CPSPE Confers Over a Dozen Student Awards and Fellowships


Graduate students play a crucial role in the development of new technologies under the guidance and supervision of their professors. As such, awards and fellowships are a key component to the career development of these student researchers and scholars, giving them the opportunity and flexibility to focus their efforts on academics and research.

This year the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is honored to have conferred over a dozen awards and fellowships to many deserving students who exemplify academic and professional success.

We are thankful for the generous support of our alumni and industry partners who are committed to the next generation of researchers, professors, inventors and leaders without whom these awards would not be possible.

Please see the 2016-17 recipients and award details below.

The Department of Polymer Science Travel Awards

The travel awards provide matching support to students for travel to national conferences to presents their research. A student in his/her third year or higher who has the support of his/her advisor to attend a national meeting is eligible to apply.
  • Mr. Wei Zhang (Advisor: Dr. Stephen Cheng)
  • Mr. Zhiwei Lin (Advisor: Dr. Stephen Cheng)
  • Mr. Cesar Lopez (Advisor: Dr. Coleen Pugh)
  • Mr. Ming Xiao (Advisor: Dr. Ali Dhinojwala)
  • Mr. Heyi Liang (Advisor: Dr. Andrey Dobrynin)
  • Mr. Xuesong Yan (Advisor: Dr. Li Jai)
  • Mr. Yang Chu (Advisor: Dr. Tianbo Liu)
  • Mr. Jiancheng Luo (Advisor: Dr. Tianbo Liu)
  • Ms. Anna Chamsaz (Advisor: Dr. Abraham Joy)

The Eastman Fellowship

Each fall, the Eastman Chemical Company grants one $5,000 Fellowship to a student studying in the College of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering. All applications are reviewed and the winner selected by the Eastman Chemical Company. The Fellowship provides a $5,000 award, as well as an all-expense paid trip for the winner along with his/her advisor to visit the Eastman facility in Kingsport, Tennessee, and to give a presentation on their research.
  • Mr. Xiang Gao (Advisors: Dr. Avraam Isayev / Dr. Erol Sancaktar)

The Eastman Travel Awards

Established in 2013, the Eastman Travel Awards are made possible by the generosity of The Eastman Chemical Company. A maximum of (10) awards will be made from July-June each year to selected students to support their travel to national professional conferences to present their research.
  • Mr. Venkatesh Meenakshicundaram (Advisor: Dr. David Simmons)
  • Mr. Prasad Raut (Advisor: Dr. Sadhan Jana)
  • Ms. Namrata Salunke (Advisors: Dr. Alamgir Karim / Dr. Bob Weiss)
  • Mr. Ankit Tiwari (Advisor: Dr. Erol Sancaktar)
  • Mr. Kai Wang (Advisor: Dr. Xiong Gong)
  • Ms. Mengmeng Zhao (Advisor: Dr. Nicole Zacharia)

The Maria D. Ellul and Jeffrey L. Sain Endowed Fellowship

The Maria D. Ellul and Jeffrey L. Sain Endowed Fellowship in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering was established in 2011 by Dr. Maria D. Ellul and Mr. Jeffrey L. Sain in honor of their love for The University of Akron and education. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide an annual award to a deserving Ph.D. student in The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, affording him or her the same opportunity that was given to Maria as she pursued her education. The recipient of the award must declare a desire to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of polymer science.
  • TBD

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Fellowship

This $7,500 fellowship is awarded annually to a Department of Polymer Science student who has earned a baccalaureate degree from an American institution, and is beginning his second- or third-year of Ph.D. research. This research award supports a Ph.D. project that is of interest to both the student and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. In addition to the monetary award, the student will meet quarterly with a Goodyear mentor, and thereby benefit from the expertise and potentially the facilities available at Goodyear. The application package is due June 1 of the year awarded, and consists of a two-page proposal, CV and two letters of recommendation, including one letter from the faculty research mentor. The final selection for the award will be made following an interview at Goodyear. This fellowship is among the oldest in the department, dating back 30 years.
  • Mr. Kevin Endres (Advisor: Dr. Chrys Wesdemiotis)

The Frank N. Kelley Graduate Student Award

Named after Dean Emeritus, Dr. Frank N. Kelley, who led the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering for 30 years, this award is given each year to one student in polymer engineering and one student in polymer science, each in his or her fourth year of graduate study at UA, on the basis of the student’s research and course work performance.
  • Mr. Zhe Qiang (Advisors: Dr. Bryan Vogt / Dr. Keven Cavicchi)
  • Mr. Zachary Zander (Advisor: Dr. Matthew Becker)

The Lubrizol Foundation Fellowship

The Lubrizol Foundation Fellowship was established in April 2008. The annual distribution of $25,000 from the Foundation is awarded to one student in the Department of Polymer Science in any year of his/her studies. There are no restrictions as to the student’s country of origin or citizenry. The funded student may be asked to make an annual presentation/visit at any Lubrizol facility chosen by the company liaison.
  • Ms. Jaelynne King (Advisor: Dr. Coleen Pugh)
  • Mr. John Meyerhofer (Advisor: Dr. Coleen Pugh)
  • Mr. Dillon Presto (Advisor: Dr. Coleen Pugh)

The Victor Montenyohl Scholarship

This scholarship fund for advanced study was established in memory of Victor I. Montenyohl in recognition of his devotion to the rubber industry and his belief that UA offers a unique opportunity for rubber research. The income from this fund is awarded to a student well-qualified and interested in the field of rubber chemistry.
  • Mr. Jiaxi Li (Advisors: Dr. Avraam Isayev / Dr. Mark Soucek)
  • Mr. Prasad Raut (Advisor: Dr. Sadhan Jana)

The Ohio Rubber Group Graduate Student Awards

The Ohio Rubber Group (ORG) provides Graduate Student Awards to deserving polymer engineering or polymer science students who plan to enter the rubber and/or plastics industry. Selected by the Scholarship Committee of the Ohio Rubber Group, award winners are encouraged to attend local ORG technical meetings and may be asked to share their research with the members.
  • Mr. Jiaxi Li (Advisors: Dr. Avraam Isayev / Dr. Mark Soucek)
  • Mr. Scott Smith (Advisor: Dr. David Simmons)