Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
April 18, 1996

Nine departments selected for Miller Graduate Fellowships

by Linda Charles
Nine departments have been selected to receive the first Miller Graduate Fellowships, which will be used to help recruit a core of exceptional graduate students, said Pat Swan, vice provost for research and advanced studies.

The departments of chemistry and statistics each will receive two of the fellowships. Other departments receiving one fellowship are economics, agronomy, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, food science and human nutrition, physics and astronomy, and biochemistry and biophysics.

"These fellowships will be used by departments to attract outstanding graduate students, who receive attractive fellowship offers from other universities," Swan said.

Each fellowship will consist of an annual $5,000 stipend for four years, which will be added to the usual graduate stipend or occasionally, used to relieve the student of teaching duties.

Departments were chosen for the program through a competitive process that considered the quality of the proposal submitted, the department's national ranking, enrollment, number and quality of domestic students admitted during the last three years, ranking within its peer group, GRE scores and other factors that determine departmental quality.

Twenty-two proposals were reviewed and ranked by the academic colleges. They were then reviewed by a committee of the Graduate Council and Swan.

"Evidence of the recognition of these programs by their national peers was one important criterion for selection," Swan said.

The Miller Graduate Fellowships are funded with earnings from an estimated $27 million estate bequeathed in part to Iowa State. The bequest came from F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager who died in 1995. His will stipulated that the bulk of his estate be used to create the Miller Endowment Trust, with income from the trust to be divided equally between Iowa State and the University of Iowa.

Twelve incoming graduate students will be selected for the four-year Miller Graduate Fellowships fall semester 1996. Twelve students will be selected annually thereafter. At the end of four years, when the program is fully implemented, 48 students will hold the fellowships and nearly $250,000 a year will go to the fellowships.

"The presence of these 48 outstanding scholars will provide an important enhancement of graduate education at Iowa State," Swan said.

The Miller Graduate Fellowship is the second Iowa State fellowship to be funded by the Miller estate. In February, President Martin Jischke announced the creation of the Miller Faculty Development Fellowships. Those fellowships will range from $1,000 to $25,000. Proposals during the first year of the program, which begins fall semester 1996, will focus on strengthening undergraduate teaching. The Provost's Office plans to announce those awards on Monday, April 22.

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URL: 4/18/96