Alicia Casacchia '17 (left) and Kori Sye '16 (right)
North Central College students’ hard work continues to pay off with impressive recognitions and awards. Kori Sye ’16 received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship and Alicia Casacchia ’17 was recognized by the Goldwater Scholarship program as a 2016 Honorable Mention.
An NSF Fellowship is one of the highest honors for graduate students pursuing careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (STEM). Sye, a chemistry major and mathematics minor, will undertake a Ph.D. program in physical chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I). She also earned a Robert C. and Carolyn J. Springborn Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry. These fellowships will completely fund her five-year Ph.D. program.
Last summer, Sye engaged in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at U of I. She is using the research findings for her College Scholars honors thesis. Sye has been previously recognized by the Goldwater Scholarship program as a 2015 Honorable Mention as well.
“The NSF Fellowship means so much to me, because it will allow me to pursue the research I am passionate about,” she says. “I hope that I can be an example to other first-generation students and women in the math and sciences.”
Casacchia, a College Scholar, physics major and mathematics minor, was recognized by the Goldwater Scholarship program, the highest national award for undergraduate science and mathematics students. Last summer, Casacchia conducted research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. This summer, she will intern at Fermilab National Laboratory.
“I hope to study mechanical engineering in graduate school,” she says. “I am excited and honored to have been recognized by the Goldwater Foundation and I look forward to a career in research.”