Department of Psychology


Psychology student receives prestigious National Science Foundation Research Fellowship

Published on May 08, 2018

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Dalisa Kendricks is one of five Auburn University students to receive a 2018 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Kendricks is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology's Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences program working with Chris Newland. Her project, "Developmental Methylmercury Effects on Sustained Attention,” seeks to determine deleterious effects of chronic exposure to methylmercury, an environmental neurotoxicant, during adolescence or gestation will have on sustained attention in adulthood and how drugs commonly used to treat inattention in human populations may mediate these deleterious effects. The outcomes of this research will be used to increase awareness of the impact of environmental contamination on neurodevelopmental disorders.

An alumna also received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and five others received honorable mention. The fellowship program helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States.

The other fellows from Auburn are: Steph Courtney, Elijah Johnson, Breanna Sipley, Jill Joffee and Kristin Zuromski '14. Their research topics include the effects of environmental neurotoxins; communicating climate change; enhancing spatial thinking; interaction of parasites and their hosts; detecting hidden improvised explosive devices; and protein quality control in cells.

Fellows benefit from three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period – a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution, as well as opportunities for international research and professional development. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and social science disciplines.

“The number of Auburn University students applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program continues to grow each year,” said Paul Harris, associate director for National Prestigious Scholarships in the Honors College. “I congratulate each and every student who worked with their faculty advisors throughout the lengthy application process and I look forward to hearing of their continued success.”

Students create a personal statement and research plan for the fellowship program in conjunction with their faculty mentors and with the support of the Office of National Prestigious Scholarships in the Honors College as well as the Miller Writing Center.

“It has been a privilege to work with such promising students, learning about ground-breaking research, and helping guide them as they develop and polish their proposals,” said James Truman, assistant director of the Miller Writing Center.

For additional information about the NSF GRFP contact Paul Harris in the Honors College at For more information about NSF GRFP, go to