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OSU graduate student receives NSF fellowship PDF  | Print |
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 18:45
OSU zoology graduate student Marissa Rice has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship will provide $126,000 over the next three year to help her complete her research which focuses on the influence of the neuro-hormone oxytocin on social and spatial memory and its effects on reproduction.

OSU zoology graduate student Marissa Rice has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship will provide $126,000 over the next three year to help her complete her research which focuses on the influence of the neuro-hormone oxytocin on social and spatial memory and its effects on reproduction.

Marissa Rice, a graduate student in zoology at Oklahoma State University from Virginia Beach, VA, has captured the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, providing her $126,000 over the next three years to support her research.

“It’s great to know that the National Science Foundation has confidence in my proposed research and my ability as a scientist,” Rice said.

The foundation awarded 2,000 fellowships and 1,835 honorable mentions from the 12,669 applications it received this year. Receiving NSF honorable mentions are zoology graduate students George Prounis, Courtney Passow and Lynn Beaty. Also receiving honorable mentions are psychology majors Elisabeth Ponce-Garcia and Angela Bell.

Rice’s research focuses on the influence of the neuro-hormone oxytocin on social and spatial memory and how it shapes reproductive tactics.

“This award is a great honor, and it distinguishes the excellence of the zoology department and the graduate college at OSU,” Rice said. “I see it as a personal challenge to conduct meaningful research that will truly reflect the outstanding departments and programs I represent.”

Passowwill study the genomic basis of adaptation and speciation in fish inhabiting toxic sulfide springs. Prounis will explore the sociao-behavioral functions of mammalian adult neurogenesis. Beaty will investigate prey and predator spatial distributions and population dynamics.

Ponce-Garcia will investigate cognitive functioning as a supportive factor of resilience and possible differences in cognitive problem solving strategies and preferences between ethnic minorities and majorities. Bell’s research focuses on how members of stigmatized groups internalize stereotypes in ways that affect their attitudes and behaviors toward other “in-group” members.

The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees.