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Five students earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowship honors

Recent research from the research group of Professor

Photo for Matthew Vollmer

Five Department of Chemistry students, including four graduate students and one undergraduate student, have received honors in the 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program. Matthew Vollmer was honored with a fellowship. Graduate Students Annabelle Lee, Harrison Friske and Courtney Olson and Undergraduate Student Moriana Haj received honorable mentions. A Lando summer researcher, Danielle Francis, also received a fellowship.

The prestigious and competitive GRF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees. Fellowship winners receive three years of support and a $34,000 annual stipend. The Department of Chemistry receives a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance. The NSF awarded the fellowship to 2,000 individuals from among 16,500 applicants.

Fellowship Honors

Matthew Vollmer is a first-year graduate student working with Professor Connie Lu. His research interests focus on synthetic inorganic-organometallic chemistry. He wants to study Group 13 (M= Al, Ga, In) lewis adducts of transition metals and their relevance to catalytic ammonia production. He hopes to work in academia after completing his doctorate.

Danielle Francis, who is studying chemistry of life processes at Mississippi State University, also received a fellowship. She participated in the Department of Chemistry’s Lando/National Science Foundation summer research program for outstanding undergraduate students.

Honorable Mention Honors

Harrison Frisk is a first-year graduate student working with Professor James Johns. His research interest is photoemission experiments on grapheme and 2-dimensional materials.

Moriana Haj is a graduating senior who will be attending graduate school this fall to pursue a doctorate in chemistry. Her general research interest is synthetic organic chemistry. Working in Professor Thomas Hoye's laboratory, her research interest currently encompasses studying the hexadehydro-Diels–Alder reaction.

Annabelle Lee is a second-year graduate student working with Professor Marc Hillmyer. Her research interests encompass the synthesis of sustainable block polymer systems with an emphasis in forming thermoplastic elastomers from aliphatic polyesters.

Courtney Olson is a first-year graduate student working with Professor Aaron Massari. Her research interest is experimental physical chemistry, particularly 2-D infrared spectroscopy.