<center>Sheila Alemany Blanco</center>

Sheila Alemany Blanco

Doctoral Student

Computer Science

PI: Dr. Niki Pissinou

Brief research interest: My research lies in the intersection of cybersecurity and machine learning, also known as adversarial machine learning. I aim to increase the robustness of machine learning models on a foundational level to create systems that guarantee consistent reliability against adversarial attacks, regardless of the application area.

What this award means to me: Words cannot describe how thankful and proud I am to be an FIU student under the mentorship of Dr. Niki Pissinou and to have received this fellowship. Dr. Pissinou has guided and entrusted me with the freedom to truly dive into the research area that I am passionate about. This award validates that we are headed in the right research direction, and I can positively contribute to the research community.

<center>Jasmine Batten</center>

Jasmine Batten

Doctoral Student

Computer Science; STEM Transformation Institute

PI: Dr. Monique Ross

Brief research interest: I am interested in improving women’s retention and persistence in computer science by exploring the differences in epistemological identities that exist between computing faculty and minoritized female computing students. Specifically, my interests are in understanding the relationship between epistemological identities, pedagogical practices, and computing identity. I am passionate about improving diversity and equity in computer science by conducting research that promotes inclusive learning environments.

What this award means to me: I am so thrilled and honored to receive the NSF GRFP fellowship. I could not have done it without the support of my advisor and my education community. Having this fellowship will provide me with additional support to research my passions, including shifting the paradigm in computing towards inclusion and diversity through inclusive pedagogical practices. Having this fellowship will provide me with future research and professional development opportunities to further my career in computer science education research, and I am so excited to continue my work in this space.

<center>Krista Donis</center>

Krista Donis

Doctoral Student

Biology; STEM Transformation Institute

PI: Dr. Sarah Eddy

Brief research interest: My research involves studying how Learning Assistants (LAs) in active learning STEM classrooms drive student engagement and success through mentorship and community building.

What this award means to me: Being awarded the NSF GRFP is confirmation that we need to continue striving for equity and inclusion in STEM. This opportunity goes beyond a single research project; I’m excited to start a career-long commitment to advocating for change in undergraduate classrooms.

<center>Alexandria Roach</center>

Alexandria Roach

Doctoral Student

Chemistry and Biochemistry; STEM Transformation Institute

PI: Dr. Sonia Underwood

Brief research interest: My current research interests include investigating students’ understanding and chemistry faculty’s perceptions on core chemistry topics.

What this award means to me: As a black woman, I am constantly reminded that I need to work 4x as hard to achieve my dreams, and receiving the NSF GRFP award gives me the nudge I needed to continue working hard. It is my proof that all the late nights will eventually pay off when working to accomplish your dreams. Sometimes I felt I could float away, but this award is my anchor to let me know I can withstand any wave because I am where I need to be. I am very grateful for all the people who have supported me, and I hope to use this opportunity to the fullest.

<center>Josue Rodriguez-Nieves</center>

Josue Rodriguez-Nieves

Doctoral Student

Electrical and Computer Engineering Center for Advanced Technology and Education (CATE Center)

PI: Dr. Mercedes Cabrerizo and Dr. Malek Adjouadi

Brief research interest: My research interest is in image and signal processing for application to Neuroscience. More specifically, I am developing novel techniques to improve the pre-operative assessment of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy

What this award means to me: The writing process for this fellowship helped redefine my research questions and research plan more clearly and work closely with talented people. I believe this is just the beginning of many other accomplishments that will help me serve as a role model to the Hispanic community, particularly in Puerto Rico. I am very grateful and honored to be part of the cohort that received the 2021 NSF GRFP. This fellowship is very important because it gives me confidence in my abilities and potential to perform cutting-edge research.