SOCORRO, N.M., April 23, 2002 -- Summer Kamal Rhodes, a soon-to-graduate senior who is majoring in materials engineering at New Mexico Tech, recently was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.
The prestigious NSF fellowship award carries a stipend for each fellow of $21,500 for a 12-month tenure, as well as an annual cost-of-education allowance of $10,500, which is paid to the fellow's chosen graduate school in lieu of tuition and fees.
Before starting her undergraduate studies at New Mexico Tech, Rhodes was the valedictorian for the Class of 1998 at Roswell High School. She is the daughter of Beth and Steven Rhodes of Roswell.
In addition to her regular classwork at New Mexico Tech, Rhodes currently is conducting research on brazing alloys and ion conductivity of materials in collaboration with scientists at Sandia National Laboratories.
After she graduates from New Mexico Tech in May, Rhodes says she plans on working toward obtaining her graduate degree in materials science and engineering, and will eventually pursue a doctorate, most likely in the same field.
"The University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are probably my top two choices where I'd like to go to graduate school," Rhodes says, "but there are two other places I'm still considering."
Rhodes currently is a member of New Mexico Tech's student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers, Materials Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society, an organization in which she serves as president.
"I'm really glad I chose to come to New Mexico Tech," Rhodes says. "I ended up getting a very good undergraduate education that has definitely prepared me for grad school."
In addition to Rhodes having been named an NSF Fellow, four other recent graduates of New Mexico Tech were awarded honorable mentions this year by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program, including Sarah Elizabeth Baran, James Lewis Fox, Joshua Edward Narlesky, and Dru Eugene Wilbur.