K-State Rowing's Renee Ecklund Named Inaugural Recipient of Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Award
Manhattan, Kan.-Kansas State University junior rower Renee Ecklund has been named one of 100 participants of the inaugural Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced. Ecklund, who maintains a 3.61 GPA and is majoring in electrical engineering, was one of only 100 applicants selected from over 2,500 who originally applied to take part in the program.
"This is an extremely prestigious award and is a credit to the commitment Renee has to our country, her academics and to our rowing program," assistant rowing coach Paula Donald said. "We are extremely pleased she won this award and I cannot think of anybody who is more deserving."
Beginning this semster, the DHS awarded the selected recipients with stipends and tuition for either 2-year undergraduate scholarships or 3-year graduate student fellowships. In addition, awardees will be offered 8-10 week internship opportunities.
Through this education program, DHS will support the growth and mentoring of the next generation of scientists as they study ways to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recovery efforts from attacks that occur. The Homeland Scholars and Fellows Program is open to all students interested in pursuing scientific and technological innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission.
"The prevention of terrorist attacks in the United States relies on the efforts of many individuals," said Secretary Tom Ridge. "The DHS Scholarship Program will produce talented and experienced scientists and engineers that will play vital roles in securing America against terrorism."
The applications were reviewed by over 100 experts selected from a variety of fields that included physical, biological, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, mathematics, or computer science. Students from engineering disciplines comprised about one-third of the awards followed by computer science and math, psychology and social sciences. Men and women were almost equally represented as award recipients.
Funding for this program will be up to $2 million dollars for fiscal year 2003. In addition, DHS has proposed doubling its funding for fiscal year 2004, with a commitment to increase the number of scholarship and fellowship awards for next year. In addition, the Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program will be expanded to provide internships and specialized fellowships for students and faculty to further their knowledge of homeland security through short- and long-term exchanges at laboratories, facilities, and organizations throughout the homeland security complex.
In coordination with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the DHS Scholarship and Fellowship Program will ensure the future supply of individuals skilled in critical areas such as the life and social sciences. After graduation, students are encouraged to consider employment offers from DHS, state and local operational offices, DHS-affiliated laboratories and facilities, and/or DHS-related university positions.
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy facility focusing on scientific initiatives and educational programs. ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities and has many years of experience coordinating well-known fellowship programs like the National Science Foundation.
For more information about the Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows, visit http://www.orau.gov/dhsed/.