Intercom Online......May 4, 2000

Penn State students
at the top of their class

So far this year, Penn State students have won a bumper crop of highly sought fellowships and awards in national and international competitions and more good news is expected before the end of the academic year.

Honors won by Penn State students include an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, an Andrew Mutch Scholarship; a Whitaker Graduate Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering, four Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, and 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

"We've had an especially busy and productive year," said Mary Gage, director of the Undergraduate Fellowships Office. "Not only have we moved our offices from Willard to Grange Building and all that entails -- directing students and faculty to the right place at the right time for mentoring, advising and other preparations for the students' final submissions -- but we also have had a larger than usual group of sophomores and juniors who want information on next year's competitive awards."

To win awards and fellowships at this level, students always have to be academically superior and sometimes they should also demonstrate leadership in campus or community life. Often, they also have to go through rigorous interviews. The Fellowships Office, which is part of the Office of Undergraduate Education, works with faculty advisers and students to prepare students for applications and interviews.

The 2000 winners are:

n Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship
Raina Walker, a senior who will graduate in classics. Mellon Fellowships are awarded to encourage outstanding students to become professors in the humanities. The fellowship pays $14,750 for the first year of graduate study as well as all tuition and fees at the chosen institution. This year, only 95 students were selected nationwide.

n Andrew Mutch Scholarship
Ryan W. Draft, a sophomore in biochemistry and molecular biology from Pittsburgh, has won an Andrew Mutch Scholarship from the St. Andrew's Society of Philadelphia. The society only awards five scholarships a year. Draft has won $12,000, to spend his junior year at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

n Whitaker Graduate Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering
Jeffrey Saucerman, a senior in engineering science. The Whitaker Fellowships award $18,500 for up to five years for the student, plus a cost of education allowance of $15,000 to the chosen institution and $1,500 for expenses. Only 40 awards were made this year. Saucerman will go to University of California San Diego.

n Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program
All four Penn State nominees put forward by the University won. This program was established by Congress to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding one- and two-year scholarships that cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The winners are:

Matthew J. Collinge, a junior in astronomy astrophysics from Gettysburg, who plans to do graduate work in X-ray astronomy;

David C. Denkenberger a sophomore in engineering science from Montrose, who plans to do graduate work in alternate energy;

Jayaram Srinivasan, a junior in microbiology from Murrysville, who plans to do graduate work in human genetics; and

Dominick Sudano, a junior in biochemistry and molecular biology from Exton, who plans graduate work in medicine focusing on organ failure.

n National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
NSF has awarded approximately 900 new three-year fellowships for graduate study in science, mathematics and engineering. The stipend is $15,000 a year and a cost of education allowance of $10,500 per year to the fellowship institution. The 2000 NSF Fellows, their major and the university they have chosen are:

Kevin D. Dorfman of Bensalem, a 1999 graduate in chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;

Jeremy O. Jones of Harmony, a senior in microbiology, Stanford University;

Biran A. Kelch of State College, a 1999 graduate in biology and microbiology, University of California;

Matthew D. Lichter of State College, a 1999 graduate in mechanical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;

David Maag of Red Hill, a senior in biology and microbiology, Harvard University;

Dirk R. Padfield of Easton, a senior in electrical engineering and international studies, Penn State;

Herman D. Pontzer of Kersey, a 1999 graduate in anthropology, Harvard University;

Jane R. Rigby of Seaford, Del., a senior in astronomy and physics, California Institute of Technology;

Gayathri Vijayakumar of Liverpool, N.Y., a senior in engineering science, Georgia Institute of Technology; and

Susan Jennifer White of Centre Hall, a 1999 graduate in mechanical engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.

For more information on undergraduate fellowships, call Mary Gage at (814) 863-8199, or visit the Web at

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