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CSUEB senior Trinity Joshi earns competitive NSF fellowship


Physics major Trinity Joshi has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

  • May 15, 2013

Growing up with a chemist for a father set Cal State East Bay senior Trinity Joshi up for success in the field of science. Her father took her to numerous chemistry labs in her native Nepal as a child, but she also grew to love physics for its hands-on approach. The early introduction to the laboratory, combined with her hard work and passion for research, have earned Joshi a competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program awarded Joshi a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees. The NSF received over 13,000 submitted applications; Joshi is one of the select few who were offered an award.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

“I didn’t expect this (award) at all,” Joshi said. As she scanned the winners’ roster, she noticed several well-known universities listed, but never expected to see her name representing the close-knit Cal State East Bay physics community.

“At that moment, I felt really proud of myself,” Joshi said. Nobody from the Cal State East Bay physics department had applied to the program until Joshi was encouraged to by her peers and professors.

Joshi credited her professors at Cal State East Bay for the support they have given her, not only academically but also emotionally.

“I was intimidated at first, being one of the only two female students in all of my classes, but my professors kept encouraging me and telling me, ‘You can do it,’” Joshi said.

Her two years of research with Professor Derek Jackson Kimball has contributed tremendously to her success, she said. The NSF application required her to write an essay about her undergraduate years to qualify for the program, and her research with Kimball gave her plenty of experiences to write about, including several conferences such as the Division of Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP).

“Trinity is a fantastic student,” Kimball said. “(She is) completely deserving” of this prestigious award, and “has a lot of promise” in the research industry.

“(Joshi) is a great example of what you can achieve with hard work, asking a lot of questions and really trying to get to the bottom of things,” Kimball said. “Trinity has made all of her fellow students, and the whole department, very proud. She’s blazed a trail of her success.”

Learn more about the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program online.

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