Gilbrech Named to Inaugural Class of Arkansas Fellows

Will Gilbrech
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Will Gilbrech

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Will Gilbrech, a recent University of Arkansas honors graduate, has been named to the inaugural class of Arkansas Fellows.

The Fellows were announced at an invitation-only reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock on Wednesday, June 4. The Arkansas Fellowship program pairs graduating college seniors from state schools with Arkansas-based host companies for two-year internships that will pay an annual salary of $40,000.

The Arkansas Fellowship program is designed for accomplished and highly motivated undergraduates who are seeking world-class entrepreneurial experiences following graduation. The Fellows will the opportunity to kick-start their professional futures through paid positions with some of Arkansas’ most dynamic and flourishing companies.

Gilbrech, from Heber Springs, Arkansas, graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking from the Sam M. Walton College of Business. He was a member of the Honors College at the U of A.

Gilbrech will work at DataRank, a data collection and prioritization firm in Fayetteville founded by three University of Arkansas graduates in 2011.

This past spring, Gilbrech competed in business plan competitions with fellow Trevor Ferguson, a classmate in a New Venture Development course in Walton College taught by Jeff Amerine, who directs Technology Ventures, the U of A’s technology transfer office. 

Their team, Anova Energy, developed a plan that optimizes the use of renewal or alternative energy for residential consumers.

“It’s obviously an honor to be a part of the inaugural Arkansas Fellowship class,” Gilbrech said. “It’s always a great feeling when the hard work you put in to something is rewarded. That said, none of it could have happened without the guidance of Jeff Amerine. The time and effort he put into our class was above and beyond what was required. Not only does he actually have experience in the field that he teaches, but you just get the feeling that he really cares about how each of his students do.”

Including Gilbrech, the 2014 Arkansas Fellowship class is comprised of 11 recent graduates of six different Arkansas colleges and universities. The Fellows were selected from a pool of more than 80 applicants.

The Arkansas Fellowship is a nonprofit organization that received its start-up funding from Winrock International, Fifty for the Future and the Northwest Arkansas Council. It is modeled after a successful program in Indiana called the Orr Fellowship.

“We are extremely pleased with the caliber of the inaugural class of Arkansas Fellows and the host companies where they will be placed,” said Kristian Andersen, who chairs the Arkansas Fellowship board of directors. “This is a great way to launch a program that we expect to grow and ultimately make a difference in keeping our most talented young people in this state.”

In addition to the salary, the Arkansas Fellowship offers recent graduates:
  • Access to the host company’s senior leadership for mentoring and support
  • Opportunities to build deep relationships with peers and business and community leaders
  • Invitations to lectures with renowned speakers
  • Civic engagement opportunities
  • Accelerated paths to professional development

Warwick Sabin, director
Arkansas Fellowship

Chris Branam, research communications writer/editor
University Relations


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