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August 8, 2013 — Recent University of Wyoming graduate Jennifer Black of Cheyenne is one of only six students nationwide to receive the prestigious $15,000 Marcus L. Urann Fellowship, named for the founder of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.
The daughter of Beth and Robert Black, she received UW bachelor's degrees in anthropology and history in May, and will pursue a doctoral degree in ancient history and Mediterranean archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley.
UW Phi Kappa Phi Chapter President Kelli Belden says several past UW students have received PKP fellowships, but Black is the first to receive the Urann Fellowship.
Chosen as one of this year’s College of Arts and Sciences outstanding graduating seniors, Black holds memberships in Phi Beta Kappa and the UW Honors Program, and was a national finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2012. While attending UW, she worked in the UW Athletics Department in academic support and media relations, the Office of Institutional Analysis and the State Historic Preservation Office.
“Jennifer Black is an ambitious, self-driven and motivated scholar, which is evidenced by her academic studies as an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming,” according to the PKP website. “Because the university did not offer a major in classics, Black independently crafted an academic program to ensure she received the foundation and tool set necessary to pursue a career as a classical archaeologist. She explored her interests in provincial Roman archaeology through extensive and rigorous coursework, and studies abroad in a variety of countries, including Italy, Croatia and Romania.”
Since its creation in 1932, the PKP Fellowship Program has become one of the society's most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $345,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate or professional study. Currently, 51 Fellowships of $5,000 and six at $15,000 are awarded each year.
The Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships are awarded based on the applicants' evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals, and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.
Belden says UW has a long association with PKP, and was the 28th chapter to join. Former UW President Aven Nelson was one of the early PKP national presidents.
Jennifer Black is one of only six students nationwide to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Marcus L. Urann Fellowship. (UW Photo)