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2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Honorees

April 1, 2021

Ten Drexel students and recent alumni received the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and ten received Honorable Mentions. NSF GRFP recipients receive a three-year annual stipend as well as a cost of education allowance for tuition and fees and access to opportunities for professional development

We are so proud of these students, who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to their research. We also congratulate their faculty mentors who have given them guidance and support along the way and would like to give special thanks to the more than fifty faculty and postdoctoral researchers who served as reviewers in our campus review process, providing valuable feedback to Drexel’s GRFP applicants.

2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Kristine Loh
BS/MS Chemical Engineering/Materials Science and Engineering ’20, Honors
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jason B. Baxter, PhD; Yury Gogotsi, PhD

Johannes Wagner
BS Physics '20, Honors
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Russell Neilson, PhD; Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, PhD

Angela Mastrianni
PhD student Information Science
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Aleksandra Sarcevic, PhD

Maxwell Franklin
PhD student Physics
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Eric Brewe, PhD

Amy Honnig
PhD student Chemical Engineering
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Giuseppe Palmese, PhD

Joel Pepper
PhD student Computer Science
Drexel Faculty Mentor: David Breen, PhD

Tana Siboonruang
PhD student Chemical Engineering
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Maureen Tang, PhD

Elizabeth Espinal
PhD student Clinical Psychology
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Lila Chrysikou PhD; Maria Schultheis, PhD


Daniel Pardo-Medina
BS Mechanical Engineering ’20



2021 NSF GRFP Honorable Mentions

Angela Tuckowski
 BS Biological Sciences '15


Sophie Abber
MS Psychology '21
Drexel Faculty Mentors: Evan Forman, PhDStephanie Manasse, PhD


Jesse Starger

PhD student Chemical Engineering
Drexel Faculty Mentors: Richard Cairncross, PhD; Nicolas Alvarez, PhD; Jason Baxter, PhD; Aaron Fafarman, PhD


Megan Michael
PhD student Clinical Psychology
Drexel Faculty Mentors: Adrienne Juarascio, PhD



This does not include the students or alumni who declined to be publicized or did not respond to our request. To view the national list of recipients and honorable mentions, visit

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.

For more information about the NSF GRFP, visit