Franco Receives NSF Graduate Fellowship

ME Senior Rewarded for Excellence and Promising Graduate Study

Joy Franco, a senior in the mechanical engineering program, has been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship in 2014, for up to three years of graduate study at any institution in the nation.  Joy is the fifth student from our department to receive this honor. Previous awardees were Anita Rogacs (BS ME 2007), Monica Kapil (BS ME 2009), Ruth Herrera (BS ME 2010), and Manuel Ahumadha (BS ME 2013).   

Joy plans to attend Stanford University in the fall, where she will first pursue her masters degree in mechanical engineering.  Her long-term goal is to obtain her PhD and would like to eventually obtain a faculty position, possibly in the biomechanics or visco-elastic materials area.

At SJSU, Joy is part of the Formula SAE team, where she and her group (Charbel Ellan, Eric Miller, and Joy) are responsible for the drive train and shifting.  The Formula SAE team plans to enter three competitions at the end of the semester.  Furthermore, she is a research assistant for Prof. Katie Wilkinson in the Biology Department, where she studies how inflammation changes the mechanical properties of muscle tissue.  She credits this work with developing her interest in the biomechanics area, and in research and academia in general.

Joy has a long list of achievements to her credit.  Most notably, she was one of ten Dean's Scholars at the SJSU Honor's Convocation in 2013.  The same year, she was selected as a Salzburg Scholar, and returned to campus to promote globalization.  She was the Outreach Chair of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student club in 2011-2012, and the President of SWE in 2012-2013. She has also won numerous department and college awards.   

joy tripod bearing 180 Joy with tripod housing and bearing used in the drivetrain of the Formula SAE Race Car. 

tripod housing Close-up of tripod housing, designed by Joy with computer aided design.