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Three Whitties Named 2023 NSF Fellows

Skylar Grayson ’21, Andreas Guerrero ’20, and Noah Kaplan ’22 receive Graduate Research Fellowships from National Science Foundation

By Casey Brown

Out of an applicant pool of 12,000, three Whitman College alums were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) grants.


Over a period of five years, recipients receive direct funding for three years of graduate research followed by a two-year teaching assistantship. The funding covers research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

These highly competitive NSF grants are notable because they fund a researcher rather than a project or institution. The GRFP provides support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. Since 2002, Whitman boasts 44 recipients and nearly 50 honorable mentions.


Skylar Grayson ’21 is pursuing her Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Arizona State University.

“My work is focused on understanding the role supermassive black holes play in galaxy evolution,” says Grayson, who majored in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Whitman.

Andreas Guerrero ’20 is working toward a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology at Oregon State University and will investigate fungal-endosymbiont interactions. He also plans to develop curricula for school children to learn about mycology.


“By introducing children to mycology early, I hope to inspire them to continue to learn about fungi in college and beyond,” says Guerrero, who double-majored in BBMB (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology) and Philosophy.

Noah Kaplan ’22 will pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Architecture at the University of Michigan and explore research possibilities.

“I’m still trying to find what subtopics interest me in the field of computer architecture, and I am looking forward to learning more about different research directions,” says Kaplan, who majored in Computer Science at Whitman.

Published on Jul 18, 2023
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