Coe graduating senior awarded prestigious McElroy Fellowship

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2016-05-10 13:06:28 - General

Emily Roberts
Emily Roberts

Coe College graduating senior Emily Roberts has been awarded one of two R.J. McElroy Trust fellowships for graduate study beginning in the fall of 2016. Roberts was selected from a field of seven finalists from colleges and universities in northeast Iowa.

A mathematics and psychology major at Coe, Roberts has already completed several notable research fellowships during her undergraduate career. This fall, she will be enrolling in a Ph.D. biostatistics program at the University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School.

The fellowships, which carry a stipend of up to $30,000 paid over three years, 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 initial stipend of $10,000 may be renewed for two additional years.

This represents the fifth time out of the past eight years that a Coe graduating senior has received the prestigious McElroy Trust fellowship. In 2013, Jason Maldonis was recognized with the award, while Sarah Anciaux received the McElroy in 2011. Tyler Mullenbach was awarded a McElroy in 2010 and Ben Franta was recognized with the honor in 2009.

Roberts also received a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Roberts is one of only 2,000 students chosen from more than 17,000 national applicants to receive the NSF fellowship this year, which essentially helps to provide a full-ride scholarship path for her to complete a doctorate.

Roberts graduated summa cum laude on May 8.  At Coe, she was a member of several honorary societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Mortar Board, Psi Chi and Strata. Roberts was awarded the Richard H. Bahwell Prize in Psychology in 2016 and the Richard C. and Jennifer H. Hunt Prize in 2015. She was also recognized as a College Scholar and was on the Dean's List each semester.

At Coe, Emily has participated in Math Club, Psychology Club, Habitat for Humanity and cheerleading, and she has volunteered to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is a graduate of Marion High School and the daughter of John and Deanna Roberts of Marion.

Roberts has Type 1 diabetes and is interested in studying that disease, as well as pediatric diseases. As a diabetic, she feels fortunate to have benefited from other research that has been done so far, and hopes her work can aid others in the future.

As an eventual career goal, Roberts would like to make a difference in the lives of others who suffer from disease, particularly children.

"I would love to work at a research center, such as Mayo Clinic or St. Jude, and be one of those people who are making medical advances through the use of statistics that is really going to change people’s lives," said Roberts.

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.