Two PBS Graduate Students Receive The Department Of Defense NDSEG Fellowship Award

April 7, 2021

PBS graduate students Alyssa Lawson and Nicole Emmons receives the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Nicole received her B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and is a first year PhD student working with Prof. Tod Kippin in PBS and Prof. Kevin Plaxco in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Alyssa completed her B.A. in Psychology at Chapman University. After earning a BA, she attended California State University, Los Angeles and received her MA in Psychology. She started at UCSB in 2018 working with Prof. Richard Mayer.


The fellowship funds three years of research. Nicole’s proposal was to further the development of the electrochemical biosensors developed by their lab for subcutaneous (below the surface of the skin) adaptation. Alyssa planned on researching the impact of different aspects of working memory on learning in immersive virtual reality. She hopes to improve our understanding about the benefits and pitfalls of learning with immersive virtual reality and try to develop ways to make the technology more beneficial for learners.

The DoD NDSEG Fellowship Program, established in 1989 by direction of Congress and sponsored by the Army, Navy, and Air Force, serves as a means of increasing the number of United States citizens trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance. This program is designed to encourage Baccalaureate recipients to enter Graduate school and ultimately gain Doctorates which align to the DoD services Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) in research and development.