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W&L Alumni Awarded Fellowships from the National Science Foundation John Juneau ’18 and Amanda Wahlers ’18 have received pre-doctoral graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation. The five-year fellowships include three years of financial support and a cost of education allowance.

Two Washington and Lee University alumni have received pre-doctoral graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

John Juneau ’18, awarded 2021

Juneau is pursuing a doctorate in economics at the University of California San Diego to develop the theoretical and empirical tools to study the well-being of marginalized groups. He is especially interested in the causes and consequences of poverty, inequality and mobility, as well as the effect public policy has on these phenomena.

While at W&L, Juneau assisted professors Katie Shester and Chris Handy in the Department of Economics. His duties included reviewing literature and using Stata to manipulate data sets, running regressions and presenting results as graphs, tables and maps.

“As a first-generation college graduate raised in a single-parent, low-income household, I hope to bring a fresh perspective to economic research on these topics,” Juneau said. “I am committed to helping further transform the field of economics by promoting the advancement of other people typically left outside the profession, especially women and people of color. The prestigious recognition and generous financial support provided by this award will unequivocally assist me in achieving these goals. I am profoundly humbled and honored by this opportunity.”

Amanda Wahlers ’18, awarded 2020

Wahlers is a doctoral student in economics at Stanford University. At W&L, she was a research student in the Department of Economics, and she interned at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She plans to use the award to focus on research while allowing for flexibility regarding other funding opportunities she plans to pursue.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have flexibility in how I choose to focus my time between research, coursework and teaching,” Wahlers said. “I am indebted to the people who have supported me throughout my journey to graduate school, including many professors at W&L, but especially economics professors Shester and Handy.”

The NFS’s graduate research fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

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