July 10, 2014

Four current or former LSU College of Engineering students have been recognized by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, as 2014 Graduate Research Fellows. A total of eight LSU students were awarded the fellowship and three students received honorable mention. This marks the largest number of students ever awarded the fellowship from LSU in a single year.

“We send our congratulations to our current and former students who have been recognized with this prestigious national fellowship,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander. “STEM research has never been more important, and we applaud our students’ commitment to studying science, technology, engineering and math. Having the largest number of students ever recognized from LSU is another reminder of the high quality students and research taking place at the university.”

The following LSU College of Engineering students and recent graduates received the prestigious award, an exceptional honor for the students, their faculty mentors and the university itself:

Camryn Johnson, a native of Baton Rouge: currently enrolled in biological engineering in the College of Engineering and will attend graduate school at Vanderbilt

Corey Landry, a native of Denham Springs: received a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from the College of Engineering in May 2014, was a member of the LSU Honors College and a LA-STEM Research Scholar, is pursuing a master’s degree in biological and agricultural engineering at LSU and plans to attend Harvard afterward

Elissa Ledoux, a native of Baton Rouge: received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering in May 2013 and is attending graduate school at Vanderbilt

Shelby Pursley, a native of Winter Springs, Fla.: received a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from the College of Engineering in May 2014, was a member of the LSU Honors College and will attend graduate school at MIT

The National Science Foundation Graduate Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $32,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.


A number of the LSU recipients were participants in the annual NSF Graduate Fellowship application workshop held at the university in the fall, hosted in collaboration by the Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership, or CCELL, and Communication across the Curriculum, or CxC. Workshop attendees received in-depth advice on the application process and learned strategies to optimize their application for success. The workshop explores topics such as developing a strong research essay, optimizing applications for intellectual merit, developing an application strong in broader impacts and using a high-impact written communication style that will get an application noticed. Faculty that have reviewed applications in the past offer tips on how to make an application outstanding.

“LSU’s Fellows and Honorable Mentions have proven themselves to be reflective scholars whom NSF has identified as future leaders in their respective disciplines,” said Marybeth Lima, the Cliff and Nancy Spanier Alumni Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and director of the Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership. “I congratulate each awardee, their faculty research mentors, and the outstanding training provided by LSU inside and outside the classroom in support of these significant honors.”

The fellows in the 2014 class come from 442 baccalaureate institutions, 58 more than in 2010, when the program first began awarding 2,000 fellowships each year.

Since 1952, NSF has provided fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program continues to be a critical part of NSF’s overall strategy in developing the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. A high priority is increasing the diversity of the science and engineering workforce, including geographic distribution and the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans.

Fellows may also be eligible for access to cyberinfrastructure resources through the NSF-supported Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment and for Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities.

In addition, fellows have the opportunity for international research collaborations through the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide initiative. The program also supports NSF’s Career-Life Balance Initiative. CLB supplemental funding may be awarded to sustain the research of active NSF Graduate Research Fellows who have been granted an NSF-approved medical deferral for dependent-care situations.

The ranks of NSF Graduate Research Fellows include numerous individuals who have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering research, become leaders in their chosen careers, and been honored as Nobel laureates. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents and are selected through the NSF peer review process.

For more information on the Graduate Research Fellowship, visit www.nsfgrfp.org.


Article excerpted from original release by Ernie Ballard, LSU Office of Communications & University Relations. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu

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