Dedman Distinguished Scholarship Program News
Sai Gourisankar Wins Prestigious Astronaut Scholarship
(September 2014) Congratulations to Dedman Scholar Sai Gourisankar, who has won the prestigious Astronaut Scholarship. The Astronaut Scholarship is a $10,000 award recognizing outstanding students who demonstrate originality, motivation, and exceptional performance in engineering and applied sciences. Read more details in the UT Cockrell School of Engineering Press Release.
Welcome to our five newest Dedman Scholars!
(August, 2014) For the 2014-2015 academic year, the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin has honored five incoming students with a Dedman Distinguished Scholarship. Each Dedman Scholar will receive an award of $25,000 per year, plus funding for study abroad, and additional support for unpaid internships and thesis research. Dedman Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant’s academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and accomplishments. Please see our New Scholars page for photos and details about these outstanding students. The Dedman Distinguished Scholars Program welcomes these students and wishes them and the current scholars the very best as they enter the University of Texas.
John Russell Beaumont Awarded 2014 British Marshall Scholarship
(December 12, 2013) John Russell Beaumont, a Plan II/Architecture graduate and Dedman Scholar, has been awarded one of the most coveted study abroad scholarships available.
The British Marshall Scholarship is the only scholarship funded substantially through the government of the United Kingdom. The intention of the Marshall Scholarship is to “strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions,” according to the Marshall Scholarships website.
Beaumont’s scholarship will fund his graduate education. It covers university fees, cost of living expenses, an annual book grant, a thesis grant, research and daily travel grants as well as fares to and from the United States.
“This scholarship is an incredible opportunity,” Beaumont said. “The chance to study at top universities in the UK is in itself a life-changing opportunity, but I am especially excited to meet the amazing students who share the scholarship. I look forward to representing the USA in the UK and taking full advantage of my studies and the Marshall Scholar community to contribute to emergency housing and disaster relief practices.”
Beaumont first became passionate about relief efforts as an undergraduate, and his determination was made clear in his 104 page senior thesis, “Relief and Recovery: The Role of Architecture and Solidarity in the 2010 Chilean Earthquake Reconstruction,” which the Plan II Honors Program cited as a “model thesis.”
The Marshall Scholarship will help Beaumont pursue his chosen path as an architect or planner specializing in disaster relief. He will be studying international development with a focus on poverty, conflict and reconstruction at the University of Manchester, as well as urban design in the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College in London.
“Russell has the knowledge, the moral force of character and the courage to address one our major problems,” Larry Carver, director of the Liberal Arts Honors Programs, said. “He has the ability to determine how to provide housing that is affordable and functional, attractive and ‘green,’ for those who suffer from natural or man-made disasters.”
This isn’t the first prestigious award Beaumont has been honored with – he was recruited to The University of Texas at Austin and awarded a Dedman Distinguished Scholarship as a freshman. Of the 140 Dedman Scholars since 1990, Beaumont is the third to also win a British Marshall Scholarship.
After graduation, he received the Oglesby Traveling Scholarship, which is awarded to one graduating senior in architecture every year, and allowed him to travel to South America to research emergency housing and post-disaster recovery. These experiences left Beaumont eager to continue traveling internationally.
“The UK, and London in particular, is a global center for both architecture and international development,” Beaumont said. “I look forward to being immersed in that environment and learning everything I can from the amazing work that will be going on around me.”
Divya Srinivasan Publishes New Children's Book
(May 20, 2013) Divya Srinivasan, Class of 1995, is going on a book tour this summer to promote her newest children’s book “Octopus Alone.” Her first stop is Book People in Austin, this coming Saturday May 25 at 2:00pm, with more stops in Illinois, New York, DC, and California in June (see tour schedule for details).
The Austin-American Statesman describes “Octupus Alone” as a ‘sweet, empathetic paean to both striking out on your own and appreciating the comforts of the familiar.” (‘Austinite’s Picture Book Focuses on Octopus Who Just Wants to Be Alone” May 18,2013). Click here to see the book trailer.
Divya’s first children’s book, “Little Owl’s Night” was lauded as “exceptional” by the New York Times and called the ‘best picture book of the year’ by the Boston Globe.
Divya is an illustrator and animator living in Austin, Texas. Her illustrations have appeared in New Yorker magazine, and she has done work for This American Life, They Might Be Giants, Sundance Channel, Sufjan Stevens, and Weird Al Yankovic, among others. Divya was also an animator on the film Waking Life. More of her work can be seen at www.pupae.com. Read more about her career in the Austin Chronicle's article "Divya Srinivasan is Living the Dream of Art" (January 2013).
(April 24, 2013) College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin has honored eight incoming students with a Dedman Distinguished Scholarship, which provides full scholarships covering tuition, books, room and board, study abroad and internship opportunities.
Dedman Scholar Sai Gourisankar wins prestigious Goldwater Scholarship
In April 2013, Dedman Scholar Sai P. Gourisankar was chosen to receive a Goldwater Scholarship – a prestigious, merit-based award given to outstanding students pursuing careers in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. Sai was one of 271 Goldwater scholarship recipients selected from a pool of over 1,100 applicants nation-wide.
Sai Gourisankar is a sophomore double majoring in Chemical Engineering Honors and Plan II Honors, with a minor in German. Here, in his own words, Sai describes his current academic interests, experiences, and activities at UT:
"In my first year at UT, I enjoyed both reading Bulgakov's Master and Margarita for my Plan II World Literature class as well as synthesizing gold nanoparticles for bioimaging applications in a chemical engineering research lab. I had the opportunity to play a Portuguese traditional fado in a string quartet at the UT Clutch Concert in April, and every Tuesday at 8:30, I tried to speak as much German as possible on "Es Klingt Wie Deutsch", the German radio show hosted by the UT network. In fact, I got to travel to Würzburg, Germany this summer, where I took upper-division Conversation, Literature, and German history classes. I'd like to go back again – with knowledge of how to speak more than just "Ich heiβe Sai" – and perform research in Kolloidundgrenzflächen (colloids and interfaces) at the Max Planck Institute there."
"In my second year at UT, I have enjoyed blurring the boundaries between the humanities and the sciences. In the Fall, I took a German Grammar course to complete my grasp of essential German. Then, I applied feedback control theory – from aerospace engineering – to study the U.S. economy in my Plan II Macroeconomics class. Later that winter, I stole the standard logical structure of a philosophical argument from Plan II Philosophy to write an engineering research proposal. My advisor approved the project, and now I am using X-ray scattering techniques to probe the atomic structure of gold nanoclusters for biomedical imaging applications. I aim to continue (and hopefully complete) my research project this summer, when I’ll have enough time to iterate through the stages of experimentation. Between academic activities, I’ve planned social events for the Honors Dorms and gone to weekly community service projects for my Chemical Engineering honors society, ΩΧΕ. "