50 Finalists Announced for Hertz Foundation Fellowship

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Up to 15 awards to be named in March for graduate fellowships for the best and the brightest young minds in STEM

Today, the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation announced finalists for the 2015 class of Hertz Fellows. The Foundation was created by entrepreneur John Hertz to inspire and invest in the future of scientific exploration by providing resources and academic freedom to young minds. The Foundation funds graduate education for leaders in the fields of applied physical, biological and engineering sciences and encourages its awardees to pursue science for the public good.

“These 50 students are smart, creative and innovative,” said Jay Davis, PhD, Hertz Foundation President. “They rose to the top in a pool of 800 applicants and no doubt will use their time in graduate school to pursue groundbreaking scientific discoveries. While we will choose only a select few for the Hertz Fellowship, each of these finalists is worthy of acclaim.”

Each Fellowship consists of up to 5 years of academic fiscal support valued at $250,000 and research freedom at a participating graduate institution in the United States. Finalists represent many of the top public and private universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Princeton University, Columbia University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Finalists will now participate in an in-depth interview and technical review process. The Fellows will be selected based on their vision, intensity, and the opportunities they see for the future of their work.

“Students pursue the Hertz Fellowship due to the academic freedom it affords,” added Davis. “Hertz Fellows look for ways to collaborate across disciplines and departments to have exponential impact on their field of study and beyond,” he concluded.

Alumni of the Hertz Fellowship include two Nobel Laureates, a Fields Medal Recipient, and a National Science Medal Recipient. Fellows have also gone on to found more than 200 companies, register 3,000 patents, head major universities, lead in key positions at National Laboratories, and hold senior positions in the United States military.

Ed Boyden, an Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab and a 1999 Hertz Fellow offered his perspective on the benefit of this Fellowship saying, “The Hertz fellowship gave me the freedom, when I was a PhD student, to fuse together different disciplines and help drive the new field of neuroengineering, which yielded optogenetic tools that are used throughout the field of neuroscience.”

2015 Hertz Fellowship Finalists

Amol Aggarwal, Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mihir Bhaskar, Physics, Columbia University
Katie Bodner, Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jonathan Chen, Chemical Biology, Princeton University
Sway Chen, Biology, Columbia University
Bridget Connor, Chemistry, California Institute of Technology
John Cooper, Neuroscience, Northwestern University
Jordan Cotler, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Christopher Douglas, Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Kayla (Felger) Wolf, Bioengineering, University of California-Berkeley
Andrew Fillingim, Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech University
Zachary Funke, Aerospace Engineering, United States Air Force Academy
Alexandre Gauthier, Applied Physics, University of Pittsburgh
Cole Graham, Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gabriella Heller, Biophysics, University of Cambridge, UK
Adam Jermyn, Physics, California Institute of Technology
Emma Kast, Geosciences, Princeton University
Samuel Kazer, Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fiona Kearns, Chemistry, University of South Florida
Jesse Kirkpatrick, Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Andrea Kriz, Bio and Biomedical Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ernest Lee    , Bioengineering, University of California-Los Angeles
Allen Lin, Systems Biology, Harvard University
William Lindemann, Materials Science, Iowa State University
Stephen Linderman, Biomedical Engineering, Washington University
Benjamin Mildenhall, Computer Science, Stanford University
Andrew Milewski, Biophysics/Bio-Engineering/Quant. Biology, Cornell University
Timothy Moon, Applied Mathematics, Stanford University
Daniel Mossing, Applied Physics, Princeton University
Jelena Notaros, Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado-Boulder
Sabrina Pasterski, Physics, Harvard University
Eliad Peretz, Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering, Technion Israel Ins Of Tech
Melinda Perkins, Engineering, Stanford University
Abigail Plummer, Physics, Brown University
Maxim Rabinovich, Computer Science, University of California-Berkeley
Philip Saad, Physics, University of California-Santa Barbara
Adrian Sanborn, Computer Science, Stanford University
Ben Shababo, Neuroscience and Applied Statistics, University of California-Berkeley
Ravi Sheth, Bioengineering, Rice University
Alexander Siegenfeld, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sandya Subramanian, Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Hursh Sureka, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jason Szafron, Engineering, Texas A&M - College Station
Alexander Tarashansky, Bio-Engineering, University of Southern California
Leonid Timashev, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Rockefeller University
Charles Tschirhart, Experimental Physics, California Institute of Technology
Aaron Wienkers, Computational Science and Engineering, University of California-Berkeley
Jacob Witten, Computer & Systems Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Katherine Xue, Genome Sciences, University of Washington Seattle
Allen Yuan, Mathematics, Harvard University

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About the Hertz Foundation

For more than half a century, the Hertz Foundation has found and supported the best and brightest graduate students in the sciences, furthering our country’s leadership in these fields. Hertz Fellows pursue a PhD in the STEM fields and follow their academic curiosity with greater financial independence. These students are chosen for their intellect, their ingenuity and their potential to make scientific advancements for the public good. The Hertz Foundation also builds a vibrant Hertz Fellows community, gathering the Fellows together at annual workshops and retreats to allow them to inspire and learn from one another across generations. For more information visit http://www.hertzfoundation.org and follow the Foundation on Facebook.

Contact: Zoe Woodcraft, Full Court Press Communications
Phone: 510-550-8172
Email: Zoe(at)fcpcommunications(dot)com

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