JSNN Master’s Student to Receive Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship

By Jamie Crockett / 05/05/2020 Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 5, 2020) – Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering master’s student Kendall Dawkins has been named a recipient of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship. Dawkins will begin the Ph.D. program at JSNN this fall.

The prestigious award provides $30,000 for an academic year and can be renewed for up to four years. The fellowship aims to increase the number of native Black Americans earning Ph.D. degrees in STEM disciplines at the university.

“One of my favorite places to be is in the lab and furthering research in my field,” said Dawkins. “And while receiving this fellowship is a great personal accomplishment, the bigger picture here is that I get to be an inspiration and example to some of my younger family members and people coming behind me.”

Dawkins’ current research is focused on determining the optimal way to increase absorption of light using nanowires in solar cells through simulation techniques to see how efficient they can be. His Ph.D. studies will expand this research by fabricating photodiodes, photodetectors and potentially solar cells and comparing them with his simulation findings.

“As the global population increases, we need a more reliable source of energy,” said Dawkins. “I have always been interested in how can we harvest that energy, and solar cells provide a platform that we can do that in a more efficient, cost-effective way.”

Dawkins, a native of Winston-Salem, expressed interest in science early on and participated in the NC Project Seed program at Duke University twice in high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Maryland - Baltimore County as a Meyerhoff scholar. Dawkins is one of approximately 2,400 graduates for the academic year, the most in university history for a single year.

Established in the mid-1990s, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship is funded through a Title III HBGI grant from the U.S. Department of Education and has supported nearly 200 students. To learn more, visit the website.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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