Member Spotlight: Valerie Brewer Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Photo: Valerie Brewer holds her study species, a song sparrow.

SACNAS congratulates undergraduate student member Valerie Brewer for receiving the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship!

According to the NSF website, the fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees.

“When I found out, I was both elated and in shock. My hands were shaking and that night I could not sleep because I kept waking up to check if that was indeed my name next to “Award offered,” said Brewer, who is double majoring in conservation ecology and biology at New Mexico State University, and presented her research and received an award at 2019 SACNAS — The National Diversity in STEM Conference.

“The SACNAS conference gave me a view of diversity I had never seen before,” said Brewer. “The sheer amount of people who shared my culture in science and the atmosphere of celebration for everyone’s differences was deeply inspiring and an experience I will not soon forget.”

The fellowship will fund Brewer’s research and education for three years. “Being chosen for this fellowship gave me a strong sense of validation in my presence in the scientific community and made me all the more excited to start this journey,” said Brewer, who added she is thankful to the biology community at NMSU, Dr. Karen Mabry, and Dr. Kendra Sewall for their mentorship and support.

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