Chemistry graduate student Haley Young has been named a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP). An NSF GRFP honorable mention has also been awarded to chemistry graduate student Olivia Peduzzi.
The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. In addition to support for their research, awardees benefit from a three-year annual stipend, along with an education allowance for tuition, and opportunities for international research and professional development.
Haley Young is a second-year graduate student who is co-advised by DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry Ray Schaak and Professor of Chemical Engineering Enrique Gomez. Young’s research focuses on grafting semiconducting polymers onto inorganic Janus nanoparticles to synthesize hybrid materials, bridging both organic and inorganic chemistry. She hopes to study the synergistic properties of these materials for application as photocatalysts.
Outside of the lab, Young is an outreach delegate for the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (GSA) and is involved in organizing webinars for the Virtual Scientist program, which demonstrates fun science experiments that parents can do at home with their children.
“I was very thankful to have been selected as a recipient!” Young says of her Graduate Research Fellowship. “It was definitely a welcoming surprise, and I'm happy that my research was impactful to the reviewers, fellow scientists. Knowing I have this support, I'm motivated to continue pursuing results in the lab to advance the field of hybrid materials.”
Olivia Peduzzi is a first-year graduate student in the Boal group. She studies a ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) enzyme from the bacterial pathogen Francisella tularensis. RNRs are essential enzymes that catalyze a key step in synthesizing the building blocks of DNA and, in many cases, use a metal cofactor. Peduzzi’s research focuses on identifying the metal cofactor, characterizing its assembly mechanism, and understanding how these factors can confer adaptive advantages to the enzyme’s host organism.
Reacting to her honorable mention, Peduzzi noted: “I am so lucky to have had support from the Penn State faculty as well as my undergraduate advisors at Gettysburg College throughout the process, and I am very grateful for the recognition.”
Please join the Department of Chemistry in congratulating Haley Young and Olivia Peduzzi on this exciting achievement.