Ph.D. Student Patriel Stapleton Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Patriel StapletonPatriel Stapleton, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research investigates how game-based learning simulations can be used to effectively teach middle-school students about complex topics.

“Receiving the NSF fellowship is a great honor because it means that experienced researchers in my field see value in my research and the potential in me as a budding researcher,” Stapleton said. “The NSF award allows me to focus primarily on expanding my research skills as I will now have more time to put toward expanding and refining my research and advancing my own research agenda under the tutelage of my advisors.”

She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing as a member of the Engaging Learning Lab under the advisement of Jeremiah Blanchard, Ph.D., instructional assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the director of the computer engineering undergraduate program, and Christina Gardner-McCune, Ph.D., a CISE associate professor. Stapleton, who is Caribbean and whose family is from the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Florida.

“After I graduate with my Ph.D., I’d like to join industry,” Stapleton said. “My skillset and passion lie in creating technologies and tools that create a more equitable society through education and awareness. Over the next three years, I hope to identify what these roles can look like outside of academia and in the larger tech industry that often impacts our daily life.”

This year, she was part of the CRA-WP Grad Cohort Workshop for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Leadership Skills (IDEALS), which aims to widen the participation, access, opportunities, and experience of individuals in computing research by building and mentoring nationwide communities through their graduate studies. She was also named a recipient of the Granter Group Graduate Fellowship, which supports Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering students interested in learning about information technology. In 2021, Stapleton was named a GEM Fellow and a McKnight Fellow.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited institutions nationwide.

Allison Logan
Communications Manager
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering