Nuclear engineering student receives Fulbright grant

Kristina Yancey with nuclear engineering department head Dr. Ryamond JuzaitisKristina Yancey '10, a nuclear engineering major at Texas A&M University, has received a Fulbright grant to conduct research and study in Switzerland for the 2010-2011 academic year.The Fulbright U.S. Student Programs award scholarships to graduating seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists selected through a national, merit-based competition for study and research abroad. The Fulbright Program provides participants - chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential - with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Approximately 1,500 U.S. students and 3,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year."This is something that I have been interested in since I was a freshman," Yancey said.Yancey will work with the FAST Reactors Group at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. More specifically, the FAST (Fast-spectrum Advanced Systems for power production and resource management) project is an activity performed in the Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Systems Behavior of the institute in the area of fast-spectrum reactor behavior with an emphasis on the comparative analysis of the Generation IV systems."I am excited about working with this group, especially with Generation IV technology," Yancey said.The fellowship begins in September and concludes in June.Yancey said that she is excited about living abroad and discovering Switzerland the way a resident sees things instead of as a tourist. She also said that her mother is a little nervous about her embarking on this journey."My mom is very protective of me," said Yancey, who has muscular dystrophy. "I hope to show her that I'm independent and can manage on my own."Yancey plans to use Skype as a way of staying in touch with her mother and brother, Michael who is a history student at Texas A&M.She has deferred her entrance into the nuclear engineering graduate program in order to accept the Fulbright offer."It means missing out on spending another year with my brother, but this is an opportunity I couldn't pass up!" said Yancey.Yancey is an Honors Research Fellow and will graduate summa cum laude with distinctions from the Engineering Scholars Program, with both Foundation Honors and University Honors distinctions. She is a President's Endowed Scholar, a Galen T. Brown Scholar, and she has served as the president of the Global Justice student organization and the Women in Nuclear Society.