UD alum highlighted as NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program marks 60th

University of Delaware alumna Sara Sprenkle shares something in common with the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and Maxine Singer, a molecular biologist known for her contributions to solving the genetic code.

Sprenkle, Bernanke and Singer are among 60 former National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows highlighted in honor of the program’s 60th anniversary. They were selected by directorates from across NSF as former fellows who “reflect the diversity and rich history of the program,” according to the program’s website.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is a highly competitive program that supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines that are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.

Sprenkle, who earned her doctorate in computer and information sciences at UD in 2007, is now an associate professor of computer science at Washington and Lee University. She currently teaches courses in programming, software development, algorithm design and analysis and web application development.

Her research focuses on improving automated software testing with a focus on web applications, software maintenance and software engineering, among other things.

“With the GRF, I was able to focus on developing my computer science and research skills in my courses and research projects,” Sprenkle wrote in her NSF profile.

“While I enjoy the advancements I have made in the field, the broader impact is how undergraduate students can be involved in my research. Students learn the research process and begin to identify new problems and generate more ideas,” she said in another excerpt.

“We are proud of alumni like Sara, whose research and teaching reflects the department’s underlying goal of instilling a broad range of research experience in undergraduates through active collaboration with faculty and graduate students,” said Errol L. Lloyd, professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

Article by Kevin Cella