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Recent Clarke Graduate Awarded Prestigious McElroy Graduate Fellowship

By Clarke News  |  June 2, 2008

Clarke College is pleased to announce that Holly Feser Stessman, who graduated from Clarke on May 10, was one of two individuals to be named a 2008-2009 McElroy Fellow by the R.J. McElroy Trust.

These prestigious and competitive fellowships, which carry a stipend of $10,000 per year, were awarded to Stessman and Laura Gingrich from the College of Northern Iowa. The two were selected from a field of seven finalists from Colleges and universities in Northern Iowa.

Feser, of Manning, Iowa, graduated from Clarke with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and a minor in drama. She will pursue a Ph.D. in genetics at the College of Minnesota in the fall. She is married to Brian Stessman, and is the daughter of Dale and Maureen Feser and Mary Jean Melton.

“R.J. McElroy was a truly remarkable man who created the McElroy Trust for what he called deserving young people,” said Stessman. “To be considering one of the two most deserving graduate-school-bound students in Northeast Iowa feels amazing. I am incredibly honored to have been chosen for this award.”

Stessman said financial assistance, like that of the McElroy trust, has made her undergraduate and upcoming graduate school study possible. “Without the help of trusts, grants, scholarships and other forms of financial aid, I would not have been able to attend College,” she said. “Attending College through the generosity of others has made me strive for excellence in all parts of my College life. I hope to carry this attitude and the shared spirit of Clarke College to my graduate school program in the fall.”

The fellowships, established by McElroy Trustees in 1983, are designed to “encourage persons of accomplishment, intelligence, integrity and leadership ability to pursue challenging academic careers.” Based on satisfactory performance toward a Ph.D. degree, the stipend of $10,000 may be renewed for two additional years.