May 25th, 2010 @ 9:49 am | Author:
Four students from Valley City State University (VCSU) have been selected to receive Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA) awards through the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) program. The awards recognize the academic achievement of these students and provide significant financial support as they pursue M.S. and/or Ph.D. degrees in science, engineering, and mathematics at the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University (NDSU).

David Givers, ND EPSCoR co-project director, said, "The GSRA awards are very competitive, and only the best students in the state receive them. To have received four awards out of only six given statewide, VCSU should be very proud of both its programs and its students in science, math, and CIS."

EPSCoR was established by the National Science Foundation and is now a family of competitive merit-based programs spanning seven federal research and development agencies: the National Science Foundation; the National Institutes of Health; the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Agriculture; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the Environmental Protection Agency.
ND EPSCoR implemented the GSRA program to increase opportunities for graduating seniors from the North Dakota University System baccalaureate universities to obtain M.S. and/or Ph.D. degrees at NDSU and UND. Each student's award provides an $18,000 per year stipend for up to 24 months. Students who complete the program can be eligible for a ND EPSCoR Doctoral Dissertation Award.

The four VCSU students receiving the awards are:

Jacob Mertes (Omaha, NE) has a major in Biology and a minor in Earth and Environmental Science, and will conduct research with Dr. Vasyl Tkach in the Department of Biology at UND.

Michael Tomlinson (Rolla) has majors in Chemistry, Biology and Health Science, graduated Cum Laude, was named the Outstanding Health Science Student, and will conduct research with Dr. Katherine Sukalski in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UND.

Ryan McCulloch (Valley City) has a major in Computer Information Systems, a certificate in Enterprise Applications, and minors in English and Computer Science, and graduated Summa Cum Laude, was named the Outstanding Computer Information Systems Student, and will conduct his research within the Department of Computer Science at NDSU.

Steven Fasching (Mandan) has majors in Fisheries and Wildlife Science and Biology, was named VCSU's Outstanding Fisheries & Wildlife Student, and will conduct his research within the Department of Natural Resource Management at NDSU.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.