About The College

Engineering Doctoral Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Three College of Engineering graduate students have been honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) 2017 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). This year, 2000 recipients were selected from over 13,000 applicants through a competitive review o based upon NSF's merit review criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact).

Shamaria Engram, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering was awarded a three-year NSF. Her research areas include cryptographic protocols, authentication, and formal models of security. She is working in the Software Security and Programming Languages research group under the supervision of Jay Ligatti, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Engram's other awards include the GEM PhD Fellowship (sponsored by The MITRE Corporation) and the Florida Education Fund's McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.

Michelle Henderson, a second-year graduate student in Environmental Engineering, received Honorable Mention Recognition. Her research is studying pathogen removal in Hybrid Adsorption Biological Treatment Systems (HABiTS), a novel method for wastewater treatment. She is advised by Sarina Ergas, professor and graduate program director in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Henderson has also been recognized by the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) and the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship program.

William Serrano-Garcia, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, also received Honorable Mention Recognition. His dissertation research focuses on the study of organic, conducting and semiconducting polymers for nanoscale fiber-based electronic devices. Serrano Garcia is advised by Sylvia W. Thomas, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. His other awards have included the NSF East Asia Pacific Summer Institute (EASPSI) fellowship.
The GRFP supports the graduate study of U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents attaining research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education at institutions located in the United States. It provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period ($34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution). That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in S&E. NSF GRFP fellows also have opportunities for international research collaborations and federal internships. Both Fellowship awardees and Honorable Mention recipients may receive enhanced access to cyber infrastructure resources, including super computing time, to support their thesis or dissertation research.

All three students are participants in the NSF Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate Activity and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) at USF.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program


The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System is comprised of three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as "Emerging Preeminent," placing USF in an elite category among the state's 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.