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JSA graduate fellows include two William & Mary physics Ph.D. students

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    Nearby collaborator:  JLab, or more formally, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, is just down the Peninsula from the William & Mary campus. Many students and faculty conduct research at JLab.  Courtesy JLab
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Two William & Mary physicists are among the nine recipients of graduate fellowships for doctoral students for the 2021-2022 academic year. The fellowships, announced recently by Jefferson Science Associates (JSA) will support students’ advanced studies and research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News.

The 2021-2022 JSA/Jefferson Lab graduate fellowship recipients from William & Mary are Felipe Ortega-Gama and Ezekiel Wertz, both Ph.D. students in William & Mary’s Department of Physics.

Ortega-Gama is a repeat winner, having just completed the 2020-2021 academic year at JLab. His advisor is Jozef Dudek, Sallie Gertrude Smoot Spears Associate Professor of Physics at William & Mary and a staff scientist in the JLab Theory Center. Wertz’s advisor is David Armstrong, Chancellor Professor of Physics at William & Mary. 

“We are excited to welcome these young researchers to participate in Jefferson Lab’s research programs. These fellowships allow students to work closely with their mentors and collaborators, and their work makes real contributions to research while they are pursuing their academic careers,” said Jefferson Lab deputy director for science & technology Robert McKeown, who also is Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professor of Physics at William & Mary.

Fellowship recipients are chosen based on the quality of their research proposals, their academic standing, and references. Students will continue their coursework while enhancing their academic experience with direct interactions and participation with lab mentors and collaborating scientists.

The selection committee was chaired by Edward Brash, a physics professor at Christopher Newport University.

“Once again this year, the quality of the proposals from all of the applicants was extremely high, and because of this, we faced a very difficult task in coming to a decision on the final list of awardees,” Brash said. “The successful applicants are a group of truly impressive young scientists, and this speaks to the groundbreaking work that is being carried out at Jefferson Lab by the user community.”

The SURA Board of Trustees first established the fellowship program in 1989. The program, now supported by the JSA Initiatives Fund, contributes to each student’s research assistant stipend. All fellowship recipients attend universities that are members of SURA, a consortium of more than 60 leading research universities. Since the program’s inception, 244 fellowships have been awarded to students from 23 different SURA member universities. SURA built and operated Jefferson Lab, before becoming a partner of Jefferson Science Associates.