Monday May 14, 2018

Cream of the Crop

It's become an annual occurrence for University of Dayton graduates: a haul of prestigious national scholarships. This year, UD grads claimed five Fulbrights, a Goldwater Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

"That makes 30 Fulbrights in the last two decades; this is the most for one year in that period. It's the third Goldwater Scholarship for UD in the last four years. And we've had nine NSF Graduate Research Fellowship winners in the last six years," said Laura Cotten, associate director for fellowships in the University of Dayton Honors Program.

Kayla Pariser, a 2018 grad, is among just 16 percent of 12,000 applicants to earn an NSF graduate research scholarship. She will take her degree in mechanical engineering to the University of Delaware, where she will focus on biomechanical simulation. The fellowship gives Pariser three years of tuition and a stipend to support her graduate education.

Joey Saurine, a biochemistry student in assistant professor Pothitos Pitychoutis' biology lab, won a $7,500 award from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The award encourages outstanding students to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Saurine, who will graduate with his bachelor's degree from UD in 2019, hopes to earn a doctorate in neuroscience and perform research in neuropsychopharmacology and teach at the university level.

"All three of our Goldwater scholars in the last four years have been biology students, and two of the three have been from Dr. Pitychoutis' lab," Cotten said. "Only about 22 percent of the pool of about 1,300 applicants receive Goldwater scholarships."

Of the five UD Fulbright winners, three are 2018 graduates with Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships: Olivia Thomakos in Malaysia, Elizabeth Miller in Senegal, and Rachel Kessler in Poland.  Grace Poppe, a 2016 graduate, will teach English in Slovak Republic. Timothy Carroll, a 2014 graduate, won a Fulbright Open Study/Research Award to do research in Albania on how Albanian youth feel about their nation's candidacy for the European Union.

"Our curriculum, experiential learning and research opportunities plus our students' hard work and the  individualized attention we can give them during the application process are a combination for success when our students compete with students nationwide for these awards," Cotten said.

To learn more about national scholarship opportunities for University of Dayton students, visit the related link.

For information, contact Laura Cotten at 937-229-5415 or lcotten1@udayton.edu.

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