Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Students Earn National Recognition


Kate Osana Simonian, a doctoral student in the Department of English, is the grand prize winner of this year's Nelson Algren Literary Award competition.

Part of the Chicago Tribune's extensive literary program, the prize carries a cash award of $3,500. Out of 3,900 entries, Simonian was named the winner after four rounds of judging, in which authors' names are removed so stories may be evaluated purely on their own merits.

Amanda Miller, a senior biochemistry major in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was chosen as a 2017 Harvard Amgen Scholar, giving her the opportunity to conduct research under world-renowned faculty mentors at world-leading educational and research institutions.

Miller also has received a 2017 Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious science, technology, engineering and mathematics research-based scholarship.

Brittany Neilson recently received the NASA Texas Space Grant Graduate Student Fellowship, her third fellowship from NASA. Neilson, a doctoral student in the Human Factors Psychology program in the Department of Psychological Sciences. She is researching the restorative effect of nature, which explores if the  exposure to natural environments improves cognition and reduces stress, and its potential applications in designing work environments and technology for aerospace system operators, including pilots, astronauts and air traffic controllers.

Amin Nikakhtar has received the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research, which recognizes his academic accomplishments and the merit of the research he has proposed as well as his potential to eventually contribute to the DOE's Office of Science. He will conduct research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.