Students Snare Scientific Honors

Two seniors are awarded NSF research grants

In what is believed to be a Boston College first, two students, Brian Gray, '01, and Ari Shapiro, '01, have been named winners in the same year of coveted National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

"This is great news for Brian, Ari and BC, highlighting the University's success at integrating research and undergraduate education," said Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smyer.

Gray, a Presidential Scholar who plans a career as a pharmaceutical researcher, will study at Cambridge University in England next year on a Marshall Scholarship. On his return, he will begin graduate studies in organic chemistry at Harvard University.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship winners Brian Gray (left) and Ari Shapiro. (Photo by Justin Knight)

The Garden City, NY, native plans to research new methods of developing carbon catalysts, chemical bonds that are the basis for many drugs.

Shapiro, a biology major from Cleveland, plans to spend the summer in Sarasota, Fla., assisting in a field project on bottlenose dolphin communication. He then travels to Scotland, where he will pursue a master's degree in philosophy at the University of St. Andrews on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying vocal learning and behavior in seals.

On his return, Shapiro will continue his research into whale and dolphin communication and behavior as a graduate student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program in Biological Oceanography.

News of Gray's and Shapiro's success in the competition was hailed by Prof. Donald L. Hafner (Political Science), director of the University Fellowships Committee.

"This is well-deserved national recognition for two very talented students and also for the academic strengths of the science departments at Boston College," said Hafner.

"Boston College for the first time finds itself in the pleasant company of several other universities with two NSF Graduate Fellowship winners this year, including Brandeis, Emory, Georgetown, and Johns Hopkins.

"Among their many fine qualities, Ari and Brian have also been very generous with their time in encouraging other students to think about competing for national fellowship opportunities.

"With their achievements this year, they have offered the best encouragement possible - proof positive that such dreams are well within reach of Boston College students."

-Mark Sullivan

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