posted June 25, 2013

Andreana Rosnik Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Andreana Rosnik of Shelby Township, who graduated from Hope College in May, has been awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF fellowship is a third major national award for Rosnik through her time at Hope.  Earlier this year, she had also received a highly competitive research award through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department State, and in the spring of 2012 she had received a scholarship for the 2012-13 school year from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Through her Fulbright award, she will spend the coming academic year at the University of Barcelona in Spain conducting theoretical chemistry research related to understanding quantum coherence effects in photosynthetic light-harvesting.  In the fall of 2014, with the support of her NSF fellowship, she will begin pursuing graduate studies in the field of physical chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley.

“Andreana is the top chemistry student at Hope College this year, and she also excelled in mathematics and Spanish,” said chemistry faculty member Dr. William F. Polik, with whom Rosnik conducted collaborative research while she was at Hope.  “She is independent, highly motivated, creative, and a leader among her peers.”

Rosnik’s work as a researcher has already received external recognition.  A 40-page scientific paper that she and Polik co-authored is being published in the interdisciplinary physical science journal, “Molecular Physics.”

“I know of no other Hope student ever who has published as many pages in a refereed scientific journal during their undergraduate career,” said Polik, who is the Edward and Elizabeth Hofma Professor of Chemistry and has taught at Hope since 1988.

A total of five recent Hope graduates received recognition through the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship program this year, which is the sixth year in a row that multiple graduating seniors or recent alumni have received fellowships or honorable mention in the program.  The NSF awarded approximately 2,000 of the fellowships nationwide this year, and recognized about 1,800 students with honorable mention.

The awards are for students in the early stage of pursuing a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.  The fellowships are for up to three years and pay a $32,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance.

Rosnik majored in chemistry and mathematics and minored in Spanish at Hope, where during the spring Honors Convocation she received the college’s Southland Award presented which is awarded to the outstanding woman of the senior class.  Also this spring, she was inducted into the college’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and received a Senior Sigma Xi Research Award in chemistry.

In addition to research, her activities at Hope included the Mortar Board honorary society, the Chemistry Club, the Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honorary society, the Union of Catholic Students, the Phelps Scholars Program and studying abroad in Rome through a Hope May Term.  She was also a peer mentor in the college’s FACES (Fostering A Community of Excellence in Science) program and tutored students in mathematics and chemistry.

She is the daughter of Andrew and Philomena Rosnik of Shelby Township, and a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory.

In addition to Rosnik, also receiving NSF Graduate Research Fellowships this year were 2012 graduates Elena Caruthers, who is a graduate student at The Ohio State University, and Patrick Lutz, who is a graduate student at Princeton University.  Receiving Honorable Mention were graduating senior James Bour of Kalamazoo, who will be conducting graduate work at the University of Michigan, and 2012 graduate Hilary Bultman, who is conducting graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A total of three other members of the Class of 2013 received Fulbright awards this year, each as a teaching assistant.  Tessa Angell of Grand Rapids will be serving as an English-language teaching assistant at a secondary school in Spain; Rachel Elzinga of Doylestown, Pa., will be an English-language teaching assistant at a rural school in Nepal; and Erin Wilhelmi of Cary, Ill., will be a teacher assistant in an English teacher training college in Argentina.