Two students awarded prestigious Rockefeller Fellowships

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
June 29, 2007

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has named two Texas State University-San Marcos students recipients of the 2007 Fellowships for minority students entering the teaching profession.

Irina Gonzalez, a music major from Laredo, and Priscilla Riojas, an interdisciplinary studies major from Murphy, are the Texas State students earning the Rockefeller Fellowships. Since 1997, a total of 17 Texas State students (including this year's) have received Rockefeller Fellowships: Lydia Rousey, Prisciliana Delgado, Gabriel Garza, Raul Gonzalez, Nora Perez, Coretta Doss, Maria Tinajero, Lisa Jefferson, Stefanie Sierra, Patrice Resse, Danielle Alvarado, Roxanne Lopez, Stephanie Lopez, Tyrone Sutton and Ashley Weaver. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund did not award fellowships from 1998-2000.

The two were among 25 students representing 16 institutions to earn the honor. Students designated as Rockefeller Fellows are eligible for scholarship grants totaling up to $22,100 beginning in their junior year and ending after that Fellow has established a career as a public school classroom teacher.

“We are honored to continue playing a role in encouraging and assisting students of color to become teachers in the public schools and are pleased to have five male Fellows in this year’s class,” said Miriam Añeses, director, Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.  “Our fellowships give outstanding students such as these an opportunity to be education leaders.”

Initially, Rockefeller Fellows receive grants of $2,500 during the summer of their junior years to undertake projects related to teaching. Following graduation, they can receive awards of $12,000 to $16,000 for full-time graduate work in teacher education or related fields. Upon completion of graduate work, Fellows are eligible for loan repayments of $1,200 annually for each of the first three continuous years the Fellow serves as a public school classroom teacher.

To be eligible for the Rockefeller awards, students must be enrolled in one of the 28 colleges and universities chosen to participate in the program. Those institutions have shown a record of commitment to the education of minorities and have the stated goal of improving teaching in public schools. Participating universities may nominate up to three students.

Rockefeller Fellows are selected based on academic performance, written and oral communication skills and commitment to public service.