A College of Agriculture master’s student and a recent graduate have been named 2017 recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The two—Edna Fernandez-Figueroa and April Maxwell—are among a record-setting 14 Auburn University students selected for the prestigious award in a single year.
A National Science Foundation, or NSF, fellowship consists of three years of financial support that are accessible over a five-year period. For each year, the NSF provides a stipend of $34,000 to the fellow and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the degree-granting institution.
Fernandez-Figueroa of St. Pete Beach, Florida, began her graduate program in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences at Auburn in August 2016, with associate professor Alan Wilson as her faculty advisor. The title of her research is “Elucidating consumer adaptation trade-offs to multiple stressors.” She holds a B.S. degree in marine science from Eckerd College in St. Pete.
Maxwell, who is from Mobile, graduated from Auburn with a B.S. in agronomy and soils/science option in 2013. While at Auburn, she was an undergraduate research fellow who worked under the mentorship of Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences professor Yucheng Feng. She now is an intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in North Carolina, conducting a research project titled “Influence of Urbanization on Nitrification and the Active Ammonia-Oxidizing Community in Grasslands.”
The purpose of the fellowship program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the U.S. The program recognizes and assists 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.