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Seaver College Senior Awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Samantha FialloSeaver College senior Samantha Fiallo was awarded a fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The program offers funding for Fiallo to perform high-level research at a graduate school of her choice.

“I truly believe I wouldn’t have received this award if it wasn’t for the resources that Pepperdine has given me,” shares Fiallo. “I am so thankful for my mentors and the whole Natural Science Division.”

Fiallo found her love for research in botany class with Distinguished Professor of Biology Stephen Davis in spring 2018. Since that momentous class she has worked closely with Davis to study what are commonly referred to as “resurrection ferns.” These ferns have the remarkable ability to desiccate during drier months and completely revive during a wet season.

Fiallo learned of the NSF GRFP as she continued her research in the Summer Undergraduate Research in Biology (SURB) program that same year. Throughout SURB student researchers not only get first-hand field experience as they complete their summer research project, but also gain access to resources that lay the foundation for potential future careers in research after graduation.

Empowered by Davis, other Natural Science mentors, and her growing research portfolio, Fiallo knew she had nothing to lose by applying for the fellowship. The NSF GRFP is one of the oldest fellowships of its kind and has funded over 50,000 fellows since its inception in 1952. The prestigious program opens research opportunities and connections for fellows who often significantly contribute to scientific innovation throughout their research careers. Fiallo is eager for the opportunity the fellowship has opened to bring her unique field experience to molecular, cellular, and development biology of micro-animals at University of California, Santa Barbara.

To learn more about the NSF GRFP, visit the program's website.