The National Science Foundation has selected Kellogg International Scholar Meredith (Mia) Lochhead '22 as one of 11 University of Notre Dame students and alumni for its 2022 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP), which supports students in NSF-backed STEM disciplines to pursue research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.
Lochhead is a civil engineering major, with a minor in resiliency and sustainability of engineering systems. She plans to pursue a masters in structural engineering at Stanford University this fall.
With an interest in the structural response of buildings and the built environment to natural hazard events, particularly in multi-hazard environments, Lochhead has worked with her ISP advisor Tracy Kijewski-Correa, a Kellogg faculty fellow, on several related projects. One project developed a model to predict structural hurricane damage. Another explored the impacts of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, examining hazard intensity and the performance of the built environment. Currently, Lochhead is supporting the collection, processing, and analysis of data from the 2021 Haiti earthquake.
Established in 1952, the NSF GRFP offers financial support to graduate students in the form of a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance, as well as professional development and international research opportunities.
The application process is extensive. Applicants work in conjunction with their advisers to create compelling personal statements and research plans. Notre Dame students can also consult experts with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) or the Graduate School’s Office of Grants and Fellowships.
“As every fellowship applicant knows, preparing an application is a team effort, and so in addition to congratulating the 21 Notre Dame students and alumni recognized by the NSF this year, I would also like to thank the many mentors and advisers who worked with them along the way,” said Jeffrey Thibert, the Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director of CUSE. “I would especially like to thank the CUSE NSF GRFP adviser, Emily Hunt, for her outstanding work. I encourage any current undergraduates planning to apply to a research-based graduate program in an NSF-supported STEM field (including the social sciences) to visit cuse.nd.edu/nsf and learn more about the advising services that CUSE offers.”
Laura Carlson, vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School, highlighted the ongoing success that Notre Dame students have had in applying for these programs.
“We’re so proud to see our students continue to be recognized by the NSF year after year,” Carlson said. “Their success truly reflects the sustained excellence of our graduate programs and our graduate students, and these fellowships empower our students to follow their intellectual curiosity and passion to pursue research that matters in the world.”
Lochhead is a member of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, through which she received funding to conduct a two-month service project in San José, Costa Rica, during the summer of 2019. Additionally, during the spring of 2019, she received a grant from the First Year of Studies to conduct a research trip under mentorship of Eileen Hunt Botting in which she studied portrait representations of Mary Wollstonecraft. She also has done research work with the Pulte Institute for Global Development, through which she supported the development a comprehensive assessment of community needs in Piura, Peru, as well as additional research at the University of Colorado, Boulder on the performance of informally constructed houses under wind loads.
The other ten Notre Dame NSF GRFP fellows are:
- Thomas Best, engineering
- Robert Frei, engineering
- Jessamine Kuehn, chemistry
- Andrew Langford, engineering
- Lauren McGiven, engineering
- Maria Pope, psychology
- John Sayut, engineering
- Emily Selland, life sciences
- Helen Streff, engineering
- Ethan Williams, engineering
Another 10 Notre Dame students and alumni were singled out for honorable mention for the program:
- Samantha Barlock, chemistry
- Gabriel Brown, computational science and engineering
- Andrew Burke, mathematical sciences
- Luke Piszkin, chemistry
- Charlotte Probst, life sciences
- Theodore Reed, life sciences
- Nico Robalin, chemistry
- Mika Schievelbein, life sciences
- Timothy Seida, social sciences
- Simon Weaver, chemistry
For more on this and other scholarship opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org (graduate students) or visit cuse.nd.edu (undergraduate students and alumni).