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2016 Manchester graduate selected for National Science Foundation Research Fellowship

Martin Garcia ChavezA 2016 Manchester University graduate has been selected for the prestigious National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Martin Garcia Chavez, who is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was chosen for the program that seeks out high potential, early career scientists and engineers, supporting their graduate research training in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

He is among 2,000 honorees chosen from among more than 12,000 applicants nationwide.
The group of awardees is diverse, including 1,156 women, 461 individuals from underrepresented minority groups and 75 people with disabilities.

Garcia Chavez himself is the first in his family to attend college, graduating cum laude from Manchester with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and minors in Spanish and biology. He grew up in LaPorte, Ind.

“I am ecstatic to have been chosen as a recipient of the National Science Foundation Fellowship,” he wrote in an email to Manchester. “This award serves as an extra motivation in my journey of becoming a scientist that engages and motivates the younger generations to follow their dreams and aspirations.

“To my MU family, I would like to say, ‘Thank you,’ as I know I would not be where I am today without your guidance and support. A special thank you to Dr. Beate Gilliar and Dr. Jeff Osborne for being two of the most influential people in my life that pushed me every day to be a man of ability and conviction. 

“To the future and current Spartans, I would like to leave you with the following words: Be bold, be passionate, but most of all be FEARLESS. Trust the process, and believe in yourself even if nobody else does.”

While at Manchester, Garcia Chavez conducted summer research at Boise State University and the University of Notre Dame. He also took part in the Manchester University Medical Practicum, assisting health care professionals at clinics in remote areas of Nicaragua.

In addition to this honor, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign he received the Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute Outstanding Scholar Award and Best Roundtable Presentation Award at the Illinois Summer Research Symposium. Pursuing a doctorate in organic chemistry, he works in the group of Dr. Paul Hergenrother.

The fellowship provides Garcia Chavez with three years of financial support for himself and his institution during the five-year fellowship period. It comes with a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to his graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in a STEM field.

About Manchester University
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training, a Master of Pharmacogenomics and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.

April 2018