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Engineering students win national scholarships

ATHENS, Ohio (June 5, 2006) -- Two students in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University have recently won national scholarship awards.

Candice Montgomery, a junior computer science/Spanish major from Columbus, Ohio, added an acceptance into the McNair Scholars Program to her long list of academic achievements.

Karrie Shank, a senior aviation major from Circleville, Ohio, won a scholarship from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Montgomery's award, by the Ohio University McNair Scholars program, traditionally aids first-generation, low-income and/or minority students in obtaining admittance into graduate school and Ph.D. programs through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. 

She is also a President's Office for Diversity Templeton Scholar, a Russ College Engineering Ambassador, a National Society of Black Engineers member, an Ohio University Recruiting Society member, a National Scholars Honor Society member and the treasurer of Anointed Ministries.

The Russ College's first McNair scholar, Montgomery plans to research technological differences between urban and suburban school districts. She said she not only chose a topic that is important to her, but one that she hopes can help bring about change.

"This topic is near and dear to my heart," she said. "As a McNair scholar, I will be able to research it more in-depth than I originally imagined. I want to truly enlighten people with what I present. I want to be able to contribute back to what has helped me."

According to Valerie Mendoza, assistant director of the program, Montgomery's award is very well deserved. "This year's selection process for scholars was very competitive. Candice stood out from a very talented field," Mendoza said.

Shank's award, the 2006 Dr. Harold S. Wood scholarship, is named in honor of the founder and past executive director of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) and is given annually to a top student enrolled in a NIFA-member school. The student must demonstrate academic excellence, promote aviation on and off campus and actively participate in activities and community service outside of aviation.

The recipient of a $1,000 award and an engraved propeller trophy, Shank was introduced to flight through an Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles flight in 2001. Not only did that prompt her to pursue her private pilot certificate, but she also started volunteering with the program. She has escalated her involvement with Young Eagles to a national level and plans to continue her volunteer efforts after graduation.

"GAMA is proud to award this scholarship to such a deserving student. Karrie has demonstrated her desire to excel through her tremendous academic record and achievements," said GAMA President and CEO, Pete Bunce. "Karrie's passion for aviation is clearly evident, as is her desire to selflessly pass that love along to others by serving as a mentor for young people."

Shank is a member of the Ohio University Flight Team, has served as the team's safety officer for the past three years and is an active member of the university's Women in Aviation International student chapter. She holds commercial and flight instructor certificates and plans to obtain an airframe and power plant certificate after graduating from Ohio University.

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills. The Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Strategic research areas include bioengineering, energy and the environment, and smart civil infrastructure. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/engineering.

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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