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Nano Students Receive Coveted Awards

Nano Students 350 BCongratulations to two NVC students for achieving coveted awards to pursue their studies in nanotechnology - the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale, which refers to structures in the size range of one billionth of a meter - much smaller than the thickness of a human hair and over 10,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper!.  

Alex Rocha has been selected to the 2013 National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Research Experience for Undergraduates (NNIN REU) Program at the University of Texas at Austin. As a NNIN REU intern, Alex will receive a $4,000 stipend, and NNIN will pay for all travel and housing expenses for the program, which will enable Alex to work with scientists and engineers carrying out research at the forefront of nanotechnologies, including development of novel nanomaterials and their applications, specifically, working on a project titled “Surface Micromachined Microphones.” 

NNIN has 14 university members including Cornell, Stanford, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard and UT Austin. This year, only 91 interns were awarded out of 987 U.S. applicants. More information about NNIN can be found at: http://nnin.org/  

Jason Giuliani , the NVC Nanotechnology Club president, who was honored with a “Student Award of Excellence” by the National Science Foundation at Washington DC last year, was recently awarded a scholarship in the NanoJapan 2013 program headquartered at Rice University. Jason will receive approximately $4,000, plus airfare to do research in an academic  laboratory in Japan, where he will have the opportunity to gain research experience in nanotechnology and related areas. Although only 12 students from the U.S. receive NanoJapan scholarships each year, Jason is the second NVC student selected for this prestigious program, reflecting the excellence of the NVC nanotechnology program.  In 2010, Marcus Najera became the first NVC student to receive this coveted scholarship. More information about NanoJapan can be found at: http://nanojapan.rice.edu/people_undergrads_2009.shtml  

Alex and Jason are among a handful of NVC Nanotechnology students who are competing with Ivy-league university students for these sought-after scholarships and programs.  

Qiaoying Zhou , Ph.D., NVC Nanotechnology coordinator, said that, although her program is small, many of her students are doing big things. The nanotechnology program has received recognition for its academic and technical excellence, and has placed several of its graduates in other academic institutions in San Antonio, where they are completing higher degrees.  

“I am very proud of the academic achievements our students have made in the program,” she said. “It is certainly amazing and gratifying that our students have made the most of their potential and achieved such impressive goals.”  

In addition to the student achievements, last year the NVC program received a federal grant of $199,217 from the National Science Foundation-Advanced Technology Education Program which, among other aims, supports project-based internships for students at the Department of Microencapsulation and Nanomaterials at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).    

NVC’s Nanotechnology Associate of Applied Science program prepares students for careers in emerging nanotechnology industries as entry-level nanotechnicians. Through its partnership with local industries and a 2+2 degree transfer partnership with UTSA, nanotech students get internship opportunities to experience hands-on training in real research and working environments and then continue their studies to earn a Bachelor degree. To learn more about Nanotechnology, go here: www.alamo.edu/nvc/nanotech 

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