Andrea J. Tiwari, a Ph.D. student in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded a US Environmental Protection Agency's STAR (EPA STAR) graduate fellowship. The EPA STAR program supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Each year, students in the United States compete for STAR fellowships through a rigorous review process, and approximately 100 fellowships are awarded. The fellowship lasts up to three years for doctoral students, and benefits include: up to $12,000 per year for tuition and fees, $25,000 per year in a monthly stipend, and an annual expense allowance of $5,000.
Ms. Tiwari is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental & Water Resources (EWR) program. Her research focuses on the intersection of air quality and nanotechnology, and relates to the potential environmental impacts of nanoparticles. Specifically, her EPA STAR fellowship will provide support for her research into the possible presence of C60 fullerenes (a specific carbon-based nanoparticle) in the atmosphere. Andrea earned her B.A. in Physics from Luther College (Decorah, IA) in 2003, and her M.S. in Environmental Science & Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2009. Between her enrollment at Luther and Virginia Tech, Andrea worked as a high school Physics teacher in both public and private schools. She has served the EWR community by heading a committee to organize the EWR recruitment weekend for potential graduate students. Aside from her academic work, Andrea enjoys hiking, camping, and cooking. After finishing her doctoral degree, Andrea is strongly considering returning to teaching, likely at a small undergraduate college or university.