Utah State University student Rex Watkins has been awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship for 2005-2006. Watkins will receive $5,000 to aid his pursuit of a doctorate degree in organic chemistry.
Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and most distinguished national honor society dedicated to the recognition and promotion of academic excellence in all fields of higher education. Its graduate fellowship competition has become one of the largest and most respected scholarship programs in the country, allocating more than $380,000 annually to outstanding students for first-year graduate study.
"I was honored and excited when I received this scholarship," Watkins said.
Fellowship selection is based on students' undergraduate academic performance, leadership and service on campus and in the community, evidence of potential success in graduate study and letters of recommendation from three individuals who can attest to the students’ performance, citizenship and character.
Watkins will attend graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to pursue his doctorate in biochemistry.
"In the future, I would like to be involved in research for the government in relation to bioterrorism," Watkins said. "I feel a pressing need to ensure a safe living environment and firmly believe that careful chemical research provides an important avenue to achieve this goal."
In his undergraduate experience at Utah State Watkins co-authored three publications and received an URCO grant for undergraduate research.
"Rex is an amazing individual and we are lucky to have him here," said Mary Leavitt, Utah State Phi Kappa Phi coordinator.
Utah State has participated in the National Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship competition since 1980 and has produced 19 fellowship winners and five honorable mentions.