Kennesaw State alum earns prestigious fellowship from National Science Foundation

MARIETTA, Ga. | Jun 2, 2017

Valerie Washington will further her graduate education in industrial and operations engineering

Valerie Washington
Valerie Washington

A Kennesaw State alumnus has been named a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program for 2017. Valerie Washington, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in systems and industrial engineering from the University’s Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology in May, was one of 2,000 fellowship awardees honored this year.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program will provide financial support for Washington to further her graduate education. She plans to attend the University of Michigan’s Industrial and Operations Engineering program to pursue a doctorate starting this fall.

While at Kennesaw State, Washington was named Engineering Student of the Year for the state of Georgia by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers in 2016. She published two research studies in collaboration with engineering faculty and presented at several academic conferences as an undergraduate. She also won the University Honors Program’s Outstanding Honors Senior award for her scholarly accomplishments.

Washington was selected for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program from a pool of more than 13,000 applicants from across the country. In an effort to recruit and retain high-potential students to the nation’s graduate programs early in their STEM training, the fellowship program chose Washington for her potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise.

The NSF program provides three years of financial support over a five-year fellowship period, with a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to her institution of choice.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit