Coe senior awarded prestigious McElroy Fellowship

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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2010-05-13 10:11:26 - General

Coe College senior Tyler Mullenbach has been awarded one of two R.J. McElroy Trust fellowships for graduate study. Mullenbach was selected from a field of six finalists from colleges and universities in northeast Iowa.

The fellowships, which carry a stipend of $10,000 per year, were established by the McElroy Trustees in 1983. They are designed to "encourage persons of accomplishment, intelligence, integrity and leadership ability to pursue challenging academic careers." Based upon satisfactory progress toward a Ph.D., the stipend may be renewed for two additional years.

Mullenbach graduated on May 9 with Summa Cum Laude honors, with a major in physics and a minor in mathematics. This fall, Mullenbach plans to pursue a Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Minnesota. His eventual career goal is to become a research scientist. He is the son of Steven Mullenbach of Balsam Lake, Wis., and Karen Parks from Amery, Wis.

As a student at Coe, Mullenbach completed numerous glass research projects in the physics department. He also conducted research in England, China, Japan and Corning, New York, as well as publishing several papers and giving presentations on glass research at professional conferences. Along with work as a research assistant in physics, he tutored fellow students and helped to organize the highly successful annual Playground of Science. Mullenbach also served as president of the Coe Physics Club.

"Tyler Mullenbach is a superb example of what Coe College does best - take an eager and bright student and significantly expand his or her worldliness and aspirations," noted B.D. Silliman Professor of Physics Steve Feller. "While majoring in physics at Coe, Tyler went ondomestic and international research trips, published papers in refereed journals of the field, and was an active participant in science outreach programs in our community. His last of these was a trip to the Iowa Braille School in April. He earned his research and academic success through sheer hard work that was of the highest quality. In fact, I have never seen a student with a stronger work ethic than Tyler."

Mullenbach was one of five students named as a Coe College Clark Merit Scholar for the 2009-2010 school year. He was also selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, reserved for those students with the highest levels of academic achievement. In addition, Mullenbach received numerous Coe Physics Department awards during his undergraduate career.

The Trust benefactor, R.J. McElroy, was a pioneer broadcaster who started KWWL and the Black Hawk Broadcasting Company in 1947. He died in 1965.