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Three School of Science and Engineering Undergraduates Receive Prestigious Competitive Awards

Publication date

September 10, 2019 9:00 PM

Nathalie Clarke and Danielle (Nelle) Kulick, Tulane University juniors majoring in Environmental Biology and Anthropology, were named Goldwater Scholars for 2019 by The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.  The Goldwater Scholarship, named in honor of the late US Senator Barry Goldwater, fosters and encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.  The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier national undergraduate award of its type for STEM fields, and it provides a $7500 stipend to be used toward tuition and other college expenses.  Nathalie and Nelle are two of 496 Goldwater Scholars for 2019-2020.

Nathalie Clarke, who is from Fabrezan, France, plans to pursue a PhD in Environmental Toxicology or Chemical Ecology to study pollutants cycling in ecosystems and run a toxicology laboratory.  She hopes to advocate for marginalized communities that have been adversely affected by climate change. Nathalie has significant research experience, and has worked with Professors Dorothy Cheruiyot, Jordan Karubian, and Sunshine Van Bael in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Professor Katherine Jack, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Tulane’s Environmental Studies Program.

Nelle Kulick hails from Somers, New York and will pursue a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to study ecological mediators of multi-species interactions and their implications in conservation.  Her current research—which she plans to continue in her graduate study--focuses on questions on how species interactions shift in response to stress caused by global change.  In reflecting on the value of the applying for and being awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, Nelle observes, “The application process prompted me to think critically about the direction in which I ultimately want to take my career in ecology. This process of reflection further solidified my decision to pursue a research career, and inspired me to more specifically explore the graduate programs I would be interested in. I am grateful for the doors that being a Goldwater Scholar will open as I prepare to take this next step." Nelle has been working in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Emily Farrer’s lab since the fall of her first year at Tulane, and more recently, she has begun work with Professor Katherine Jack.

Steven Stradley, a Tulane University Chemical Engineering student, was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP).  The NSF-GRFP is the nation's oldest and most established fellowship program that directly supports graduate students in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Steven graduated in 2019 and wrote his Honors Thesis entitled “Characterizing the Effect of GαS on the Binding Affinity of the Adenosine A2A  Receptor to Fluorescent Ligands” under the direction of Dr. Anne Robinson, The Catherine and Henry Boh Professor in Engineering in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He will attend the California Institute of Technology to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  Steven believes that “The greatest benefit of being named an NSF Graduate Research Fellow is the freedom to pursue the research topics that I am personally passionate about in grad school. My ability to join the lab of my choice and pursue the projects that most interest me will no longer depend on receiving institutional or external funding. Funding for travel, professional development, and international collaborations are also great benefits [of the fellowship].”

The reputation of the NSF-GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt.  This fellowship provides $34,000 a year for three years and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 dollars per year.

Students who are interested in learning more about the Goldwater Scholarship as well as other competitive scholarship opportunities should contact Dr. Jennifer Beers, Coordinator for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, at jbeers@tulane.edu or stop by the Honors Program office in 105 Hebert Hall.