Announcements, News

Two Middlebury seniors and five recent graduates have been offered National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF GRFP). The highly selective program supports outstanding students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at U.S. institutions. Six additional Middlebury alumni and a current student received honorable mention.

McCardell Bicentennial Hall aerial photo
McCardell Bicentennial Hall is Middlebury’s academic hub for the sciences. (Credit: Brett Simison )

The fellowships provide students with a three-year annual stipend of $37,000 along with a $16,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, paid to the institution, as well as access to opportunities for professional development.

One of the Middlebury recipients, Karl Lin ’20, is currently a second-year graduate student at the Tri-Institutional PhD Program in Chemical Biology—a program offered jointly by Weill Cornell Medicine, Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. He works in the lab of Dr. Heeseon An, developing chemical biology tools for probing the regulatory mechanisms of the human proteome.

Lin, who double majored in molecular biology and biochemistry and Japanese studies at Middlebury, says his undergraduate coursework and interactions with faculty cultivated his interests in the sciences and foreign languages. After graduating, he combined his interests through a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Tokyo.

“When I left Japan for graduate school, I began thinking that relationships between nations could be strengthened by promoting international scientific collaboration,” said Lin. “Eventually, I want to pursue a career wherein I can concurrently train the next generation of scientists and contribute to international relations through science.”

The NSF fellowship rewards the most talented students with financial support, but also prompts them to reflect on how their research can make a difference in their fields, said Lindsay Repka, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

“The NSF GRFP is a highly competitive program and receiving the fellowship or honorable mention is a major achievement,” notes Repka. “Successful applicants demonstrate strong scientific writing, develop innovative and viable research proposals, and identify ways they can make a broad impact beyond just the research at a very early stage in or even before starting grad school.” 

This year’s Middlebury recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships are the following:

  • Tobias Ziemke ’24, Ecology
  • Daniel Tetreault ’20, Microbial Biology, Cornell University
  • Karl Lin ’20, Biochemistry, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
  • Olivia Jin ’20, Sociology, Stanford University
  • Maya Gomez ’20, Ecology, University of Southern California
  • Natalie Dodson ’23, Algebra, Number Theory, and Combinatorics
  • Jewel Ashbrook ’24, University of Texas, Austin

Those receiving honorable mention are the following:

  • Sara Stadulis ’16, Systems and Molecular Biology, Cornell University
  • Abigail Santis ’23, Geochemistry
  • Emma Roman ’22, Microbial Biology
  • Hannah Gellert ’22, Evolutionary Biology
  • Elijah Biletch ’22, Chemistry, Chemical Biology, University of California-Los Angeles
  • Elizabeth Austin ’24, Paleontology and Paleobiology

For more information about the NSF GRFP and other fellowship opportunities, visit the Middlebury Fellowships Office