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Brenda Ortiz

Students, Alums Awarded Prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship

Four current or incoming UC Merced graduate students and an undergraduate alumnus were recently offered fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

UC Merced’s 2024 NSF GRFP recipients are:

  • Anthony Alfaro, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Merced in 2022, is a second-year Ph.D. student at UC San Diego in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Ph.D. Student Juggles Academic Demands with Managing a City

Glancing at Mike Futrell’s resume, one might ask, “What hasn’t he done?”

He is a retired United States Navy captain with two submarine tours under his belt and 26 years of service; a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives; a former senior staff member in the U.S. Senate; and he practiced corporate law for over a decade and is still licensed in Hawaii and Louisiana. Futrell has served as a California city manager for more than a decade.

He is also a graduate student at UC Merced.

UC Merced Alum Drives Innovation in Drug Manufacturing

You could almost say Edwin Shen was destined to become a bioengineer. His mother, a medical doctor, practices pathology in Northern California, and his father retired from a career as a mechanical engineer for medical device companies.

“I guess what I do is right in the middle of my parents’ occupations,” he said. “Bioengineering was something my dad recommended I try. I thought research might be something that aligned well with my personality. It turned out to be a perfect fit.”

ARCS Scholars Work to Advance STEM Research

Four UC Merced graduate students can focus fully on their research and academic studies this year thanks to a generous gift from the Northern California Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation.

ARCS, a national organization established and operated entirely by women, is committed to the advancement of science in the United States by financially supporting distinguished graduate students in science, technology, engineering and medical research disciplines at its partner institutions.

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