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Brenda Ortiz

Students, Alums Receive Competitive NSF Fellowships

UC Merced students Brianna Aguilar-Solis, Diane-Marie Brache-Smith, Sierra Lema and Sarif Morningstar, and alumni Diana Cruz Garcia and Anna Maria Calderon were awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000, as well as access to opportunities for professional development.

Campus Grad Slam Champion Wows with Talk About Recycling CO2

Aneelman Brar wants to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Ph.D. student’s three-minute talk entitled “From Pollutant to Fuel and New Products: Recycling Carbon Dioxide” earned her bragging rights as UC Merced's Grad Slam champion and a $5,000 prize, plus the opportunity to represent the campus at the UC systemwide finals on May 5.

Cheer on Campus’s 10 Grad Slam Finalists April 10

Ten graduate UC Merced students will take the stage on April 10 to compete in the Graduate Division’s Grad Slam finals.

Grad Slam is an annual University of California competition that aims to make research accessible to all by providing emerging scientists and scholars with the skills to engage the public in their work. Nearly 30 UC Merced graduate students competed in the qualifying round in March and the top 10 are advancing to the campus’s finals.

UC Merced Lands $12.5M NSF Grant to Predict the Impact of Climate Change on Symbiotic Systems

UC Merced has received a $12.5 million grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the Biology Integration Institute (BII): INSITE — the INstitute for Symbiotic Interactions, Training and Education — a research collaborative that aims to expand the fundamental knowledge of symbioses and inform immediate and long-term conservation strategies in the face of climate change.

Hratchian Takes the Helm as Graduate Dean, Shares Vision for Division

July was a transition month for UC Merced’s Graduate Division as interim Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Chris Kello passed the baton to Professor Hrant P. Hratchian — an Armenian name pronounced Her-ahnt Heratch-yahn — who now leads the division.

“Dr. Hratchian’s appointment is another signifier of our momentum in research excellence,” said Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz. “He will be an essential leader and contributor as we accelerate our drive toward R1 status.”

$2.2M NIH Grant Designed to Produce Highly Trained, Diverse Ph.D. Workforce

A five-year, $2.2 million training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will assist UC Merced with the development of diverse cohorts of doctoral students in interdisciplinary biomedical disciplines.

Twelve trainees each academic year will benefit from NIH’s longstanding Graduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement Program, or G-RISE.

NASA Fellowship Lifts Grad Student’s Cardiac Biosensor Research

Warren Nanney, who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, received a three-year NASA fellowship that’s creating a unique opportunity for him to develop biosensors that could detect heart attacks before symptoms appear.

NASA recently awarded 12 fellowships totaling $1.9 million to graduate students through its Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) and Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) to conduct research and contribute directly to NASA’s work and mission.

Graduate Student Spends Summer as GEM Fellow at Idaho National Lab

As a graduate student at UC Merced, Jordan Galloway looks for ways to push himself forward and lead by example.

The third-year Chemistry and Chemical Biology student forged a new path last summer through a fellowship in the nuclear science and technology division of Idaho National Laboratory.

“It was a great opportunity,” Galloway said. “I met a lot of good people and, overall, I was able to learn a great deal.”

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