Y. Lisa Chen
Architectural Engineering PhD, 2010
My name is Lisa Chen, and I am a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department. Before my first year of studies began, my advisor encouraged me to apply for the GAANN Fellowship. It would provide my first year of funding as well as provide courses in teaching. Since I have a strong interest in teaching, I found this fellowship to be very fitting. The application included an essay and letters of recommendation.
Through the fellowship, I met other GAANN fellows at Drexel and learned successful techniques in teaching. The experience will definitely help me this summer as I teach my first course! After I completed the one-year term of the GAANN fellowship, I applied for the three-year NSF GFRP fellowship. The application included three essays (a personal statement, statement of research plans, and previous research experience). Letters of recommendation were also required. Careful attention had to be paid to the contents/outline of each essay, as NSF lays clear guidelines and has a rigorous review process. As a recipient of an NSF fellowship, I have been able to have more freedom in my research, travel to both domestic and international conferences, and share experiences with other NSF fellows at Drexel. Both application processes taught me how to write in a concise, organized, and informative manner. These skills have carried both into my technical writing and presentation skills. I am thankful to have been a recipient of both awards in my PhD career.