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News Release

National Science Foundation Names Howard Student as
Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient

By Andre Nicholson

For the next three years, Developmental Psychology Doctoral Student Maleka Brown can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that all of her education expenses are covered.

Brown has been named a Graduate Research Fellow by the National Science Foundation, the third Howard University student to earn the fellowship.

The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program 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 in the U.S. and abroad.

As she enters her second year of the doctoral program, Brown credits her advisor Dr. Debra Roberts and Professors Dr. Lloyd Sloan and Dr. Alfonso Campbell for their continuous support

“Being the third National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient at Howard University and the first in my department is both humbling and encouraging,” Brown said. “Words cannot express how grateful I am to receive this honor and to be able to represent Howard and the Washington, D.C. community in such a positive way.”

Brown’s research examines developmental and academic outcomes in minority youth. She hopes to improve the “social, economic and political mobility of traditionally marginalized groups.”

“My research trajectory focuses on how cultural socialization and parental involvement buffers the effect of psychosocially toxic environmental factors, particularly discrimination and community violence, on academic outcomes in minority youth,” Brown said.

With a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, and a one-time $1,000 international travel allowance, the budding researcher will have the necessary tools to conduct her research and continue with her studies at Howard in preparation for a career in the professoriate.

“Upon completion of my doctoral studies, I plan to continue with my research, become a professor, and continue to support initiatives that enhance the lives of community members, specifically those of African descent.”

Reflecting on her accomplishment, Brown said she simply wants to inspire other students.
“I am glad to be in the position to encourage more Howard students, particularly other first generation undergraduate and doctoral students, to strive for excellence despite the rigors of embarking upon unchartered territory,” she said.

Tamila Myles, media relations intern, contributed to this report.

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