University students, graduates win high-profile fellowships, scholarships

Washington University students and recent graduates in Arts & Sciences have made an impressive showing in their annual quest for prestigious national scholarships and fellowships, including four recipients of the 2003 Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies.

“It’s an honor for any institution to place a student in the Mellon program and getting four of these awards in one year is fairly amazing,” said Dirk M. Killen, Ph.D., assistant dean, academic coordinator and fellowships adviser in Arts & Sciences.

Killen credits the University’s success to Miriam L. Bailin, Ph.D., associate professor of English in Arts & Sciences and the university’s faculty coordinator for the Mellon program.

The Mellon fellowship, a competitive award for first-year doctoral students, is designed to help promising students prepare for careers of teaching and scholarship in humanistic disciplines. The fellowship covers graduate tuition and fees for the first year of graduate study and includes a stipend of $17,500.

Washington University recipients of the 2003 Mellon are William Bulman, a 2002 graduate continuing advanced studies in history; and three former or current students who will be pursuing doctorates in English literature − Miles Grier, class of 2000, Ian Cornelius, class of 2002, and Garth Greenwell, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in 2003.

Other students receiving prominent 2003 academic awards include:

Justin B. Cox, a junior in Arts & Sciences, won the $32,000 Beinecke Memorial Scholarship for graduate study. A dual political science and philosophy major, Cox is one of 21 students nationwide to receive the 2003 Beinecke Scholarship.

Two Arts & Sciences undergraduates were selected to receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship from the Excellence in Education Foundation for 2003. The scholarship, which supports outstanding juniors and seniors pursuing careers in mathematics, science and engineering, covers up to $7,500 annually toward tuition, fees, books, and board.

The University’s Goldwater recipients are Craig H. Mermel, a biochemistry and mathematics major who plans to conduct medical research after a doctorate in computational molecular biology; and James S. Prell, a chemistry and mathematics major who plans to explore new pathways for synthesis after a doctorate in physical organic chemistry.

“The Goldwater is generally considered to be, if not the most prestigious, then certainly one of the most prestigious awards for undergraduates planning careers in the sciences, engineering or math,” Killen said. “We had four Goldwaters last year and I’m just delighted to have two more this year.”

Bethany L. Ehlmann, a junior in Arts & Sciences, won the Morris K. Udall Scholarship for 2003. (She won both the Udall and Goldwater scholarships in 2002.) Administered by the Udall Foundation and the Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation, the Udall scholarship covers tuition, fees, books and board up to a maximum of $5,000 per year. Udall scholarships are granted to those who demonstrate a commitment to fields related to the environment, or to Native American or native Alaskan students in fields related to health care and tribal public policy.

Seth Garz, class of 2002, won a place as 2003 Junior Fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) program. He got news of the award while doing independent research on the institutional dynamics behind environmental development projects in China through the Fulbright Program. The Carnegie Endowment is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Each year, it selects eight to 10 young scholars to work with its senior researchers in Washington, D.C.

“Carnegie expressed to me how impressed they were with Seth Garz,” Killen said. “They referred to him as the top young China scholar in the nation to apply for the CEIP, bar none.”