FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas has offered the prestigious Sturgis Fellowships worth $46,000 each -- to 11 academically gifted freshmen who will be attending the University this fall.

This year's fellows have an average ACT score of 33 and an unweighted grade point average average of 3.95. Nine of the 11 are Arkansas high school graduates - two representing Fayetteville and Springdale schools.

"Each year we think the new Sturgis class is the best one ever. And we have reason to think so," said Suzanne McCray, associate director of honors studies. "These stellar students consistently win important national fellowships and are admitted to the competitive graduate, law, and medical schools they apply to.

This new class of 11 Sturgis Fellows looks very promising as well. They have earned an average unweighted gpa of 3.95 while taking extremely challenging classes. Their ACT and SAT scores place them in the top 1% in the country, McCray added.

"They are bright, and they are busy. These are not just kids who crunch numbers and watch Star Trek. They have committed an enormous number of hours to community and school projects. They are great students, great people, and we are delighted they were to willing turn down other scholarships they had been offered across the country and come to our campus."

The new Sturgis Fellows are:

Joel H. Brown --Fayetteville High School
Academic interests: physical sciences
Awards: National Merit Finalist, Top 10 in the state on the national German exam

Nancy Williams -- Springdale High School
Academic interests: economics, international relations, political science
Awards: Advanced Placement Scholar with Honors

Matthew B. Lohse --Southside High School, Fort Smith
Academic interests: biology, chemistry
Awards: National Merit Finalist; American Junior High School Mathematics Exam National Level, 1st place, Samsung American Legion Scholarship Arkansas Winner, Samsung American Legion Scholarship National Finalist, AP Scholar

Khai D. To -- Northside High School, Fort Smith
Academic interests: chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, mathematics, Latin, history
Awards: Science and Engineering Fair, 1st place, National Latin Exam, Gold Medal

Jennings R. Boyette -- Lonoke High School
Academic interests: pre-medicine
Awards: Valedictorian, Bausch and Lomb Math and Science Award

Lauren M. Carter -- Central High School, Little Rock
Academic interests: French, literature, biology

Joshua R. Holt -- Jacksonville High School
Academic interest: foreign language, computers, Calculus, English
Awards: University of Iowa full scholarship for summer session

Shireen Y. Husain -- El Segundo, Calif.
Academic interests: French, poetry, physics, chemistry
Awards: National Merit Commended, California Scholarship Federation, Golden State Exam-High Honors

Eric D. Johnson -- Idaho Fall, Idaho
Academic interests: law, medicine
Awards: National Merit Finalist; Idaho Top Scholar; Life Sciences Student of the Year

Joselyn K. Ramey -- Smackover High School
Academic interests: Spanish, biological sciences, math
Awards: National Merit Semifinalist; National Macy Scholar-The Macy Minorities in Medicine Program, President's Award for Educational Excellence, Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award National Merit Finalist

Kevin J. Wells -- Jonesboro High School
Academic interests: life sciences, philosophy, history
Awards: National Merit Finalist, Quiz Bowl Captain, All State Jazz Band, All Region Band

In 1985, the Dallas-based Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust awarded the University of Arkansas $2 million to establish the Sturgis Fellowship Program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

The original endowment funded five, four-year fellowships of $40,000. Because of the enormous success of the fellowship in attracting the top students from the region and around the country, the Sturgis Foundation awarded the University of Arkansas an additional $3 million in 1992. A new gift of $2.5 million was just announced in the spring of 1998, bringing (with interest) the total to 10 million dollars

"What distinguishes this fellowship is value and flexibility. The Sturgis is among the most generous in the country for discretionary spending," McCray said. A Sturgis Felloship enables students to purchase computer and lab equipment, academic journals, and musical instruments, to participate in study abroad, and to conduct extensive research.

"The Sturgis Fellowships have allowed us to attract students with credentials and ambitions, able to challenge our faculty and the strength of our programs," McCray said.

Since 1985, one hundred and one students have received Sturgis Fellowships. Fifty-one have already graduated with honors with an average college gpa of 3.9.

In addition, Sturgis Fellows have won many of the nation's most prestigious academic awards and are accepted by top graduate schools.

Sturgis Fellows Michael Berumen, Elizabeth Dunn, Susan Folkert, Nam Le, Brandon Bolinger, Jason Reed, Todd Williams have each won the nationally competitive Barry Goldwater Scholarship for research in mathematics and the sciences.

Sturgis Fellows Megan Ceronsky, Lou Green, Jon Fernandez and Warwick Sabin have won Truman Fellowships. Green and Fernandez recently completed M.A.'s at the John Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Green is now studying law at Tulane. Sabin, also a Marshall Scholar, will be studying at Oxford (England) next year. Megan is studying abroad at Cambridge. Susan Huntsman entered Harvard Law School after graduation. Ricky Pearce was awarded a Morris Udall Scholarship and is now first in his class at the University of Tulsa Law School. Nicole Reed, a junior Sturgis Fellow in chemistry, is also a Morris Udall Scholar.

Sturgis Fellows have recently completed graduate programs from MIT, Cornell, New York University, Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Oxford. "And this is just a brief selection of a long list of accomplishments," McCray said.

"There is absolutely no question that the quality of education at the U of A is as fine as I could have gotten anywhere in the United States," said Chuck King, of Springdale who was in the first class of Sturgis Fellows. King (1990), a winner of a Time College Achievement Award, received a Marshall Scholarship and attended Oxford University in England. He recently accepted an endowed chair at Georgetown University.

Suzanne McCray, associate director of honors studies
(479) 575-2509

Rebecca Wood, University Relations
(479) 575-5555


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