Four recent Colby graduates were named Graduate Research Fellows by the National Science Foundation in a program that provides three years of support to outstanding graduate students in research-based programs.

Ellen Crapster-Pregont ’10, Leslie Wardwell ’08, Adrian Gilmore ’07, and Elinore Jenkins ’06 are all enrolled in doctoral programs, and each was named an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in spring 2011.

Leslie Wardwell '08

Leslie Wardwell ’08

Crapster-Pregont, a geology and chemistry double major, recently completed her first year in a geosciences/geochemistry program at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

Wardwell is in the biological and biomedical sciences Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School. She is working on host-microbe interactions in a mouse model of ulcerative colitis. She is in a lab at the Harvard School of Public Health that works on all stages of ulcerative colitis, including initial inflammation, progression to colon cancer, and possible treatments.

Adrian Gilmore '07

Adrian Gilmore ’07

Gilmore is in a Ph.D. program in cognitive psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. His research uses behavioral and functional neuroimaging techniques to explore two main areas in human memory—mental simulation (our ability to mentally project ourselves into a scene) and on how retrieval practice can improve memory.

Jenkins is in a biology/ecology Ph.D. program at the University of Washington following four and a half years teaching high school in Oakland, Calif., where she started with Teach for America. She is studying how climate change will affect plant-pollinator interactions, and she is working on Mt. Rainier. As the climate has warmed, many plants and animals have shifted the timing of life events (reproduction, migrations, growth, etc.), she explained. If plants and their pollinators shift differently, both groups could be in trouble.

Elli Jenkins '06

Elli Jenkins ’06

“This work absolutely originated in Judy [Stone]’s lab [at Colby],” she wrote in an e-mail. “I worked for her for two years in Costa Rica. She is incredible—a great mentor, accomplished scientist, and admirable role model.”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States, according to the program. “The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The ranks of NSF Fellows include individuals who have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering research and have become leaders in their chosen careers and Nobel laureates,” according to the program’s materials.