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Three TCNJ seniors earn recognition from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program is one of the most competitive sources of support for students in STEM fields, with the vast majority of recipients being first- and second-year graduate students. This year, three TCNJ seniors earned recognition on the sought-after list of honorees.

Biomedical engineering major Allen Hong and sociology major Cameron James Keating won fellowships. Chemistry major Joseph Bergen received an honorable mention.

Allen Hong

allen hong

Major: biomedical engineering

Research interests: Using computational models to study the biomechanics of the brain in response to head impact/injury.

Research at TCNJ: He worked with Xuefeng Wei, associate professor of biomedical engineering, to study methods to make clinical deep brain stimulation electrodes safer, more powerful, and more efficient.

Work beyond TCNJ: Hong studied medical imaging and brain biomechanics at Johns Hopkins University and worked at Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to learn the industry application of research and development.

Grad school: Columbia University for a PhD in biomedical engineering.

Cameron Keating

cameron keating

Major: sociology

Research interests: He’s interested in studying the relationships between LGBTQ+ people and their families, and the impacts those relationships have on healthcare.

Research at TCNJ: He’s worked with several professors in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences on projects that range from examining patterns of inequality in the criminalization of parents whose children die in hot cars, to the organization of Zen Buddhist communities in the United States.

Work beyond TCNJ: Keating has worked in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Policy Lab on several projects related to the treatment of suicidal pediatric patients in hospital emergency departments.

Grad school: Indiana University – Bloomington for a PhD in sociology

The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $37,000 and a cost of education allowance of $16,000 to the institution.

“Receiving the NSF fellowship will help me tremendously, financially, to support my PhD,” Hong said. “Earning such a prestigious fellowship also will open the door for many more opportunities for me.”

“I will be able to take more courses, progress further in my degree, and volunteer on faculty research projects early on in my program,” Keating said. “Having the status as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow will make me more competitive for future NSF grants, too.”

joseph bergen - man wearing lab coat and safety glasses in a lab
Joseph Bergen received an honorable mention.

Chemistry major Joseph Bergen received an honorable mention for his research in synthetic chemistry. He’ll enter a PhD program at NYU, with a career goal to work in pharmaceuticals and aid in the discovery of new drugs.

“The NSF GRFP application was a great exercise,” Bergen said. “It allowed me to think through all aspects of a research project and pushed me to scavenge the literature for relevant articles. In the future, I’ll be doing this exactly as I push my future research projects forward.”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the potential to be high-achieving scientists and engineers, early in their careers.

Emily W. Dodd ’03