First Recipients of 1885 Society Fellowships and UA Excellence Graduate Fellowships Announced
DATE: February 15, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Graduate College has announced the first recipients of two graduate fellowship programs: the 1885 Society Graduate Fellowships in Fine Arts and Humanities, and the UA Excellence Graduate Fellowships in the Social Sciences. Both programs were established in fall 2009 under the umbrella of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Fellowships (AHSS). They are designed to honor first-year and final-year graduate students pursuing interdisciplinary studies, as well as traditional fields, in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
“Historically, most extramural funding has targeted the science, technology and engineering fields, with less aimed at the social sciences and almost none at the fine arts and humanities programs,” said Andrew Comrie, associate vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College. “With this thought in mind, President Shelton worked with the 1885 Society to help create an avenue to enable the University to grow in these essential fields.”
For the spring 2010 semester, 15 students were selected as 1885 Society fellows and 15 were selected as UA Excellence fellows. Recipients, whose studies range from theatre arts to arid lands, were chosen for their potential to transform scholarship and creativity, and distinguish themselves within their given fields.
“Receiving this fellowship was a great privilege and honor,” said UA Excellence Fellow Autumn Witt, a doctoral candidate in second language acquisition and teaching. “It was a sign to me that this University values research in the humanities and social sciences.”
The UA Excellence fellows program is funded by the Office of the President. The 1885 Society fellows program is funded by the 1885 Society, a donor leadership group of the University of Arizona Foundation.
“These fellowship programs are integral to recruiting and retaining top graduate scholars in the arts, humanities and social sciences,” said UA President Robert N. Shelton. “Our UA Excellence Fellows demonstrate great promise to revolutionize their fields through their passion, innovation and desire to succeed. As a University, we are committed to access, quality, and discovery. Discovery and creativity in the arts, humanities, and social sciences are essential to our future because we gain a greater understanding of who we are as individuals and as a society.”
Annual support of $150,000 for each program is available to cover first- and final-year student awards. First-year students receive annual cash awards of $25,000 and final-year students receive up to $20,000. Cash awards are designated for travel, materials, miscellaneous fees and health insurance.
Recipients also receive full Graduate Tuition Scholarships from the Graduate College for the award period, during which final-year students are expected to complete and defend their doctoral dissertation or final project. First-year fellows are eligible to apply for a final-year award.
Shu Ching Cheng is a final-year recipient of an 1885 Society fellowship and a doctoral candidate in musical arts.
“This is a great honor,” said Cheng, who expects to graduate in May. “It is allowing me to stay in Tucson and work directly with my major professor, Dr. Paula Fan, and it is helping me to live while I write my document and prepare for my final recital.”
The 1885 Society is comprised of UA alumni, community leaders, business leaders and parents of UA students. Members are dedicated to elevating the University of Arizona to excellence by providing an annual, consistent source of unrestricted funding to the institution.
The University of Arizona Foundation is one of the largest foundations in Arizona, raising more than $100 million annually. Managing an asset base of nearly $500 million, the UA Foundation has helped generate more than $2 billion in private funding to support the University of Arizona.