Six Penn State engineering students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships


By Sarah Small 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The National Science Foundation has selected six current Penn State College of Engineering students as 2022 awardees for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and one College of Engineering student for an honorable mention.  

In total,19 current Penn State University Park students received the fellowship, with 10 Penn State students receiving an honorable mention.

According to the NSF’s website, the GRFP “recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.” The fellowship includes three years of a living stipend and a cost of education allowance. Honorable mentions do not receive financial support, but the recognition is considered “a significant national academic achievement” that provides access to research-enabling cyberinfrastructure resources.  

“The College of Engineering’s strong showing in this year’s competition for the GRFP speaks to the caliber of our students and faculty at Penn State,” said George Lesieutre, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Engineering. “The financial support and professional development opportunities afforded by this prestigious fellowship will help our students not only conduct graduate research but also establish a strong foundation on which to build their careers.” 

The Penn State College of Engineering recipients of the 2022 NSF GRFP are: 

  • Nicholas Evich, mechanical engineering 

  • Sierra Hicks, systems engineering  

  • Joshua Miller, chemical engineering 

  • Lauren Onweller, biomedical engineering 

  • Jordan Brown, agricultural and biological engineering* 

  • Michelle Wong, architectural engineering


*The College of Engineering and the College of Agricultural Sciences jointly administer this program.

Haley Tholen, mechanical engineering, received an honorable mention.

Additionally, Erica Venkatesulu, who received her bachelor of science in electrical engineering at Penn State and now attends Montana State University, received an NSF GRFP. Leah Kiner, Rose Gogal and Emmeline Evans, all of whom received their bachelor’s degrees from Penn State and are studying engineering at other institutions for graduate school, received honorable mentions. 


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