June 20, 2006

Business student wins prestigious fellowship

by Sun Min

 CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A business student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the winner of a prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship.

Prentice Norman is the recipient of a two-year paid government fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. As a Presidential Management Fellow, Norman will obtain special training and employment opportunities at federal government agencies in Washington, D.C. The program is a stepping-stone to highly visible and respected leadership positions.

"I was overjoyed," said Norman. "I think this is a great opportunity."

Norman will move to the nation's capitol this fall after he earns a master's degree from SIUC's College of Business and Administration in August.

Schools nominate prospective fellows, who participate in a rigorous assessment process coordinated by the Office of Personnel Management. Norman was one of 395 finalists chosen among more than 5,000 applicants to the 2006-07 Presidential Management Fellowship program.

"I think it's really great," said Gregory P. White, interim dean of the College of Business and Administration. "We have outstanding MBA students. This award speaks highly of the quality of our program and the quality of our students."

Norman will get 80 hours of formal classroom training as well as challenging assignments, accelerated promotions and opportunities to network between federal agencies.

"I want to find out how the government works. I want to see how they actually make decisions and develop policies that change the future," said Norman.

Norman will soon find out which federal agencies he will join. He submitted applications to the Department of Defense, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of International Affairs.

Norman grew up in Millville, N.J., and Plymouth, N.C. He received a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University in 2004.

This latest achievement did not come as a surprise to Father Joseph A. Brown, director of SIUC's Black American Studies program. "He is one of the most trustworthy young people I have ever worked with," said Brown, who oversees Norman's work as a graduate assistant in the Black American Studies department.

Brown said the Presidential Management Fellowship is noteworthy in light of Norman's busy schedule. "He is stretched as far as he can with a wife, two children, school and work. I want him to succeed and fulfill the promise and potential many of us see in him."

Achieving excellence in graduate and professional programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.