from the NSF Fellowship.
"This honor means everything to me," Giuliani said. "UTSA has played an instrumental role in making it a reality."
Other UTSA NSF Fellows include undergraduate biomedical engineering student Alisa Isaac and Christian Sheumaker, a UTSA graduate student in archaeology.
"We have some amazing students at UTSA. They're competitive at just about any school in the nation but they choose to come here," said Taylor. "What's unique about UTSA is the depth of training undergraduates receive in our labs. These students are getting the research experience usually not obtained at other universities until graduate school."
Taylor's tells other student researchers at UTSA, "Aim high because at UTSA you can reach it. You can get the research you need, touch the community and develop as a leader."
UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.
Learn more about the degree progrms offered at UTSA.
Learn more about UTSA Research.
This UTSA student exhibit features the work of anthropology students who have examined the effects tourism has on local culture.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Students from grades 9 to 12 at Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering delved into their family histories and turned their family photos into artworks.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
At 4 p.m., the second ceremony will be held to honor graduates from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Science and the University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
UTSA's John Nix invites the community to sing "Amazing Grace" and “We Shall Overcome” at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The intent of this nationwide effort is to honor Dr. King's legacy and to spread a sense of community in the United States.Locations throughout the United States
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Level up your career with a graduate business degree from the UTSA College of Business. Join us for this Open House to learn which of our 13 degree programs is right for you.Business Building (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
UTSA Day is an Open House and one of the best ways to see what it is like to be part of the UTSA Family! Schedule a visit the way you want, based on your interests and time. Learn more about the next steps on becoming a Roadrunner!Various locations, Main Campus
Diploma Dash is a fast, certified 5k course for runners and a scenic route around Main Campus for walkers, strollers and dogs! There are individual and team prizes. Benefits UTSA students through the UTSA Alumni Association scholarship program.UTSA Main Campus