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Three Chemistry Graduate Students Selected for Fellowship Awards

UO Dissertation Research Fellowship:

Forrest Laskowski, Boettcher Lab

2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships:

Ruth Maust, Jasti Lab

Trevor Shear, Darren Johnson Lab

Three UO Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate students have been chosen for fellowships recognizing academic and research excellence. Forrest Laskowski has been awarded a University of Oregon Dissertation Research Fellowship, and Ruth Maust and Trevor Shear have received Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation.

UO Dissertation Research Fellowships are designed to support outstanding doctoral students and promote excellence in research at the University of Oregon. The Dissertation Research Fellowships provide financial support for exceptional doctoral candidates to complete their dissertations. Award amounts vary depending on the fellowship awarded but include stipends at least equivalent to a level 3 GE appointment in the student’s home department, as well as a university tuition waiver during award terms, mandatory fees, and health insurance.

Photo: Forrest Laskowski

Forrest Laskowski

Forrest is a 4th year graduate student in Shannon Boettcher’s lab. His research focuses on the photoelectrochemical cell – a device which absorbs incident sunlight and then directly stores the energy in hydrogen gas bonds via a process known as “water splitting”. He examines the semiconductor-catalyst junction of these devices, both through experiment and computation, to identify key junction properties which produce efficient solar cells. This research ultimately aims to identify and leverage junction design principles in producing highly efficient photoelectrochemical cells for energy storage. Forrest holds dual bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science from Carroll College, and is a NSF graduate research fellow.


The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) 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 at accredited United States institutions. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, and opportunities for international research and professional development

Photo: Ruth Maust

Ruth Maust

Ruth is a 2nd year graduate student in Ramesh Jasti’s lab. Her research focuses on incorporating molecules called “carbon nanohoops” into polymers and materials. These ring-shaped structures have surprisingly different properties than the analogous linear molecules, making them fascinating as potential sensors, membranes, organic light-emitting diodes, and environmental remediation agents, to name a few! She’s currently investigating what properties can be achieved with nanohoop-based polymers to find out which of these avenues are most promising.


Photo: Trevor Shear

Trevor Shear

Trevor entered the doctoral program and joined Darren Johnson’s lab in fall 2017 as a Transitional Fellow, after completing the UO Masters Industrial Internship program. His research focuses on plastics – a material that is a part of our daily lives, in everything from cell phones to airplanes. However, there are types of plastics that are desired but can’t be created using today’s methods. His research aims to provide a path for making these plastics using a unique characteristic of some molecules called ‘self-assembly’. With this approach, he’s looking to provide a way to create plastics that will be beneficial to the general public and would otherwise go ignored.



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