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Christine Cain
Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship
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KU announces new 2020-2024 Self Graduate Fellows

Thu, 04/30/2020

LAWRENCE – Twelve doctoral students have been selected to receive the University of Kansas’ prestigious Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year.   

Last year the fellowship celebrated its 30th anniversary. The incoming group of fellows is among 200 students who have benefited from the fellowship since it was established in 1989. 

The Self Graduate Fellowship is a four-year package awarded to incoming or first-year doctoral students who demonstrate leadership, initiative, and passion for achievement. The fellowship covers full tuition and fees, provides graduate research assistant support of $32,000 per year, a $5,500 professional development award, and it includes a unique professional development program.

The Fellow Development Program provides general education and training in communication, management, innovation and leadership to assist Self Graduate Fellows in preparation for future leadership roles. The role of the development program is to complement the specialized education and training provided in doctoral programs. The total value of the four-year doctoral fellowship exceeds $180,000. 

The fellowship’s mission is to identify and recruit exceptional doctoral students who demonstrate the promise to make significant contributions to their fields and society as a whole. 
 

The late Madison “Al” and Lila Self launched and permanently endowed the Self Graduate Fellowship in 1989, motivated by their strong belief in the vital importance of developing leadership for tomorrow.  Madison Self was a 1943 KU graduate in chemical engineering. Lila Self grew up in Eudora and attended KU with the Class of 1943. 

The new Self Graduate Fellows for 2020-2024: 
 

  • Kathia Antillon of Phoenix: Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from University of Arizona; first-year doctoral student in medicinal chemistry 
  • Kalin Baca of Albuquerque: Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, master’s degree in chemical engineering and MBA from University of New Mexico-Albuquerque; first-year doctoral student in chemical & petroleum engineering 
  • Rebekah Bryant of Shreveport, Louisiana: expected bachelor’s degree in environmental science and bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Rice University; incoming doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology 
  • Patrick Connelly of Olathe: Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and microbiology, bachelor’s degree in linguistics and East Asian languages & cultures from KU; first-year doctoral student in chemistry
  • Grant Downes of Kansas City, Missouri: expected bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Wichita State University; incoming doctoral student in bioengineering 
  • Nicholas Ferry of Morris, Illinois: Bachelor’s degree in geology from Northern Illinois University; expected master’s degree in geology from University of Cincinnati; incoming doctoral student in geology 
  • Marielle Gardner of Richmond, California: Bachelor’s degree in integral studies from St. Mary’s College of California; expected post-baccalaureate certificate from Iowa State University; incoming doctoral student in mathematics
  • Taylor George of Scott City: Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from KU, expected master’s degree in aerospace engineering from KU; incoming doctoral student in aerospace engineering 
  • Kara Hageman of Pennington, New Jersey: Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University; expected dual master’s degrees in public health and bioethics from Case Western Reserve University; incoming doctoral student in bioengineering  
  • Kelly Pfeiler of Bishop, California: Bachelor’s degree in botany from Humboldt State University; expected master’s degree in biology from Humboldt State University; incoming doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology
  • Rena Stair of Chanute: Bachelor's degree in biology from KU; first-year doctoral student in the interdisciplinary graduate program in biomedical sciences, KU Medical Center 
  • Emily VanHavel of Mason, Michigan: Bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; first-year doctoral student in the interdisciplinary graduate program in biomedical sciences, KU Medical Center.


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