Celebrating the Class of 2022; Clemson University Honors College; College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Four Clemson students awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

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Four Clemson University students have been awarded 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, and one has received Honorable Mention.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious programs, dedicated to ensuring the vitality and diversity of the country’s science and engineering leaders by recognizing and supporting outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. Since the GRFP’s beginnings in 1952, 42 recipients have gone on to become Nobel laureates, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences. These Clemson students were among 2,000 selected from more than 12,000 applicants nationwide.

Clemson’s commitment to research is part of our mission as a R1 research institution, and our students’ selection for prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships bears witness to that commitment. We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their achievements in the future.

Robert H. Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship provides three years of support for graduate education, including a $34,000 annual stipend, a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance and access to a wide range of professional development opportunities.

Three of the GRFP recipients represent the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, and one represents the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

GRFP Recipients

Venkata “Anish” Chaluvadi

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Clemson alumni and 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient Anish Chaluvadi

Anish Chaluvadi is a 2021 Clemson University Honors College graduate from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering who is currently pursuing a MRes degree at the University of Cambridge. While at Clemson, the Simpsonville, South Carolina, native pursued multiple research opportunities beginning with EUREKA!, the Honors College’s early-start program. After joining the collaborative efforts of Thompson Mefford, associate professor of material science and engineering and Rachel Getman, Murdock Family Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chaluvadi realized his interest lay in the field of computational materials science which uses materials modeling, machine learning and artificial intelligence to guide experimental research.

His continued collaborations with Mefford and Getman further informed his belief in the value of integrating computational and experimental work in developing advanced materials.

At Clemson, Chaluvadi was a member of the debate team, president of the Indian Cultural Association, and was instrumental in founding the Tigers for Green Innovation Program. He was awarded the Phi Kappa Phi Marcus L. Urann Fellowship, the Norris Medal for top overall graduating senior and Clemson University’s first Gates-Cambridge Scholarship. Chaluvadi was also active in the Office of Sustainability and as a STEM mentor. He plans to pursue a doctorate in materials science, specializing in computational modeling and machine learning.

Nicholas Deas

School of Computing
College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Clemson senior and 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient Nicholas Deas

Nicholas Deas is a senior in the Honors College majoring in computer science. The National Scholar from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began his research at Clemson in an interdisciplinary team under the direction of political science professor Jeffrey Fine and Hudson Smith, research associate at the Watt Family Innovation Center. The team used custom natural language models and data labels to improve machine learning as they examined Congressional tweets to determine how they spread and to detect political attacks.

For a study with Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Deas led a project that utilized machine learning to investigate the relationship between mattering and suicidality in mental health-related online forums.

He followed up this research by training machine learning models to detect anti-mattering, loneliness and other variables in online peer-support community posts in an effort to inform interventions and prevention measures for those struggling with suicide-ideation.

At Clemson, Deas helped found the Youth Scholars Program with his National Scholars cohort and won academic recognition in the Department of Psychology and the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. He plans to attend Columbia University to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science, focusing on natural language processing applied to the social sciences.

Miranda Grice

Glenn Department of Civil Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

 Clemson graduate student and 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient Miranda Grice

Miranda Grice, a graduate student in civil engineering from Burlington, Wisconsin, has focused her academic career on finding solutions to reducing the waste created by the demolishing and rebuilding of single-purpose buildings. Grice’s research has combined her passions for sustainability, environmental consciousness and construction, in the lab of Brandon Ross, Cottingham Associate Professor of Civil Engineering. There she is exploring the option value of adaptable building practices, in order to determine if investing in adaptable features for buildings makes economic sense, both now and in the future.

Grice’s continuing work with Habitat for Humanity strengthened her understanding of the impact construction has in sustaining communities and solidified her goals of creating sustainable construction methods to address the issues of affordable housing, housing and material shortages, aging buildings, construction waste and depleted natural resources.

She has also been a strong advocate for women in STEM fields and plans to continue her role as a mentor for women in construction and first-generation college students.

Grice is the recipient of the Dean’s Graduate Fellowship. She plans to continue her Ph.D. in civil engineering at Clemson University.

Courtney Tharp

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

Clemson senior and 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient Courtney Tharp

Courtney Tharp, senior horticulture major from Chapin, South Carolina, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the Penn State Graduate School of Plant Biology program. Her research will focus on plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere to see how those associations are related to plant stress tolerances. She then plans to develop programs that will help these areas recover by using non-fossil fuel dependent, microbial solutions that create beneficial soil organism communities for long-term agricultural viability.

Her overarching goal is to help tackle the global issues of food insecurity and environmental degradation.

During her time at Clemson, Tharp worked as an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Vidya Suseela, assistant professor of soil ecology, where she developed a deep interest in the ability of ecological intensification to restore soil health, biodiversity and nutrient retention to impact sustainable agriculture worldwide.

Tharp was honored with the Undergraduate Research Initiative award from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. She served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Board and as an intern at the Land Institute, a research organization in Kansas that focuses on perennial grains and sustainable agriculture.

Honorable Mention

Katherine Summers

Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Katherine Summers

Katherine Summers is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from Greenville, South Carolina. Her research in bioengineering has focused on medical devices, specifically in the design and implementation of muscle wire into prosthetic ankles.

Clemson Alumni who won the 2022 NSF GRF

  • Andrew Bell, computer science, now studying at New York University
  • Robert Falconer, biomedical engineering, now studying at the University of Utah
  • Hayden Pagendarm, biomedical engineering, now studying at Vanderbilt University
  • Erin Shappell, bioengineering, now studying at Georgia Tech
  • Gabriella Wheeler-Fox, neuroscience, now studying at the University of Chicago

About the National Science Foundation

Since 1952, the National Science Foundation has funded over 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Students interested in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or other nationally competitive programs should contact the Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or fellowships@clemson.edu

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