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Six Named Presidential Fellows

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June 13, 2006

The Graduate School has announced the awarding of Presidential Fellowships to the following graduate students: Paul Cadden-Zimansky (Physics and Astronomy), Benjamin Chen (Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Program), Yael Katz (Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Program), Lee Seymour (Political Science), Tobin Shearer (History and Religion), Tomasz Strzalecki (Economics).

The Presidential Fellowship, awarded by The Graduate School and funded by the President of the University, is a 12-month award for MFA students and a 24-month award for PhD students.  This highly competitive award is the most prestigious Fellowship awarded by Northwestern.

The latest recipients of this honor are:

Paul Cadden-Zimansky of Physics and Astronomy makes and examines devices that lie between the classical (big) and quantum (small) worlds, mostly working with superconductors.

Benjamin Chen of the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Program is interested in enveloped virus assembly and budding.  Specifically, studies how influenza viruses assemble together at the cell membrane and then escape from the host cell.

Yael Katz of the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Program is trying to understand the input / output relationship of information in neurons and small networks of neurons. The neurons she studies are in a part of the brain known to be responsible for learning and short-term memory.

Lee Seymour of Political Science examines separatist conflict and asks the question: Why do some groups achieve their goals of independence and autonomy while so many others struggle in vain?

Tobin Shearer of History and Religion is researching the interactions of white and African-American Mennonites in the middle three decades of the twentieth century in order to examine issues of religious purity.

Tomasz Strzalecki of Economics is interested in enriching economic models with insights from psychology and other social sciences.

The Presidential Fellowship is awarded to candidates who combine outstanding intellectual or creative ability with the capacity to play an active part in the life of the Society of Fellows. Applications are by nomination only.  The Presidential Fellowship Committee reviews all nominees and selects a group of finalists who are invited to meet with the committee for an interview.

By receiving this Fellowship, students become part of Northwestern University's Society of Fellows. The Society of Fellows, which meets twice each quarter, enables stellar students from across the university to have interdisciplinary interactions with their peers in other fields. The goal is to create future leaders who are enthusiastic and literate about the broad scholarship of the university.

For more detailed information on present and past fellows' research, please see the Society of Fellows website at http://www.tgs.northwestern.edu/research/fellowships/societyoffellows/presidentialfellows.

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