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University Relations

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August 25, 2005
Contact: Mary Jane Dunlap, University Relations, (785) 864-8853.

4 KU graduates receive NSF fellowships; 3 new NSF fellows attend KU this fall

LAWRENCE - Four recent University of Kansas graduates are pursuing graduate degrees this fall with National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships that provide each Fellow up to $121,500 over three years. In addition, two graduates of other universities with NSF fellowships and one of the KU alumni are new graduate students at KU this fall.
KU graduates named NSF fellows include:

  • Sarah Feldt, May 2004 graduate in mathematics and in physics from Norman, Okla., to continue graduate study at University of Michigan
  • Jesse Noffsinger, May 2005 graduate in physics from McPherson to pursue a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Katie Rose Mitchell-Koch, a 2003 KU graduate in chemistry from Wichita, is transferring from the University of Michigan to KU with an NSF fellowship awarded in 2003
  • Jennifer Sweeton, May 2004 graduate in cognitive psychology and French, from Parkville, Mo., and Olathe, a PhD candidate in psychology at Stanford University

In addition to Mitchell-Koch, new NSF fellows in KU's Graduate School are

  • Jacob Aaron Esselstyn from Oregon State University to study in ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • Jeffery Scott Young from Clemson University to study electrical engineering and computer science

Approximately 1,000 NSF graduate fellowships are awarded annually in a national competition. The fellowship is renewable for up to three years and provides recipients with $30,000 plus $10,500 for the cost of education allowance for three years. The fellowships must be used within five years. GRF recipients may take the award to the institution of their choice.

Four more May 2005 KU graduates received honorable mention in the NSF graduate fellowships competition:
- Jacob R. King, KU degree in mathematics from Bismarck N.D.
- Ian M. Lewi,s KU degree in physics from Galva.
- Joshua E. Meyers, KU degree in astronomy from Wichita.
- Scott Roberts, KU degree in engineering

The recent NSF fellowship recipients and honorable mentions who graduated KU or who will enroll in KU Graduate School programs this fall are listed by their hometowns below

From Olathe and Parkville, Mo.
Jennifer Sweeton, NSF Graduate Fellow, is the daughter of Stan and Tamara Sweeton of Parkville, Mo., and is an Olathe East High School graduate. At KU she was a Rhodes scholar semifinalist and received a McNair scholar grant for summer research and a Bioscience Initiative from the National Institutes of Health grant. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation.

From Galva
Ian M. Lewis, honorable mention, May 2005 graduate in physics, is son of Loretta and Gregory Lewis, Galva and graduated McPherson High School. He is in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin.

From McPherson and Bismarck, N.D.
Jacob R. King, honorable mention, May 2005 graduate in mathematics, is the son of Robert and Donna N. King, Bismarck, N.D.; and graduated McPherson High School. He is studying physics graduate school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Jesse Noffsinger, NSF Graduate Fellow, is studying for a doctorate in physics with a long-range goal of teaching and conducting research. He is the son of Kent and Faye Noffsinger and a graduate of McPherson High School. At KU he was a National Merit Scholar and worked with Judy Wu, KU professor of physics and astronomy, in her condensed matter lab. He was also a summer NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate participant at the Ohio State University in Columbus.

From Wichita
Katie Rose Mitchell-Koch, NSF Graduate Fellow, a 2003 KU graduate in chemistry, is the daughter of Lawrence and Melanie Mitchell. She has transferred to KU to pursue a PhD in computational chemistry. In 2003, she received both Hertz and NSF fellowships and used the Hertz award while at the University of Michigan. This will be her first year to use her NSF award. As a KU undergraduate, she was a Goldwater Scholar and also a Rotary Ambassador Scholar to England. She is a Wichita High School East graduate. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Joshua E. Meyers, honorable mention, May 2005 graduate in astronomy, is son of Evan and Jane Meyers, Wichita; and he graduated Wichita High School East. He is in graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley.

From Parkville and Olathe, Kan.
See: Johnson County: Jennifer Sweeton

From Bismarck and McPherson, Kan.
See McPherson, Kan.: Jacob R. King

From Norman
Sarah Feldt, NSF Graduate Fellow, is planning a career in biophysics with the goal of teaching. She is the daughter of Andy and Jan Feldt and is a Norman North High School graduate. At KU, she was a 2003 Goldwater scholar.

From Springfield
Jacob Aaron Esselstyn, NSF Graduate Fellow, is an Oregon State University graduate, working on a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology. He is working with KU mammalogists studying animals from the Philippines. He has worked He is a former Peace Corps volunteer with service in the Philippines and has worked as a wildlife biologist in the North Mariana Islands. He and his wife, Delores, have two children. He is the son of Paul and Terry Esselstyn.

From North Augusta
Jeffery Scott Young, NSF Graduate Fellow, is a 2005 graduate of Clemson University, studying electrical and computer engineering. He is married to Jessica Keaton-Young. He is the son of Robin and Sybil Young and attended the S.C. Governor's [High] School for Science and Mathematics. At Clemson, he was a 2004 Goldwater Scholar and a Clemson National Scholar.


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