Graduate School News

New five-year Royster fellows have diverse research interests, backgrounds

August 26, 2013

A few months ago, Alex McVey was the assistant director of debate for George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Emily Toutkoushian was teaching in Jackson, N.C. Marie Camerota was completing her bachelor's degree at Cornell University. Dillan Bono was working for the Charities Aid Foundation in London.

Where are they now? Pursuing their doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as five-year fellows within The Graduate School's Royster Society of Fellows. McVey, Toutkoushian, Camerota, Bono and 23 other exceptional graduate students hold the distinction of “Royster fellow” within a select interdisciplinary program providing full financial support, innovative approaches to learning and unique professional development opportunities.

A committee of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty decides which applicants will be offered the fellowships based upon their academic performance, research, work, service and life experiences, and their potential for leadership in the future.

“Royster fellows are selected for their strong potential to make significant contributions in research and teaching within UNC-Chapel Hill,” said Sandra Hoeflich, associate dean for interdisciplinary education, fellowships and communication at The Graduate School. “Their scholarly work will also have impact in North Carolina and beyond.”

Among their first activities as Royster fellows, the students visited the N.C. Museum of Art and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. “This field trip was a great opportunity to introduce the new fellows to some of the outstanding natural and artistic aspects of life in North Carolina,” said David Pfennig, Royster distinguished professor for graduate education. “Orienting them to North Carolina helps them make connections with the needs and perspectives of our citizens and communities.”

New Royster fellows learn about research efforts under way at the Nature Research Center within the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

Following are the members of the 2013-14 entering class of five-year Royster fellows and some additional interesting facts about them:

New five-year Royster Fellows for 2013-2014