SUNY Recognizes National Science Foundation Awardees from Five Campuses

April 21, 2020

14 SUNY Students Win Graduate Research Fellowships and 13 Receive Honorable Mentions

SUNY Announces the Inaugural Winners of the Chancellor's Graduate Research Scholarship

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today congratulated 14 students from five SUNY campuses who have been offered prestigious fellowships by the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). At the same time, the NSF recognized 13 SUNY students with an honorable mention, also a significant national achievement. Historically, GRFP awardees and honorable mention recipients go on to make research breakthroughs, invent new technologies, win Nobel Prizes, teach in colleges and universities, found and lead companies, and head federal agencies.

"Every year since 1952, the NSF has empowered the future by recognizing and supporting early-career talent in science and engineering," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "I am proud to celebrate the accomplishments of these extraordinary SUNY students, who have already become leaders in their fields."

GRFP awards provide three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period, which amounts to a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM field. This year, GRFP fellowships were offered to 2,076 students around the country. Over 1,700 students were recognized with honorable mention.

SUNY also announced the inaugural winners of the Chancellor’s Graduate Research Scholarship, established in 2019 by Chancellor Johnson, which provides $5,000 in flexible funds to SUNY graduate students and undergraduates who win prestigious federal fellowships and continue their studies in SUNY graduate programs. Four of the GRFP awardees and 10 of the honorable mention recipients received this award. CGRS funds can be used for research-related expenses and travel, professional development, or stipend support.

SUNY’s GRFP fellowship recipients are:

NameField of StudySUNY Campus
Zachary Taylor Kralles* Environmental Engineering University at Buffalo
Chris R. Gnam* Aeronautical & Aerospace Engineering University at Buffalo
Fatoumata M. Ceesay* Sociology Stony Brook University
Tori Peña* Cognitive Psychology Stony Brook University
Kiran Eiden Astronomy and Astrophysics Stony Brook University
Audrey Claire Farrell Plasma Physics  Stony Brook University
Mateo Mezic  Economics Stony Brook University
Jonathan Bessette Mechanical Engineering University at Buffalo
Ian DesJardin Aeronautical & Aerospace Engineering University at Buffalo
Grant Thomas Iraci Computer Science University at Buffalo
Nicholas Adam Bartelo Mathematics/Data Science University at Buffalo
Joshua P Hazelnis  Chemistry University at Buffalo
Jasper Baur Geosciences Binghamton University
Samantha McComb Geosciences SUNY Potsdam

* Asterisk indicates eligibility to receive the Chancellor’s Graduate Research Scholarship


SUNY’s GRFP honorable mention recipients are:

NameField of StudySUNY Campus
Megan Elizabeth Gauck* Biological Anthropology Binghamton University
Michael Shaw*  Psychology/Perception, Psychophysics Binghamton University
Bernard Gene Stevenson* Chemistry Binghamton University
Erica Bower* Geosciences Stony Brook University
Gabrielle Elise Kamm* Chemistry Stony Brook University
Madani Ahmed Khan* Chemistry Stony Brook University
Priscilla Edinam Yevoo*  Neurosciences Stony Brook University
Jesus Alberto Frias*  Biochemistry University at Albany
Caleb Kazunari Walcott* Geosciences University at Buffalo
Payton Elizabeth Charlton* Cognitive Psychology University at Buffalo
Katherine Mary Eaton Geosciences University at Buffalo
Claire Marilea Garfield Environmental Biology Stony Brook University
Gregory Matousek Particle Physics Stony Brook University

*Asterisk indicates eligibility to receive the Chancellor’s Graduate Research Scholarship


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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