CPB senior wins National Science Foundation award for future graduate research

Though she studied for a semester in a pre-COVID-19 Spain, lifelong Ohio resident Lexie Adams knows it’s scary to move out of state. But as a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award, Adams knows California is the right move for her. 

Adams, a senior chemical engineering major, plans to attend Stanford University to continue studying chemical engineering. Her decision to attend Stanford comes just after finding out she is a NSF GRFP award winner.  Lexie Adams

The NSF GRFP award supports exceptional graduate students intending to further their education at U.S. institutions. The fellowship is for five years and includes an annual stipend plus other financial support. 

After working with her research advisors and mentors, Adams submitted her personal statement and research proposal. The unique thing about this award, she said, is that it funds a person, not a project — it’s more flexible than other programs. 

“It's really awesome because I can now take it with me to graduate school, join whatever lab I want to join, have the funding and work on what I want to work on,” Adams said. 

Though she doesn’t know for sure which lab she wants to join at Stanford, Adams knows she wants to continue on the same path as her research at Miami. Here, Adams led research with Dr. Andrew Jones on psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in “magic mushrooms.” 

Adams said she is grateful that the award will allow her to continue and grow with the research she is passionate about. 

“I am so excited,” Adams said. “It just really opens a lot of opportunities when I get to graduate school, to just get to do the research that I'm interested in doing.”

In her four years at Miami, Adams has kept herself busy; She has participated in research, the Summer Scholars Program , NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates , an internship with Eli Lilly and Company (a pharmaceutical company), Engineers Without Borders and the Scholar Leader Program

While she joined clubs, research and internships over the years, Adams said her gratitude toward those who made her success possible trumps all. 

“I would not be where I am without all of [my mentors] and without the experiences that I've had here,” Adams said. “So I could not be happier with how my time at Miami has turned out, and I hope everyone gets to experience the Miami that I've gotten to see.”

All pictures taken prior to COVID-19.

By Maggie Peña, CEC Reporter