Department News

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Awarded to Trevor Tumiel and David Vargas. Others Receive Honorable Mention.

April 9, 2019

NSF Awardees
NSF GRFP Awardees: Trevor Tumiel (left) and David Vargas (right)

Trevor Tumiel, a graduate student working in Prof. Todd Krauss’s lab, has been selected as an awardee for the NSF Graduate Fellowship Award. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Trevor attended Canisius College where he obtained a degree in Chemistry (B.S.). He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, where his research focuses on studying carbon nanotube photophysics, probing how surface defects can be used circumvent obstacles in developing nanotube-based photochemical applications.

David Vargas, a graduate student in Prof. Rudi Fasan’s group, has also been awarded a NSF Graduate Fellowship. David, who is originally from Colombia, completed his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan where he obtained a degree in Chemistry (B.S.). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Rochester with his research focusing on the development and mechanistic investigation of new biocatalytic methodologies for metalloprotein-catalyzed (asymmetric) carbene transfer reactions.

Trevor and David were two of 1,500 new awardees selected from more than 12,000 applicants following a national competition that included all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The NSF accords Honorable Mention to meritorious applicants who do not receive Fellowship awards. This is considered a significant national academic achievement. The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply.

David and Trevor were also both recently awarded W.D. Walters Teaching Awards from the department for outstanding service as teaching assistants.


NSF Honorable Mentions
NSF GRFP Honorable Mentions (L to R): Albert Nam, Jacob Shelton, Paul Wrona

The following U of R students received Honorable Mentions:

  • Albert Nam, a graduate student in the Fasan group, earned an Honorable Mention for his proposal on expanding the scope of non-native asymmetric cyclopropanation reactions using engineered hemoproteins
  • Jacob Shelton, a graduate student in the Knowles group, earned an Honorable Mention for his proposal to characterize the thermal response of metal oxide thin films to photoexcitation using ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy
  • Paul Wrona, one of our alumni, also received an Honorable Mention.  Paul is currently at UC Berkeley, completed his B.S. here in 2017 and did research within the Rothberg group.



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