A Kansas University student has been awarded a Mellon Fellowship, one of the nation's most prestigious fellowships for undergraduates.
Margaret Jane Baptist, a Leawood senior who's studying East Asian language and cultures, is KU's 14th Mellon recipient.
The Mellon Fellowship, which was established in 1982 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides awards up to $27,000, including funds to pay tuition and fees and a stipend of $11,500 for each of the first two years of graduate study. A third year of support is available to fellows who meet performance criteria.
According to Mellon officials, more than 270 nominees in Region IV began the fellowship applicant process. Region IV includes universities in Kansas, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
The field was narrowed to 17 finalists from a group of 26 who were interviewed Feb. 1-3 in Dallas. Applicants are nominated by faculty.
Only 12 Mellon Fellowships were awarded in the region, and five of the recipients were Kansans. Two of the students came from Kansas State University, and one student, Rebecca Ruhlen, a May 1990 graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, is from Baldwin. The other Kansas recipient was a Yale University student originally from Salina.
According to KU's Office of University Relations, Baptist has been accepted for graduate study at Yale, Harvard and the University of Washington at Seattle. She studied in Beijing during the 1989-90 academic year on a scholarship from China's education department and hopes to teach Chinese literature.
She is a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School.
Her honors include the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, Watkins-Berger Scholar, W. Harold Otto National Merit Scholar, Grace Wan Scholarship for the outstanding undergraduate in Chinese Language 1989, Chinese Government Fellowship for American Students, Golden Key National Honors Society and Who's Who in American High School Students.