NDSEG fellowship

July 20, 2020

Fellowship to help PhD student Daniel Griffin study team resilience

Daniel Griffin, a PhD student at Michigan State University, will study the factors that impact team resilience with the help of a three-year National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. He is one of two Spartan Engineers named an NDSEG Fellow this summer.

Daniel Griffin has been awarded a select national fellowship to continue his PhD.
Daniel Griffin has been awarded a select national fellowship to continue his PhD research.

Griffin will use computational models and empirical research to explore the impacts of leadership, communication, and the interdependence of network structures on a team's ability to overcome problems. Griffin is a third-year PhD student in dual programs in Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering and Organizational Psychology in the College of Social Science.

“My primary research interests are in using computational modeling and advanced data analytic techniques to understand, model, and predict human behavior,” Griffin said. “I am focused on studying the social processes of teams and leadership. I am also heavily involved in Professor Steve Kozlowski's lab in organizational psychology, which is funded by NASA to study the impact on teams of extreme conditions faced by astronauts.”

Katy Luchini Colbry, assistant dean for graduate student services in the College of Engineering, said the NDSEG is a prestigious award that recognizes the most outstanding PhD students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“Offering about 200 awards per year, the NDSEG competition honors the top .02 percent of graduate students in science and engineering,” Luchini Colbry explained. “MSU has had just a handful of winners in the last decade, and we are very proud to add Daniel to this list of extraordinary students.”

Prior to attending MSU, Griffin completed a double bachelor's degree at Utah State University in mathematics and psychology, with a minor in computer science. He then spent a year working as a software engineer.

The college’s other NDSEG Fellow is Katherine Skocelas, who is pursuing a dual-PhD in Computer Science and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior. She will study how immune systems evolve. Her research is in the Digital Evolution Laboratory at MSU's BEACON Center.

The fellowship, which begins in September, covers tuition, fees, and provides a yearly stipend. It promotes education in science and engineering disciplines relevant to the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) defense missions.