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University of Iowa News Release


March 9, 2007

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James Ankrum First UI Student To Win Prestigious Churchill Scholarship

James Ankrum, a University of Iowa College of Engineering student originally from Eldora, Iowa, has won a 2007 Churchill Scholarship, the first Churchill scholar from the UI. Only 12 Churchill scholarships are awarded nationally each year to outstanding math, science and engineering students. This award, worth $52,000, will send Ankrum to study for one year at Cambridge University in England.

At the UI, Ankrum, a senior biomedical engineering major, created an interdisciplinary course of study that allowed him to focus on his area of interest, ergonomics. In 2006, he won a Goldwater Scholarship, a national award given to sophomores and juniors with potential for a career in math, science or engineering research. He has done research in the labs of David Wilder, a UI professor in biomedical engineering in the UI College of Engineering, and in the Virtual Soldier Research lab. He also completed an internship at Caterpillar Inc. At Cambridge, Ankrum will join the Engineering Design Centre, specializing in healthcare design and patient safety.

Each year, qualifying institutions can nominate two students to compete for the award. The application process was rigorous, and involved applications for the scholarship itself, to Cambridge University and a finalist phone interview, according to Sarah Prineas, UI Honors Program scholarship coordinator, who annually helps hundreds of UI undergraduate students seek scholarships.

For more information about the Churchill Scholarship, visit

For more information on the UI Honors Program, visit:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,; Program: Sarah Prineas, UI Honors Program, 319-335-1874,