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Release: Immediate

UI student named finalist in competition for 1998 Mellon Fellowships

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Sanjukta Paul, a University of Iowa senior, has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. The fellowships, which are awarded to students nationwide by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, carry a $14,000 stipend plus tuition and fees for the first year of study toward a Ph.D.

Paul, an Omaha, Neb. native who is majoring in philosophy with a minor in religion, plans to pursue an academic career in philosophy. Her primary interests in philosophy are epistemology and the philosophy of science. She said that advancing this far in the fellowship competition has caught her by surprise because of the relatively small number of external funding sources for study in philosophy and the resultant competition for the funds that do exist.

Paul said the interview to make it to the final stage of the fellowship competition was "very challenging" for her. She credited her undergraduate experience at Iowa for the success. "I feel like the preparation I have received in my major has been excellent," she said. "Moreover, I have been lucky enough to have several professors in both the philosophy department and in the school of religion who consistently put forth far more effort and time than might be reasonably expected, for the benefit of their students' education." The honors program staff was also very helpful during the application process, she said.

The foundation will announce up to 80 fellowship winners the week of March 30, 1998. The primary objective of the Mellon Fellowships is to identify and encourage students who are committed to teaching and have a broad vision of learning. Applicants must be planning to pursue a Ph.D. in any humanistic field.