Lauren Czerniak and Leena Ghrayeb, two graduate students of U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE), have been honored as recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP).
“I am truly grateful to have received the NSF-GRFP award and I am eager to use operations research to tackle different challenges in healthcare. I would like to thank my PhD advisors, colleagues, peers, family, and friends for their support,” said Czerniak.
Lauren Czerniak, a second-year PhD student received her bachelor’s in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and recently received her master’s from U-M IOE. Her research focuses on creating and applying stochastic models to address challenges in healthcare areas such as pharmaceutical drugs, glaucoma and concussion management.
Leena Ghrayeb is a first-year PhD student and completed her bachelor’s and master’s at Northern Illinois University. She is interested in optimization with applications in healthcare and her current research is focused on combining combinatorial optimization and simulation to schedule prenatal care while taking into account medical and social risk factors.
“I feel deeply honored to be a recipient of the NSF GRFP,” said Ghrayeb. “I would like to sincerely thank my amazing advisors and mentors for their support, and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow under their guidance.”
The NSF GRFP provides support to graduate students who are in an early stage of their graduate studies. The goal is to support STEM fields by providing fellowships to master’s and doctoral students who are pursuing their degrees in a research-based manner. The fellowship lasts for five years, and offers recipients three years of financial support, including an annual stipend.
“The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is perhaps the most prestigious national award available for students in the beginning stages of their graduate careers in STEM fields,” said U-M IOE professor and associate chair of graduate studies, Marina Epelman. “We are so proud to have two of our students recognized this year, and we wish them continued success in their research.”
The NSF GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, established in 1951 as the first NSF program. Many of the 60,000 recipients in the program’s history have gone on to make a significant impact, including 42 who have become Nobel laureates and over 450 who have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.