The 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program has awarded a fellowship to Amy E. Brown, daughter of Jim and Mary Brown of Fairfax, Missouri. This prestigious national honor is based on the graduate student’s demonstration of the potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprises. Only 2,000 fellowships were awarded out of 17,000 applications nationwide in all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study. Selection is based on a combination of GPA, community outreach, personal accomplishments in their field of study and personal statements given with regard to why the student chose their field of study and their current research and its potential.
Amy is beginning her third year of graduate work in the field of Organic Chemistry at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is working in the Malika Jeffries-El group doing research focusing on molecular electronics, trying not only to synthesize and fabricate devices such as solar cells, light admitting diodes and photovoltaic cells, but also looking for better energy and cost effective devices made out of materials never used before. Her work crosses the fields of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Device Engineering and Material Science.
The fellowship awards an annual stipend, payment to the school of a cost of education allowance and travel allowance for the three remaining years of her Ph.D. studies. The total value of her fellowship is $141,000. She will be self-funded, freeing up money for other graduate students coming into the group and relieved of any teaching requirements by BU. The fellowship allows her to take advantage of professional development opportunities such as Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) and the Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP).
Amy is a 1997 graduate of Fairfax High School, was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Northwest Missouri State University in 2007, and a master’s degree from University of Maryland in 2012. She is an active member of Iota Sigma Pi, a national honor society promoting women in chemistry, the American Association for Advancements of Science (AAAS), and the American Chemistry Society (ACS). Based on her undergraduate research she has three peer-reviewed publications, including one as first author. Before entering graduate school, she taught at Ozark Community College in Springfield, Missouri, for a number of years onsite and created the format for the first hybrid chemistry class consisting of partially online, onsite lab and one hour of review each week. She continues to teach and administrates the online curriculum from Boston.
Amy is the younger sister of Lisa (James) Bennett of Rockville, Maryland, and Russ (Stacy) Brown of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The late Albert Evans, Fairfax and Martha Evans of Peoria, Illinois, are her great-uncle and aunt. Grandparents are the late Drisdale and Marge Brown, Fairfax; the late Harry DeHaven, Erie, Pennsylvania, and the late Vada Russell, Redwood City, California.