Five Pitt Students Receive DAAD Graduate Scholarships

Issue Date: 
May 1, 2011

The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/German Academic Exchange Service) has awarded five Pitt students the DAAD Graduate Scholarship for Study and/or Research.

DAAD is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation that represents the German higher-education system abroad. The service promotes Germany as an academic and research destination and helps build ties between institutions around the world.

“We are delighted that our students have taken advantage of the wonderful opportunity for study and research in Germany with the DAAD,” said George Klinzing, vice provost for research at the University of Pittsburgh. “The program is very competitive, providing students in the United States and around the world the chance to study and do research at premiere universities and laboratories in Germany. Our students winning these awards points to the exceptional students we have here at Pitt. We are very proud of their accomplishments.”

DAAD offers a variety of educational and research opportunities, including the funding of long- and short-term study abroad, the facilitation of internships within German laboratories and research divisions, and academic exchanges for professors. Pitt is a DAAD partner university.

Grace Lindsay, a senior from Lockport, Ill., received a long-term (10 months) award. A neuroscience major with minors in chemistry and religious studies, Lindsay will study mathematical/computer models of the hippocampus with Ad Aertsen at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Freiburg and will take classes at the University of Freiburg.

Noah Willumsen, a 2010 Bachelor of Philosophy degree graduate from Pitt’s Honors College, won the long-term award. A high school graduate from Upper St. Clair, Pa., Willumsen majored in German, philosophy, and art history with minors in physics and mathematics. Willumsen plans to attend Humboldt University of Berlin and earn a master’s degree in German literature.

Sara Nichols, from New York City, is a doctoral candidate in clinical/developmental psychology. She won a short-term (three months) award for research collaboration at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Nichols’ research will involve conducting a study exploring the role of siblings in the early development of children’s prosocial behavior.

Lidio Marx Carvalho Meireles, from Aracaju, in Sergipe, Brazil, is a doctoral candidate in Pitt’s School of Medicine. Meireles is in a joint Carnegie Mellon University-University of Pittsburgh PhD Program in computational biology. He won a short-term (four months) award to conduct research for a project on enhancing a fragment-based drug design software (ReCore) developed by Professor Matthias Rarey at the University of Hamburg.

Ian Blecher, from Oberlin, Ohio, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy. He will engage in a short-term (four months) study of philosophy at the University of Leipzig under the direction of Professor Andrea Kern. Blecher’s project is connected with Kant’s writings on the question of what it means to exist. He will participate in seminars and a colloquium series that draws on a number of philosophers from around the world.