Sarah Ruddle, who will graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cal State San Bernardino, is one of two CSUSB students selected to receive a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship.

Beverly Thackeray-Lacko, who also be graduating this month with a degree in physics, was also named an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship.

The two students are among 2,000 award winners across all fields of study nationwide, following a highly competitive process with more than 13,000 applicants.

“Winning the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a huge shock and honor. I’m really excited about it,” said Ruddle, who lives in Riverside. “Applying for it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my academic career. I’m really thrilled.”

Ruddle, who earlier this year was named a recipient of the CSUSB Professor Richard Fehn Memorial Scholarship, will attend Stanford University this fall, where she was admitted to the microbiology and immunology department.

After that, Ruddle, who lives in Riverside, said she is considering working for a company that does research on infectious diseases, or becoming a professor at a university running a laboratory that studies some type of infectious disease.

The two students “have outstanding potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise. The ranks of NSF Fellows include numerous individuals who have made transformative breakthrough discoveries in science and engineering, become leaders in their chosen careers, and who have been honored as Nobel laureates,” according to a letter to CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales from Gisele Muller-Parker, the lead program director for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

The GRFP fellowship provides three years of support ($138,000) and is portable, which means that the student can use it for the graduate program of their choice. Fellows also have professional development opportunities such as the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide and the Graduate Research Internship Program.

For more information contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit