NSF Honors 13 Williams Students and Alumni

Media contact: Gregory Shook, director of media relations; tele: 413-597-3401; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., May 17, 2019—The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded research fellowships to 10 Williams College students and alumni. In addition, the NSF has awarded honorable mentions to three Williams graduates. The NSF fellowships support graduate study in the natural and social sciences.

The 10 Williams fellowship recipients are Shaan Amin ’15, who studies political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Garrett Anstreicher ’15, who studies economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Rebecca Frances Durst ’17, who studies applied mathematics at Brown University; Rachel Alana Essner ’16, who studies neurosciences at Harvard University; Roya Eskandari Huang ’17, who studies developmental biology at Harvard University; Bijan Henrik Mazaheri ’16, who studies computational and data-enabled science at the California Institute of Technology; Olivia Shira Meyerson ’16, who studies evolutionary biology at Harvard University; Anya Michaelsen ’19, who will study mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley; Stephanie Eu-Tien Stacy ’17, who studies statistics at the University of California-Los Angeles; and Abigail Rose Zimmermann-Niefield ’15, who studies technology education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Honorable mentions went to Alice Chapman ’15, Alice Stears ’15, and Gabriela Suarez ’17.

With support from the NSF Fellowship, Williams senior Anya Michaelsen plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall, focusing in the broad area of algebra. A mathematics major from Burke, Va., she is aiming for a career in academia. “I have always been passionate about math and want to keep learning after Williams,” Michaelson says. “Professors have been hugely influential on my life and academic passions, and I hope to have a similar impact on those I teach in the future.”

The National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency, was founded in 1950 to further U.S. leadership in the sciences. Since its inception it has supported graduate research and awards more than 1,000 research fellowships each year.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.