Two Department of Physics alumni from the class of 2011 are among the University of Notre Dame science students and other alumni who have received National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Program (GRFP) Fellowships. The NSF GRFP was created to enhance the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The fellowship provides three years of support for the graduate education of students who have demonstrated the potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. Past NSF Fellows include individuals who have made significant breakthroughs in science and engineering research, as well as some who have been honored as Nobel laureates.
Nicholas Mancinelli was a physics major, with a concentration in astrophysics, at Notre Dame. During his junior year, he had the opportunity to study physics abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He also completed a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying the tectonics of the Bighorn Mountains. Mancinelli is a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego where he analyzes seismic waves from earthquakes around the globe to determine the fine-scale structure of the deep Earth. The goal of his research is to better understanding the geodynamical and geochemical processes within our planet.
Kimberly Schlesinger graduated from Notre Dame with a double major in physics and English. As an undergraduate, she worked on superconductivity research with Morten Eskilden, associate professor of physics. Schlesinger is a current Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Barbara researching the progress of mutating infections in the human immune system, using mathematical models of immune system cell population dynamics. She hopes to build upon her work by modeling the spread of diseases over human population networks.