Apr 30th, 2012 @ 3:36 pm | Author:
Two students from Valley City State University (VCSU), Christine Gilbertson, from Valley City, and Jessica Halvorson, from Milnor, 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). Statewide, only three other students were selected to receive with these prestigious awards.

Christine is graduating this semester with majors in Health Science and Biology Education and minors in Chemistry and Office Management. She plans to conduct her research within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at NDSU. Jessica, graduating Magna Cum Laude with majors in Biology and Health Science and a minor in Music, will be conducting research under Dr. Julie Pasche in the Department of Plant Pathology at NDSU. Jessica was also named the Outstanding Biology Student.

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, or who have been participants in ND EPSCoR's Nurturing American Tribal undergraduate Research and Education (NATURE) program, 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 that provides support to complete their doctoral research upon completion of their course work and written examinations.

Christine and Jessica join six other VCSU graduates from recent years who received EPSCOR awards: Fakira (Soumaila) Borkovec (Rome, Italy), Jesse Martin (Valley City, ND), Jacob Mertes (Omaha, NE), Michael Tomlinson (Rolla), Ryan McCulloch (Valley City), and Steven Fasching (Mandan).