The National Science Foundation has chosen six LSU students or recent LSU graduates for its 2018 Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Three more received honorable mentions.

The foundation established the fellowships to create a highly motivated and capable workforce dedicated to ensuring the nation’s leadership in advancing STEM-related innovations, a news release said.

The fellows:

  • Michael Hayes, of Fairhope, Alaska, is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental chemical systems with faculty adviser Robert Cook in the LSU Department of Chemistry. He received his bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College in May 2016.
  • Anna Hiller, of Davis, California, is pursuing a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology with faculty advisers Brant Faircloth and Robb Brumfield in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences and the LSU Museum of Natural Science. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Teisha King is pursuing a Ph.D. in physiology with faculty advisers Karen Maruska and Jeremy Brown in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
  • Kyle Sirovy, of Fullerton, California, is pursuing a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology with faculty adviser Morgan Kelly in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree from California State University-Fullerton.
  • David Fertitta, of Gulfport, Mississippi, graduated from LSU in May 2016 with a degree in physical oceanography and is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Washington.
  • Colleen Robicheaux, of Houma, graduated from LSU in May 2016 with a degree in mathematical sciences and is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Those receiving honorable mentions:

  • Mark DiTusa, of Baton Rouge, graduated from LSU in May 2016 with a degree in physics and astronomy and is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.
  • Gerald Knapp, of Baton Rouge, graduated from LSU in 2016 with a degree in mechanical engineering and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Penn State University.
  • Shelby Johnston, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduated from LSU in 2015 with a degree in geology/Earth sciences and is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Houston.

More than 12,000 applicants from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories were considered for fellowships. Fellowships were awarded to 2,000 students and honorable mentions to 1,459 students.

“To support U.S. leadership and innovation in science and engineering, we must recognize and nurture talent from all of our nation’s communities,” said Jim Lewis, acting assistant director for education and human resources at the National Science Foundation.

The fellowship provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period, including a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. The financial support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM field.