NSF awards 2016 Graduate Research Fellowships to Charles Benson and Austin Carroll, Honorable Mention to Kasey Devlin

NSF GRFP recipients Charles Benson and Austin Carroll

NSF GRFP recipients Charles Benson (left) and Austin Carroll. (Photo by Minh Hoang)

Chemistry Ph.D. students Charles Benson and Austin Carroll were recently named by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as recipients of awards from the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), while Kasey Devlin received Honorable Mention.

The GRFP is highly prestigious and competitive, providing three years of financial support for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM field. The program received nearly 17,000 applications last year, from which 2,000 individuals representing a diverse group of scientific disciplines were chosen.

Charles and Austin join 10 other current and former NSF GRFP recipients from our program. Although we have always strongly encouraged eligible students to apply, last fall we made a concerted effort to raise our commitment to providing the mentoring and resources needed for students to submit a competitive application.

To learn more about the NSF GRFP, including eligibility and application information, please visit: https://www.nsfgrfp.org

Charles Benson

Charles is a first-year graduate student working in the laboratory of Professor David Olson. Charles received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Alaska where he worked under the supervision of Professor Colin McGill establishing the neuroprotective and anti-leukemia activity of the Alaskan ethnobotanical Devil's club. Currently, he is interested in the indole alkaloid family of hallucinogens and their potential anti-addictive and psychotherapeutic applications.

Austin Carroll

Austin is in his second year of the Ph.D. program. After graduating from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, Austin joined Professor Shota Atsumi’s laboratory where he studies metabolic engineering in Escherichia coli and Synechococcus elongatus. His research focuses on addressing energy and sustainability needs by developing biological systems capable of processing abundant natural resources into biofuels, commodity chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

NSF GRFP Honorable Mention recipient Kasey Devlin

NSF GRFP Honorable Mention recipient Kasey Devlin

Kasey Devlin

As an undergraduate at Duquesne University, Kasey worked with Dr. Jennifer Aitken synthesizing and characterizing novel diamond-like semiconductors. At Duquesne she was involved in several outreach programs such as Project SEED and the Duquesne chapter of the American Chemical Society. She is currently a first-year graduate student with Professor Susan Kauzlarich's group researching Zintl phases for thermoelectric applications. Her primary motivation for her current research stems from her interest in the structure-property and composition-property relationships of novel functional materials.