CIS Graduate Student awarded NSF Fellowship

Hannah Pruse portrait

CIS graduate student Hannah Pruse has been awarded a 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) "helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions."

Hannah was happily surprised to receive the NSF award, saying "The news came to me after I had taken an internship at a local game company. I truly enjoyed my work as a game developer, but was incredibly excited to learn that I could take the first step toward earning a PhD." Hannah will be working with Drs. Eric Wills and Hank Childs to develop a research plan. After working in the game development industry, she says, "I have discovered that I have a passion for using computers as entertainment and for developing new ways to improve the gaming experience and to make it more accessible to users with disabilities."

Hannah aims to earn a PhD and become a professor at a research-oriented university. She says, "By becoming a professor, I can continue my work in games research, while helping to build the next generation of researchers by introducing undergraduates to research opportunities and independent learning projects early in their academic careers." She credits her undergraduate experience in the Department, including her work with Dr. Kevin Butler on security research, for opening her eyes to new possibilities, as she was "introduced early to the exciting challenges research could present." She co-authored a published paper on the research and presented the work at a major conference, which experience "has fueled my passion for pursuing a PhD and becoming a professor myself."

Hannah will receive three years of support from the GRFP over a five-year period. This includes an annual stipend, a waiver of full-time tuition and mandatory fees during fall, winter and spring terms, plus annual travel and supplies allowances. Hannah will also have access to NSF-sponsored international research and professional development opportunities. Since 1996, the UO has had forty-one GRFP fellows.