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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
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e-mail: mary-geraghty@uiowa.edu

Release: April 12, 1999

UI graduate wins Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dwight Codr, a 1998 University of Iowa graduate, has won a prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, the only national award for those who plan to study humanities in graduate school. The one-year fellowship includes payment of all tuition and fees and a $14,500 stipend. Codr, who majored in English at the UI, will begin a Ph.D. program in English at Cornell University this fall.

Codr, a Cedar Rapids native and 1993 graduate of Washington High School, was one of 98 fellowship winners selected from nearly 800 applicants for the Mellon Fellowship.

"I was excited, but quite surprised when I opened the letter telling me I'd won a fellowship," he said. "The number of hoops you have to jump through in the application process made me think there was a pretty slim chance I'd actually win."

Codr was quick to credit the UI English department as sharing equally in his success.

"The faculty in the English department were so helpful and supportive during my undergraduate studies," he said. "Without their support and encouragement, I would not have had the confidence to apply for the Mellon Fellowship nor would I have been prepared for the rigorous interview process. It's not just me winning this fellowship, but the entire University of Iowa English department."

Faculty members who worked with Codr as an undergraduate "always thought of him as an outstanding student and were impressed with his ability to articulate complex ideas about a wide variety of literary and theoretical subjects," said Mary Ann Rasmussen, director of the UI English department's honors program.

"We're just very excited that he competed against the best students in the country and won," she said. "I know he'll make an important contribution to the field."

The Mellon Fellowship was initiated in 1982 and is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The primary objective of the Mellon Fellowships is to identify and encourage persons who are committed to teaching and have a broad vision of learning. Codr plans an academic career as a professor of English.

(Editors: Codr is available for interviews at (319) 363-7098.)