August 16, 2007

Two doctoral students receive Fulbright awards

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Two students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are recipients of the J. William Fulbright Scholar Program award.

Melinda L. Yeomans, a doctoral student in the Department of Speech Communication in the College of Liberal Arts, and Kathleen "Kassie" Chaffee, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science, each received the award.

The two students are among 1,300 U.S. citizens who will use the award to travel and study abroad during the 2007-2008 academic year. The Fulbright program, named for former U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, provides grants for university faculty to conduct research and lecture worldwide

Chaffee, of Belleville, will study in Lyon, France, where she will study with Jean-Pierre Dutasta, a leading expert in cryptophane synthesis and inclusion-complex chemistry. She earned a bachelor's degree cum laude in chemistry in 2004 at SIUC.

As an undergraduate, Chaffee earned the Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year in 2002, received the Tuition Waiver Scholarship and earned an undergraduate research assistantship. She participated in the 18th meeting of Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry in Germany last year. She works under the advisement of Boyd M. Goodson, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Yeomans, a Seattle native, planned to use the award to work with orphanages and schools in rural Bangladesh. Political and social instability at this time, however, will preclude her from making the trip.

Yeomans earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and her undergraduate degree in honors English at Washington State University, studying for a year in Scotland. She is a writer with special interests in poetry, philosophy, psychology and comparative religions.

Fulbright recipients are among the more than 30,000 individuals who participate in U.S. Department of State exchange programs annually.