UA Engineering Alumnus Offers Creativity Scholarship

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – While many academic scholarships are awarded based on students’ past success, a new scholarship established by a University of Alabama College of Engineering alumnus rewards students with a definite vision for future achievement.

The McKinley Scholarship, which rewards creativity and innovation in students, provides junior- and senior-level students funding to work on unique research projects in their area of major study. The hope is that students’ research may lead to inventions and patentable ideas. The inaugural recipient, Juliet Ann Ramirez, is a biochemistry major researching how chromium, used as a dietary supplement, could benefit diabetics. Ramirez, a native of Portland, Ore., works with Dr. John Vincent, associate professor of chemistry.

Interested students can pick up an application from Anissa Street in the chemical engineering office, Bevill A127. Completed applications must be returned by April 1.

Recipients of the award receive a $2,000 scholarship. Upon completion of their project students may also receive, based on their achievement, an additional $1,000.

The award was established in 1999 through funding provided by alumnus John Key McKinley, former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texaco, Inc. The McKinley Restricted Fund, currently supporting more than 20 annual awards at UA, provides funding for this scholarship.

McKinley received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University in 1940, a master’s in chemistry in 1941 and an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree in 1972. He is a Chemical Engineering Department Fellow and was one of the College of Engineering’s inaugural Distinguished Engineering Fellows. In 1992, McKinley was inducted into the state of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.

Dr. Gary April, University research professor and chemical engineering department head, said the scholarship is vital to encouraging individual thought, academic achievement and entrepreneurship by students.

In completing the application, students are required to provide a resume as well as a full project description, including a proposed plan of approach, projected outcomes and a timetable for specific milestones.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of originality, potential for success, impact on society or the technical field and completeness of the proposed plan of study. Any idea related to a science or engineering field will be considered. The winner will be announced May 1.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became the first university in the state to offer engineering classes and was one of the first five in the nation to do so. Today, the College of Engineering has about 1,800 students and more than 90 faculty. It has been fully accredited since accreditation standards were implemented in the 1930s.


Kathryn Adams, Engineering Student Writer, 205/348-3051 Chris Bryant, 205/348-8323