NSF fellowships to help seven Roadrunners advance their education | UTSA Today | UTSA

NSF fellowships to help seven Roadrunners advance their education

Ernesto Flores was one of seven Roadrunners awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Flores will advance his graduate research education in physics at Stanford University.

JULY 3, 2024 — Seven UTSA students and alumni have been awarded prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance their graduate research education. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

The NSF GRFP is a highly competitive award granted annually to approximately 2,000 students out of a pool of more than 13,000 applicants from across the U.S. and its territories. The fellowships provide students with a three-year annual stipend of $37,000, along with a $16,000 cost of education allowance, as well as access to opportunities for professional development. The GRFP has a high rate of doctorate degree completion, with more than 70% of students completing their doctorate within 11 years.

UTSA’s award recipients are:

  • Mariah Antopia ’22, biology, accepted at University of Pennsylvania
  • Marissa Coppin ’24, neurosciences, accepted at University of Pennsylvania
  • Ernesto Flores ’24, physics, accepted at Stanford University
  • Luis Flores ’24, chemical engineering, accepted at Johns Hopkins University
  • Brandon Garcia-Castaneda, neurosciences, current UTSA Ph.D. student
  • William Hughes ’24, chemistry, accepted at Colorado State University
  • Enrique Piedra ’23, psychology, accepted UT Health San Antonio

Four of the seven, including Antopia, Coppin, Ernesto Flores and Hughes, are UTSA Honors College students.

In addition, Gabrielle Earley ’21 (neurosciences), Elijah Garcia ’22 (chemical engineering) and Aranis Muniz Perez ’22 (neurosciences) received honorable mentions from the NSF.

“I commend all the GRFP awardees on their impressive achievement,” said Ambika Mathur, senior vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral studies and dean of the UTSA Graduate School. “These awards bring great honor to UTSA and are demonstrative of the exceptional mentoring that students receive at UTSA. Equally important is the dedicated effort of our faculty and staff, who generously provided their time and expertise to assist students and their advisors in submitting successful applications. UTSA continues to exemplify collaborative excellence in promoting student success.”

The GRFP awardees are representative of UTSA’s strong ecosystem, which offers students with experiential learning opportunities such as research that deepen learning and improve career success. The university has a long history of offering comprehensive research training programs that provide students with financial and academic support, hands-on research experience, career development opportunities, and mentorship so they have the knowledge, skills and support to give them a competitive edge when pursuing in doctoral programs and research-intensive careers.


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