The University of Alabama

UA Receives Federal Grants to Enhance Quality and Diversity of Graduate Students

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama has received five, three-year grants totaling nearly $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program that provide fellowships to assist graduate students pursuing fields of study that are in national demand.

A total of 64 GAANN grants were awarded this year to universities across the country. The colleges administer the fellowships to graduate students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in a field designated as an area of national need.

Applications for GAANN fellowships at UA are being accepted for fall 2010.

These three UA departments were each awarded $175,020 per year for three years:

Department of computer science

Project Director: Dr. Susan Vrbsky, associate professor in the College of Engineering

This award will allow support for five fellowships for computer science doctoral students who are capable of assuming leadership positions in software engineering research and education. The project will provide participants with experiences in basic research, applied research and teaching, allowing students to advance the fundamental principles of software engineering. Interested applicants can e-mail Vrbsky at vrbsky@cs.ua.edu or Dr. Nicholas Kraft, assistant professor, at nkraft@cs.ua.edu.

Mechanical engineering

Project Director: Dr. Ajay K. Agrawal, Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair and Professor in the College of Engineering

This award will support five to six fellows who will pursue a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering. They will receive teacher training, complete an industrial internship and perform research in one of the mechanical engineering topics. The fellowships include a stipend of up to $30,000 per year (based on need) and cover tuition and other educational expenses. Interested applicants can contact Agrawal at aagrawal@eng.ua.edu or 205/348-4964.

Department of chemistry

Project Co-directors: Dr. Si Blackstock, professor, and Dr. Stephen Woski, associate professor, in the College of Arts and Sciences

The grant will fund five graduate fellowships in chemistry per year for three years. The fellowships will help recruit top U.S. graduate students to the department’s doctorate program. It also will help increase the number of students who are traditionally underrepresented in the program, including women and African Americans. The fellowships include a stipend of up to $30,000 per year (based on need) and cover tuition and other educational expenses. For more information, visit http://bama.ua.edu/~blacksto/GAANN/the_Program.html.

These two UA departments were each awarded $131,265 per year for three years:

Department of biological sciences

Project Director and Co-director: Dr. Robert H. Findlay, Bishop Professor of Biology, and Dr. Patricia Sobecky, department chair and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences

Interested applicants can e-mail Findlay at rfindlay@as.ua.edu

Department of mathematics

Project Director and Co-director: Dr. Vo Liem, professor, and Dr. Zhijian Wu, department chair in the College of Arts and Sciences

Interested applicants can e-mail Liem at vliem@as.ua.edu or Wu at zwu@as.ua.edu.

These grants will fund four graduate fellowships per year for three years in each respective department. The fellowships will help recruit top U.S. graduate students to each department’s doctorate programs while increasing the number of students from traditionally underrepresented populations. The fellowships include a stipend of up to $30,000 per year (based on need) and cover tuition and other educational expenses.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.