NSF Fellowship Awarded To Six UTSA Engineering Students and Alumni To Advance Graduate Research

SAN ANTONIO, TX—The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program selected six University of Texas at San Antonio engineering students and alumni to receive the coveted NSF fellowships to advance their pursuits in graduate research.


The coveted award is recognition for students demonstrating outstanding potential for leadership roles in science, technology, engineering, and math research, and to support their efforts in research-based master’s and doctoral degrees through accredited universities.


The fellowship provides its recipients with a range of benefits, among these are three years of financial support, an annual stipend of $34,000, and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the institution they’re attending.


The NSF Fellowship Award recipients include:

  • Pete Gueldner ‘20, biomedical engineering

  • Kennedy Howland, biomedical engineering

  • Elysa Jui ‘20, biomedical engineering

  • Favour Obuseh, biomedical engineering

  • Cynthia Perez ‘19, biomedical engineering

  • Christian Strong, chemical engineering


Only 15% of applicants are chosen to receive the fellowships, with the competitive selection process for the NSF Fellowship involving applicants producing two original essays, submission of three letters of recommendation by a national panel of engineering and science faculty, and a review of the applicants success in their careers. Students must also demonstrate their ability for strong research plan development, success with their graduate study program, and spotlight how their research will provide a broad impact on society.


“These are highly competitive fellowships,” said Eric Brey, UTSA Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. Endowed Chair of Biomedical Engineering. “They are the oldest graduate fellowships and select students who are expected to be lifelong leaders in their field.”

NSF Fellowship recipient Kennedy Howland said the encouragement of her mentors at UTSA prompted her to pursue the opportunity, and will likely have a significant impact on her life. “I am honored to have been selected for this fellowship and to me it represents an acknowledgement of the hard work and research I have participated in throughout my undergraduate career at UTSA,” Howland said. “I plan to pursue a career in biomedical research and I plan to always be involved in STEM outreach. The resources associated with this NSF Fellowship will undoubtedly help me reach these goals.”