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University of Iowa News Release

April 13, 2004

UI Graduate Wins Mellon Fellowship In Humanistic Studies

Brian Valentyn, a 2003 University of Iowa graduate, has won a prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, the only national award for students who plan to study humanities in graduate school. The one-year fellowship includes payment of all tuition and fees and a $17,500 stipend. Valentyn, who graduated with honors in English and in philosophy, will begin a Ph.D. program in English literature at Duke University this fall.

Valentyn was one of 94 fellowship winners selected from nearly 687 applicants for the 2004 Mellon Fellowship. The son of Mary and Tony Valentyn of St. Charles, Ill., he is a 1999 graduate of St. Charles High School.

"It is an incredible honor, and one that I never expected to have received," Valentyn said.

He cited the invaluable assistance of Mary Ann Rasmussen, a lecturer and director of the Honors Program in the English department, who encouraged him to apply and helped arrange mock interviews with UI faculty in preparation for his meeting with the fellowship interview committee. He also noted the importance of support from his faculty advisors in both English and philosophy.

"I am extremely grateful for the wealth of resources that were available to me as a UI student, and for the strength of the English Honors Program in particular," he said. "I now feel amply prepared, both for graduate study and whatever lies beyond."

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.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu.