SJU graduate Jeffrey Bandar earns two prestigious national fellowship awards

June 1, 2009

Jeffrey Bandar, who recently graduated from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, has received two prestigious national fellowship awards.

He received a 2009 National Science Federation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) award and a 2009 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Each is worth approximately $30,000 annually and is funded for a maximum of three years.

Bandar, who has already begun graduate school at Columbia University to pursue a doctorate in chemistry, will take the NDSEG award for the first three years. In year three, he will begin the NSF award but will not receive a stipend for it. Then, in years four and five, he will receive the NSF stipend.

Bandar graduated egregia cum laude (a perfect 4.0 grade-point average) May 10 from SJU with a degree in chemistry. While an undergraduate student, he conducted research at Columbia. He is a graduate of Apollo High School, St. Cloud.

“I had him (Bandar) in class as a first-year student and could tell he had great potential even then,” said Brian Johnson, professor of chemistry at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. “He has that highly desirable combination of an excellent intellect, great laboratory instincts and a strong work ethic. He is very curious and is motivated to learn more. He is willing to put in the time to improve something that is working but could be working better.” 

The NSF award is based on an individual’s abilities and accomplishments as well as their potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise. It also included an original research proposal.

Initiated in 1952, the GRF enables American scientific competitiveness by investing in exemplary graduate students pursuing research-based degrees in NSF relevant fields. Over 43,000 fellowships have been awarded since 1952, including 1,236 awardees from over 9,000 applicants in 2009. 

According to the NDSEG Web site, Bandar is one of 200 awardees out of more than 2,000 applicants for the NDSEG Fellowship, which is sponsored and funded by the Department of Defense (DoD). The America Society for Engineering Education administers the NDSEG Fellowship.

The DoD has awarded approximately 3,000 NDSEG Fellowships since the program’s inception 20 years ago. The awards are presented as a means of increasing the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance, and given to individuals who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.