Students, Alumni Earn Prestigious NSF Grad Fellowships
NADIA M. WHITEHEAD | April 17, 2015 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
Adriana Carolina Camacho is being mentored by David Novick, Ph.D., while studying computer science at UTEP.
This year the National Science Foundation (NSF) offered six University of Texas at El Paso students and alumni the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship – a record number of recipients for the University. More than 16,000 students across the nation applied to the program, while only 2,000 fellowship were awarded.
"The vast majority of these awards go to students at top-tier research universities," said John Wiebe, Ph.D., UTEP associate provost. "The record number of awards to UTEP students this year speaks to the amazing accomplishments of the successful applicants and the growing success of the institution's research mission."
The NSF program supports outstanding students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Awardees receive a hefty $32,000 annual stipend, plus $12,000 to the university the graduate is attending to pay for tuition and fees.
In addition to the six fellowship recipients, three current students received Honorable Mentions from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The designation is considered a significant national academic achievement as well.
"The Graduate Research Fellowship is a prestigious and highly competitive award," Wiebe said. "It requires that recipients have excellent academic preparation and exposure to cutting-edge research, and it requires strong mentorship from faculty researchers."
The following are the recipients of the 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship:
Adriana Carolina Camacho
Degree Pursuing: Ph.D. in Computer Science at UTEP
UTEP Research Mentor: David Novick, Ph.D.
Camacho graduated as one of the top College of Engineering students in 2014 with a B.S. in computer science. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the same field at the University. In her research proposal to the NSF, Camacho suggested studying and implementing gestures in the virtual characters she creates using computer code and motion capture technology. This form of nonverbal communication is essential to improve the character's naturalness and effectiveness, Camacho believes. The researcher also will work on developing more complete body language in virtual characters.
The full list of UTEP NSF Grad Fellowship students is available at the University Communications website.