LOGAN – A Utah State University College of Science valedictorian two years ago was recently named a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Porter Ellis, a native of Farr West, Utah, is currently a doctoral student in biochemistry at Duke University. The fellowship includes a $37,000 yearly stipend in addition to a $16,000 a year cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees.

Ellis expressed his gratitude for the mentors who supported his application for the award, Dr. Nicolas Dickenson, his undergrad research leader at USU and his current adviser at Duke, Dr. Maria Schumacher.

Ellis studies NAPs — nucleoid associated proteins — which support the compaction and organization of genomic DNA in bacteria.

He said he discovered his love for teaching at USU when he had the opportunity to teach a wide range of chemistry and biochemistry courses as teaching became one of the most fulfilling activities of his undergrad career.

Ellis was the salutatorian at Fremont High graduation in 2018.

USU Stem scholars Kenen Goodwin, Elizabeth Siemion and Neville Taraporevala earned honorable mention this year from the NSF Graduate Research committee.

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