April 26, 2004

Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU student, two alumni win NSF fellowships for graduate study in science

LAWRENCE -- A University of Kansas student and two KU graduates have won National Science Foundation fellowships. Regarded as one of the premier graduate awards in the sciences, the fellowships may provide each recipient a total of $121,500 for three years of graduate study.

The KU winners are:

--Sarah K. Dilks, Ames, Iowa, for graduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

--David Spry, Olathe, for graduate study at Stanford University in California

--Christina Warinner, Overland Park, for graduate study at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

In addition, two KU students and six KU graduates were named NSF honorable mentions. With this distinction, students are allowed to apply to use the NSF's supercomputers, which are part of the agency's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure program. The main supercomputers are located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California-San Diego. Honorable mention students can apply for up to 1,000 hours of supercomputer time.

Two students named honorable mentions, Cameron Siler and Heather Anne Kirkvold McLeod, are completing their graduate work at KU. Siler plans to begin doctoral studies in evolutionary biology, and Kirkvold McLeod is working on her doctorate in civil engineering with an emphasis on structures.

The NSF graduate fellowship program announced 1,020 fellows for the 2004-05 academic year, selected from more than 8,900 applicants. The fellowships provide a yearly stipend of $30,000 and an allowance of $10,500 paid to the fellow's institution for tuition and fees each year.

NSF fellowships are for graduate study leading to research-based master's or doctoral degrees in the mathematical, physical, biological, behavioral and social sciences; engineering; or the history of science and the philosophy of science; or for research-based doctorates in science education.

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States. Fellowships are intended for individuals in the early stages of their graduate study. In most cases, an individual has three opportunities to apply: during the senior year of college, the first year of graduate school and the beginning of the second year of graduate school.

Recipients and honorable mention candidates are listed online at www.ehr.nsf.gov/dge/programs/grf/AwHm04a.asp.

Current or former KU students, hometowns, parents' names, majors or degrees earned, high schools attended, and graduate school programs and locations are:

CRAWFORD COUNTY
From Arma
Scott A. Roberts, senior in chemical engineering, son of Alan and Linda Roberts; Northeast High School; plans to begin doctoral studies in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Related story: KU engineering senior from Arma wins national Tau Beta Pi fellowship

ELLIS COUNTY
From Hays
Shawna Smith, August 2002 graduate in communication studies, daughter of David K. and Rae Smith; Hays High School; after completing a master of philosophy in sociology in May at Oxford University in England, she will begin doctoral studies in sociology at Indiana University.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe
David Spry, senior in chemistry, son of Jim and Barbara Devanny; Gardner-Edgerton High School; plans to begin doctoral studies in theoretical chemistry at Stanford University.

From Overland Park
Christina Warinner, August 2003 graduate in anthropology and German, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Warinner; St. Thomas Aquinas High School; doctoral studies in anthropology with a focus on Mesoamerican bioarchaeology at Harvard University.
Sean Patrick Gordon, August 2001 graduate in biology and genetics, son of Gary and Nancy Gordon; Blue Valley Northwest High School; doctoral studies in biochemistry and biophysics at California Institute of Technology.

LYON COUNTY
From Emporia
Hayley Lanier, senior in biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary biology, daughter of Susan Stover and Dan Kirchhefer; Emporia Senior High School; doctoral studies in mammalian systematics at University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Wichita
Chad Ryan Hladik, May 2003 graduate in chemistry, son of Roger and Ellen Hladik; Wichita East High School; doctoral studies in chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka
Craig Martin Bennett, May 2003 graduate in cognitive psychology, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Bennett; Topeka High School; doctoral studies in developmental cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth College.

COLORADO
From Denver
Cameron Siler, who will receive a bachelor's degree in biology with emphasis in environment, ecology and behavior in May from the University of Texas-Austin, son of Eric and Cherie Siler; Cherry Creek High School, Englewood, Colo.; plans to begin doctoral studies in evolutionary biology at KU.

IOWA
From Ames
Sarah K. Dilks, May 2003 graduate in psychology, daughter of Jeff and Shelly Dilks; Ames High School; doctoral studies in cognitive psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

NEBRASKA
From Lincoln
Heather Anne Kirkvold McLeod, doctoral student in civil engineering, graduate in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, daughter of Erwin and Darlene Kirkvold; Lincoln East High School; doctoral studies in civil engineering with an emphasis on structures at KU.

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