Willamette Student Receives National Science Foundation Research Fellowship

Willamette University senior biology major Briana Gross, a native of Boise, Idaho, has won a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Gross is only one of eight students attending Oregon universities who were awarded 2001 fellowships.

This fellowship provides three years of support with an approximate value of $27,000 per year. Over 900 fellowships in the sciences, mathematics and engineering are awarded nationwide each year.

Last year, she received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship awarded to students with potential to make significant contributions to research in the sciences, mathematics and engineering. After graduation, Gross will attend graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington and work towards a doctorate in plant evolutionary genetics.

While at Willamette University, Gross has participated in many research projects. She initiated a research project investigating the interspecific hybridization between two species of camas lily. The summer following her sophomore year, she entered Willamette's Science Collaborative Research Program, developing a protocol for testing gossypol analogs, most widely known as a male contraceptive which could lead to a "male pill."

Even with Gross' strong background in science, she is a talented musician. She plays the oboe for several performing ensembles and was responsible for organizing Willamette's Holiday Concert during her sophomore year.