Two biomedical engineering grad students honored with fellowships

Nail and Whitely

Two graduate students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University have been awarded fellowships by the Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS LSAMP).

Lindsay Nail and Michael Whitely each have been named recipients of the Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship, which entitles them to receive financial assistance for the first two years of their studies. The annual amount of each fellowship includes a $30,000 stipend and a $9,000 allowance for tuition and fees, research supplies, educational travel, health insurance and other fees.

Nail is advised by Associate Professor Melissa Grunlan, and Whitely is advised by Associate Professor Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez. Specifically, Nail is researching shape memory polymers in an effort to heal bone defects, and Whitely’s research focuses on generating high-porosity bone grafts and porous microspheres for the controlled delivery of growth factors.

As recipient of the fellowship, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, Nail and Whitely have been identified as having the potential to significantly impact their respective academic and research fields. In addition, they have been recognized as potential leaders and role models who will inspire and help mold the academic and career paths of their undergraduate and graduate student peers.

In addition to pursuing their respective degrees, the two graduate students, as part of the program, are required to attend the NSF Joint Annual Meeting each summer during the course of their fellowships where they will have the opportunity to network with peer fellowship holders from other LSAMP programs around the country as well as with the academic and research leaders among the NSF LSAMP Principal Investigators and Project Directors. They also must attend and present research at the annual TAMUS LSAMP symposium where they will have the opportunity to meet and form relationships with graduate and undergraduate LSAMP students and faculty across the Texas A&M University System.

TAMUS LSAMP is a partnership composed of Texas A&M University; Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi; and Prairie View A&M University, committed to increasing the number of underrepresented students participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program offers a research program for promising undergraduate students in STEM fields and the Bridge to the Doctorate program for incoming master’s degree students interested in pursuing doctoral degrees in STEM fields and, ultimately, entering the ranks of the faculty.

Originally named the Alliance for Minority Participation, the program was renamed the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in 1999 in honor of U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes, cofounder of the Congressional Black Caucus.